Redo stack or not? Pictures depict my problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sinkholed, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. sinkholed

    sinkholed New Member

    This is the main stack...


    Note how it is offset from the foundation wall. Also that it interfered with the joists (all the branchings from the stack are done at same height as the hoists)

    DSCF0018 copy.jpg

    Note how there are NO JOISTS underneath either of these bathrooms. The stack continues straight up, and is "in" the wall above it. That wall separates two bathrooms. Both bathrooms are being redone. The one at right will be done now. The one at left will be done later.

    (seen branching out left & right of the stack are the connects to the toilets in each bathroom; seen extending "away" from the wall are the pvc to the left bathroom's shower and the right bathroom's sink; seen extending "into" the wall is the pvc for the right bathroom's tub and the left bathroom's sink...the next 2 pictures shows the pvc "into" the wall, and the right bathroom's stack & connects on the ground floor)

    DSCF0014 copy.jpg

    DSCF0008 copy.jpg

    DSCF0002 copy.jpg

    I need to replace the subflooring in BOTH bathrooms, but as I said, I need to do them separately. That is why there is a problem with NO JOISTS underneath: it is all one subfloor.

    I have a friend who says he can jack support the left bathroom's floor, and, coupled with adding whatever joist support he can add, proceed to subflooring only the right bathroom . Then we'd tile walls & floors and fixturize that one. Once the right bathroom is completed, we'd go back later & redo the left bathroom.

    He mentioned it would be a WHOLE LOT EASIER if the branching from the stack were done below the joists. That would mean redoing the stack to lower the branchouts below the joists.

    What would you expect a plumber's cost to be to have that stack redone to branch below the joists? $500? 5,000?? Gimme a ballpark for labor & materials.

    I'm considering doing it myself. For a virgin pvc DIY'er, am I looking for trouble? How long do you think it'd take?

    Finally, what would YOU do? Jack & joist & leave the stack alone, or redo stack and then jack & joist?


  2. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Rosedale, Md

    I hate to be negative, but I see too many things that would be a no-no in my area. You need to have a local plumber look at it, sorry.
  3. sinkholed

    sinkholed New Member

    Everything is original plumbing for new construction in 1974, presumably to code. All except the open drain on left of stack (has clear plastic tube inserted in & attached to it) that handles new high efficiency gas furnace just installed. Plumbing inspector signed off on permit for that. Not disagreeing with you that the whole thing is a mess, just don't want to do more than I have to.

    I'm assuming not changing the stack and just fixturing in new tub/toilet/sink is an a-ok option. But what about price/time to just drop the branchout from the stack down below the joists?


  4. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I agree

    You need to rip out that whole mess; there's just too much wrong (plumbing AND structural), to bother trying to save anything.
  5. sinkholed

    sinkholed New Member

    OK, let's say that I do rip out the stack and replumb it. What does that gain me?

    Well, I get the structural problem fixed, because once I don't have all those pvc connections in-line with the joists, I can properly support the bathrooms above it. That is, after all, what I want.

    But what exactly is wrong with the plumbing? I mean, since I'm not changing the layout of the bathrooms above, I'm still going to have to tie them all in to the very same stack, because we're not talking about moving THAT, right?

    So the question remains, albeit in a restructured form: rather than directly replace old pvc with the same-but-new pvc pieces, I replace it with newly routed pvc that branches/connects below the joist line.

    Let's assume I need a plumber for this. What is my ballpark cost gonna be? $500?

    I've attached 5 more pictures, so hopefully you can see how the whole dwv is currently run, and how you'd want to change it.


  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    There are many plumbing jobs I enjoy looking at.
    It's nice to see nice work.

    When you show those pictures, it's a bit tough to look at.

    I guess first question is, has it been working for you?

    There are many ways to plumb, some are better than others.
    There are a few things on your pictures that no inspector would buy.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    One of the first things we would have to do is get rid of all those horizontal drainage tees.
  8. sinkholed

    sinkholed New Member

    I've had no problems with the plumbing into this stack. The tub does drain a bit slower than in the past, but it could probably use a cleanout to restore its prior good drainage.

    If I redo I assume that six-sided connection would the first thing to go. In lieu of that, a new double tee could handle both toilets. Then perhaps another double handling the tub and sink, and a third handling the shower and sink. All needing venting of course.

    Is this a one-day job for a plumber to replumb? What would be a ballpark range to expect to be charged?

  9. MikeFish

    MikeFish New Member


    I'm not the one to review them, but maybe you could post some drawing of what you propose to do if you DIY a rebuild of the stack. Have a thick skin though; the honesty of some of these experts can be painful;)

    Also, I'm sure you know, the best way to get an estimate is to have a plumber (or two) in your area come out and bid the job.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Newer toilets tend to flush quicker.
    I wouldn't go the a double sanitary cross.
    Anymore, the ways things are now, I would consider putting the two toilets on it's own vented tee fitting, and wye them together below.
    Yes more fittings, but should work better too in the long run.

    Any fitting on it's back or side should be a wy to teewye,
    Sanitary tees can be on the vertical.

    If you are using the fitting as a vent fitting on the vertical, it needs to be a santee.

