slip joint reliability and ferncos

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by adrianmariano, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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    That looks like something off the Red Green show

    Pretty impressive picture there.

    No vent, rubber fernco 90's and tee. Stuff like this keeps plumbers employed, seriously.

    And the customer indirectly spends a great deal more under the sink than the regular setup of a center or end outlet waste.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  2. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

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    My guess is the dishwasher drain. Do I win a prize?

    That picture belongs in the world's funniest plumbing book. I'm still chuckling.
     
  3. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

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    I don't mean to step on anyones toes that might do so but I wouldnt use tubular pvc traps....very easy to install, very fast and cheap....and very likely to end up leaking.....I see a lot, esp. under kitchen sinks where they get bumped around by mrs homeowner as she sttempts to cram yet one more bottle of cleaner under the sink

    use brass tailpieces and shed 40 pipe and fittings
    no problems
     
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    traps

    Ler's see now. Out of the thousands of tubular traps I have installed in 55+ years, as long as they are installed properly, how many have "fallen apart"? Try zero. The only exception might be when the trap has to be installed, or is, a low inlet one where the tailpiece has limited engagement into the trap inlet. Then, trying to jam one more item under the sink could dislodge it. But if the tubes are inserted all the way into the trap and wall, there is no way they can come apart by incidental contact.
     
  5. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

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    see now...I stepped on your toes..didnt mean it, I just like to do it different and I told you why...I never said they fall apart...they leak...a lot....and the metal ones, which I'm guessing is what you installed 55 years ago rot out...I still use the heavy gauge chrome traps under a pedestal but honestly can't think of one advantage that a pvc tubular trap has over sched 40 except time and money

    again, didnt mean to step anyones toes
    we all do everything differently

    carry on.
     
  6. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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    Interesting statement about the SCH40 application. When I owned rental properties I would do just that; install Keeney strainers (the good ones) that had actual IPS thread patterns so I could use a 1.5" FIP's and continue on with all sch40 to the wall. I also had 2" for the drains, not 1.5" I also installed a cleanout so I didn't have to worry about disassembly of anything other than a cap.

    I basically wanted something that renters couldn't screw up or call me a year after it had been leaking with the cabinet totally destroyed.


    It is true that slip joints will fail over time. Vibration from either the cheap sink above flexing heavily or the vibration from the disposal constantly putting those connections to the test.

    I worked on a kitchen sink drain two days ago where I couldn't work with the piping/connections anymore and replaced the entire center outlet waste assembly.

    It's a state farm office in their small kitchen for preparing food and coffee and the consistent dumping of hot coffee down the drains not only clogged the piping up,

    but also made the piping/ferrules/plastic nuts hard as a rock and you couldn't tighten them enough to stop leaking.

    The new piping is soft and conforms well.....for now.

    When I was a union service plumber one of my bosses used wolverine brass tubular traps and drain assemblies only.

    He told us "job security with brass" meaning the piping will eventually corrode out and have to be replaced. He used the 17 gauge which was a nightmare to use in some applications.:confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
  7. adrianmariano

    adrianmariano New Member

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    Phil H2, you win the prize. (Not sure what the prize is, maybe a case of Fernco elbows? :) ) The connection in the center (labeled E) is indeed for the dishwasher.

    "And as far as the restriction in the standard tee, how much water do you really think the small openings in the bottom of the sink strainers are going to let pass through. You are trying to create a solution to a problem that you do not even have."

    Cauldwell complains at length about the small openings at the bottom of the sink strainer. He recommends the Kohler 8801 sinks strainer which (based on the picture in his book) is much less constricted than the typical one. He also complains about the plastic washer at the bottom of the sink strainer which he says constricts the flow and also accumulates crud. (I was inspecting the sink strainer that I have for my new sink and it does seem like that plastic washer is a potential crud catcher and it does indeed further block the flow, but I don't know if this is a real problem.)

