sealing off unused WH drain?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by hamlet, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    dc
    Hello all,

    I am doing a gut renovation on the lower level of my condo and have a question- In the rear of my kitchen was my old laundry/water heater room. The water heater had a drain (?) pipe extending up through the floor which was met by a copper drain pipe coming from the water heater istelf (I am attaching a photo because I am sure I am not explaining this correctly)

    We relocated this water heater to another part of the house, and the plumber who did the work for me cut this old pipe (ABS pipe, about 2" diam?) down to floor level (tiles removed) and said that he had sealed it off from underneath when they were doing other work under the slab adding drains in the new locations of the laundry and a new shower in the bathroom I do not smell anything coming from the pipe, although sometimes I swear I can feel cool air coming up from it, but I have to assume he did what he said.

    Here is my issue- This area is now going to be part of the kitchen, which is going to be covered in engineered wood or laminate. Before I do that, I will have the floor leveled with a self leveler, but I need to block this drain closer to the surface so that I am not pouring a whole bunch of leveler down it until it reaches floor level. (not to mention that if this pipe is NOT sealed off (and considering what a crappy experience I had with this contractor, I would not be surprised if it was not sealed), I don't want cement going down drains it should not be going down.

    So... Can I use some sort of expanding plug to permanently seal this off below the surface so that I can cement over it with the leveler?

    If anyone has links to or names of specific products, that would be great.

    Thank you all, and I hope what I wrote makes sense to someone!

    Attached Files:

  2. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2010
  3. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    dc
    Thanks, Shacko

    So you mean break the concrete up around the pipe and then cap it below floor level? What about just putting a mechanical test plug down in there and then concrete over it? That would eliminate having to break the concrete up to seal it off?
  4. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
  5. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    You might also check around the outside footings that pipe should exit there and you might

    want to add a plug at that end also to prevent small rodents from making nest inside the pipe
  6. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    A mechanical test plug may protrude more then the cap, you only have to cut it down to where the top is below the floor, I don't like the test cap the other post suggested, they don't give enough glue surface. Make sure when you put in your floor nobody pokes a hole it it, your call.
  7. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    dc
    Thanks again, Shacko

    I see what you are saying. I am also not a fan of the test cap mentioned above- looks flimsy and not much area there to glue to.

    Looks like my best bet is to try and break up some of the 30yr old concrete just around it so I have room for the cap.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,146
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The inspectors here don't allow the test cookies permanently. They do allow caps or mechanical plugs.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,873
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Use a "TopKap" cleanout fitting. It glues into the pipe with a flush pipe plug in it. You have to cut the pipe slightly below floor level to accomodate the "lip" of the fitting, but it does not have to be a smooth cut, since the seal is to the inside of the pipe, not the rim.
  10. bpetey

    bpetey Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    CA
    It looks like that copper pipe is for the pressure relief valve, not really a drain just a diverter in case steam or hot water ever comes out. It probably terminate outside with an open end and that's why you can feel cold air coming through.
  11. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    dc
    Terry- thanks for the info- its a crapshoot with the inspectors here. Each one seems to have his/her own "interpretation" of the code- very frustrating!

    Thank you, HJ- that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for- I will check that out!

    Bpetey- I think you are right. Even if that is the case, I need to seal it off before I pour leveler on the floor.

    Thanks again!
  12. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    Yeah, it's probably just an overflow drain to the outside. If you can verify that it's not connected to the sewer then I would do what's called "dynamiting" the drain. I prefer this method to caps on an abandoned line that can't be removed. God knows that some ding dong will come along and find a drain pipe, remove the cap and connect who knows what to it. Cut the pipe flush with the floor then wad up a bunch of newspaper and shove it down the pipe below the floor level and fill it with grout.
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