    A double santee can't be used for two toilets.
    Two fixtures back to back, in most places use a double fixture fitting.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  11. 70s plumbing with Ideal crosses

    Its not very pretty, but it still functions fine...

    I dont care for mixing grey sch 80 fittings in with the normal stuff

    we used to use those double Ideal crosses with side outlets all the time.....
    they kept things high and up out of the way...

    does anyone see a problem with them????

    they are very, very user freindly in a situation like that

    I still have bunches of them....and have no problem with
    useing them anytime .......

    they are the easiest way to vent both toilets and
    use the side outlets for either runs to the tubs,
    or showers without having to add extra vents..
    everything is technically vented into the 3 inch stack.....

    everything gets vented well with that kind of fitting.
    never had a problem with them

    from what I see, the only thing wrong is what has already been stated.....
    tees on their sides and backs...

    and that is very--- very easy to renovate

    Everything appears to be vented and revented very well too....
    It all just looks old, because of the wet discolored wood and plywood.....

    The PVC is the old GENOVA brand, which turns more mellow yellow over time
    but it still should be good for about another 250 years...

    If I had to make an estimat e to take out all of that and
    re-do it in new pvc all the way out the roof, I still would use that double Ideal
    and would charge you a total of about 1500-2000.

    but if what you got will last oyu another 25o years ......what more could you ask..

    why dont you just make tohse little modifications and then paint it Latex white.???
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Older toilets moved the water slower.
    With newer toilets, water flushed can skip right across the double tee, and go up the other arm.
    There are some places that require a certain distance between toilets.
  13. I have never heard that one before...

    Terry, I suppose I have learned something here,

    are you speaking of the power assisted toilets..?????..

    I have never even heard of a problem like that happenning before...

    I guess then that these double ideal cross tees are considered "illegal" ???.


    what are you doing sitting around on a Monday afternoon???
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington

    Making money guy. Taking names and numbers.
    And if I can slow down a bit, I will be changing to a new server that I've already paid for.
    It will have double the memory, double the processor speed.
    It should make the web site and forum run a bit quicker.

    It's not just the pressure assist, but also the new Gravity toilets with 3" flush valves. The water just zips out of there.

  15. Those crosses are a drain cleaner's nightmare

    And the crap will skip right across to the other side until that toilet is flushed.

    Having a toilet pulled on one side of that equation and flush one that has excrement in will end up in the 90 pointing up at you.


    Your casual attitude on the structural and plumbing concept of your issue makes me wonder why you even bothered creating this thread. If it drains and the floor doesn't fall in, you're fine with it.

    Well, so am I.
  16. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Licensed Grump
    I'm a newbie to this forum.
    I'm not a newbie to plumbing.

    Sinkhole...the whole setup is fantastic, in fact you should build a soffit and box it in...don't worry about any of those silly cleanout thingies...they're just there for them in too.

  17. Let's see.....

    I see a leaking connection from PVC to Cast Iron

    I see a street 45 in the bottom of that cross that looks like a bad solvent weld connection and siliconed instead *shiney with brown residue significant of leaking*

    I see a san-tee laying on it's back

    I see an unvented 2" standpipe under the flood level rim it serves, first clog in that stack and it's a cross-connection to that vinyl tube that is hanging in it

    I see a cross that has 4 connections into it that have no flowing sweeps to the two smaller drainage connections

    This, is a leaking connection that the only repair is removal/replacement as there are no removable parts to correct the leaking

    I don't know how many types of glue, if it was even glue on a few of those connections and were they properly done and are air and water tight

    On top of all of this, this was a patch and go design and you can see visible leakage from either improper workmanship or just plain and simple
    faulty plumbing.

    As we see folks,

    All plumbers are not created equal. Some of us have a eye for professionalism and pick up the various code infractions/violations...........

    and some of us would rather cover it up, including those "cleanout thingies" as mentioned.

    Time to pull a MPM,

    Anyone know a licensed plumber worth their weight in the profession, who calls cleanouts,

    "cleanout thingies" ?????
  18. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member


    Thank you! THAT is really good information.

    I'm a sparky who has done more than his share of plumbing including a few copper repipes, but the sewer...drain, waste...whatever pipe always confused me. I know it runs downhill but after that????? I would always just buy a CRAPLOAD of fittings and make it work somehow.

    I just finished another rehab project. I Thought I was only going to replace a couple pieces of galvanized pipe from the sinks to the cast iron fittings a few feet away but when I couldn't get the system to fill for a test I realized that I had to go deeper. Two weeks later after LOTS of sawcutting and digging I had replaced EVERYTHING out to the 4" clay main line. Two bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.

    If I would have found this site a couple months ago I would have run 2" (instead of 1 1/2) to my kitchen sink the FIRST time:mad

    Now.....what was the question

    Here are pics just because you like to look at plumbing stuff.



    The Washer drain trap arm should have been a Santee.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
  19. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Licensed Grump

    I see you got my humor
    I go out on estimates all week...half the time people are window shopping..or looking for "free" info.
    a month ago a guy told me my price was too high "I think I'll look around online" was his final response.
  20. RochNY

    RochNY New Member


    That has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read...
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