Replacing galvanized in a tight space

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Zach, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Zach

    Zach New Member

    My 1928 home has galvanized pipe throughout. I have gutted a half bath on the second floor to repair some old water damage (leaking window, leaking cast-iron toilet flange). While I have the walls and floor ripped out, I would like to replace the galvanized pipe with copper.

    The pipes currently run from the 2nd floor, through an outside wall, to the crawlspace below the first floor. The crawlspace is about 4' tall. The space where the current pipes run is in a box, aproximately 7" x 7".

    My question, is what is the best way to get a new line run from the crawlspace to the 2nd floor?

    I'm assuming I won't be able to flex a 10' piece of rigid copper pipe enough, within the constrains of the 4' crawlspace, to be able to slide it up the wall cavity (or will I?). And it seems soft copper is not code for above ground?

    The walls in the house are plaster over wood lathe, so chopping into them is certainly a last resort.

    Also .. what about supporting the pipe through such a run? Would it be okay to have it supported only at the top and bottom of the ~10' run? (I'm asking this, assuming I'll use rigid copper, as I have another bathroom which I would like to replace the galvanize pipe to as well -- but I have 7' of basement clearance below it.)

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You can use soft copper, but one problem with not being able to anchor it except at the top and bottom is that the hot and cold pipes could be touching and any vibtration would cause a "dinging" sound.
  3. tight spacees

    in that situation if it is as tight as
    you claim, you are probably really
    gambling that you will be able to snake copper pipes
    up the wall....

    another approach might be to get a fish tape down that wall
    and then duct tape two pieces of AQUAPEX to the line and pull
    them back up to the second floor together at the same time...

    if its only one bathroom you might be able to just
    do 1/2 wirsbo pex pipe and get by just fine.
    it seems to be very forgiveing that way....

    I dont particularry like the stuff that much,
    but you got to do what you got to do and it will most likely
    last you 20 years.

    then in the crawl space switch it back to copper
    and do the same on the second floor too....
    just make the runs up the wall into pex

    the pex is far more flexible and you might have a decent chance to
    worm them up there.........

    and as HI mentioned you wont get
    that dinging noise in the pipes either.

    you can even duct tape the two pieces of pex together
    all teh way up the wall as you are feeding it up there.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2005
  4. barrybpdx

    barrybpdx New Member

    portland, or
    okay, first off i don't know nuthin' 'bout nuthin'.
    but just to address the issue of getting 10' of pipe up from a 4' crawlspace: couldn't you sweat a coupling onto the end of a 3' section and send it up, then sweat another 3' on, then another etc?
  5. yes you can

    yes you can but god help you if
    one of those couplings deicdes to leak someday

    its best to not give the couplings a chance to
    take its revenge on you after the job is complete
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2005
  6. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    Like previously stated I would use softroll copper but slide armaflex(insulation) on it first.
  7. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    How about making a pipe-sized hole in the ceiling then sliding the 10' section up into the attic then down into the stud cavity?
  8. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Well, I guess soft copper is code for in-wall use. I'll look into either pex or soft copper for the vertical run, and transition into rigid copper for the rest of the runs.

    I have no pex tools though, so that may steer me towards copper. I've read on here that sweating fittings to soft copper is a little tricky though (as compared to rigid). Does that inherrently make the soft copper connections less durable or secure?
  9. use a fish tape

    if you got the room the soft copper will work with a
    dummie at the bottom feediing up the lines to a
    dummie at the top pulling out the fish tape

    if you measure the distance and pre cut the hot and cold
    from some soft copper then
    tape them together at the top then pull them together
    up through the space, you might get lucky...

    and not get them stuck,,, you jsut have to try it and
    see what happens

    its all a matter of how much room you got
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2005
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