    Regarding to use of sch 40 P-traps, I hired a plumber for my bathroom remodel. He left me a sch 40 P-trap to use because he said it was important that I use a good trap. But this trap still attaches with slip joints---slip joints with chrome nuts, but slip joints nonetheless. My current kitchen drain system is done entirely with sch 40 piping as well, including two traps with those same slip joints and the chrome nuts. If I don't have some slip joints somewhere then how can I take the system apart to clean it? It seems like ease of disassembly for cleaning is a huge advantage of assembling a drain system with slip joints (or ferncos) as opposed to gluing everything together. And if I'm going to use slip joints am I better off with slip joints in the sch 40 vs the slip joints in the lighter weight drain piping. I mean, they're all slip joints. Does it matter?
     
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Why do you suppose this is not common, normal practice in the trade? The answer is obvious. It's a hack job that no plumber, and I would hope no DIYer, would consider. I'd trash that book and do the job right.
     
  9. adrianmariano

    adrianmariano New Member

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    There are a couple issues. One is, how do I know what constitutes "normal practice"? My house did not come with a single drain made of that lightweight PVC drain tubing. Essentially the only guide I have about the normal is to look at several books and see if they all agree. If I find something which seems odd such as the drain in the Cauldwell book, how do I know who is installing it? Maybe all the good plumbers install Cauldwell drains but general contractors and clueless do-it-yourselfers install the other kind of drains because they're cheaper and easier to install. How can I tell which it is? (The one time I hired a plumber he seemed concerned that I install a sch 40 drain instead of the thin PVC tubing drain.)

    In addition, suppose I figure out that the Cauldwell drain is unusual. If someone asks me, "Why is this method not normal practice?" there are multiple possible answers. Certainly one answer is "that method is inferior". But another one is "that method, though superior, is more expensive".

    I'm afraid that in general I would expect cost to win out over quality in the world of "normal practice". Everyone wants things cheap, cheap cheap! I wouldn't have had a 2 ft hole in the subfloor of my bathroom if the contractor had used a moisture barrier in the tile installation. It would appear, however, that "normal practice" is to NOT use a moisture barrier. (My plumber saw the moisture barrier and said that in 30 years of plumbing for bathroom remodels he'd never seen such a thing before.) In this case normal practice is wrong. From my own experience I have a limited respect for normal practice.
     
  10. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

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    well it seems as though your mind was made up on this issue before you even started the thread.

    go ahead and install it EXACTLY as in the diagram...:rolleyes:
     
  11. adrianmariano

    adrianmariano New Member

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    Actually my reaction to seeing the Cauldwell drain was that it seemed like a lot more trouble to install than the conventional drain. Furthermore, he doesn't show how to do it with a disposal (and I do have one). So I'd have to make some changes. (Now I wonder about having vertical room. Elsewhere in the book he has disposal installation instructions and he shows a conventional drain setup.) On the other hand, his justification for his setup sounded reasonable, and if it really is better then I figured maybe it's worth doing. As I noted above, my goal in starting this thread iwas basically to get criticisms of the Cauldwell drain so I could understand why it would NOT be something I should implement. (I figure Cauldwell already listed all the good points.)

    I have observed a rather strong reaction to his setup, and it evidently gave everyone a good laugh. So far I've seen the following specific criticisms of the system. Is there anything else wrong with it?

    1) ferncos are not to code, and won't make a good seal on the threaded pipe coming down from the sink

    2) the piping will acumulate crud and create a bad odor

    3) it requires too much vertical space

    4) not vented

    5) the problems it aims to solve don't exist

    It's unclear to me why (2) doesn't apply just as well to the conventional drain. Is it simply that there is more piping before the trap?

    At the moment my tentative plan is to install a normal drain with slip joints using the light weight drain tubing (does this stuff have a standard name?). The last slip joint will connect to a sch 40 sanitary T to go down the vertical drain pipe and there will be an AAV at the top of that T to correct my venting problem. But my plans are not set in stone. I still might consider switching to sch 40 for the trap.
     
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Unless the trap gets sucked dry because it isn't vented properly or evaporates from disuse, yes, the smells would be because there is a lot of piping open to the air before the trap. You can't typically smell anything beyond the trap from your drains, but anything up to that point is open to your house.
     
  13. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

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    take the clean out off and repalce it with a AAV and it "would" work...even if that sink line is vented within the proper distance downstream you have an "S" trap in that picture and it will siphon itself dry without a source of air above it

    but is the extra "engineering" worth while?...I don't think so....in fact, my opinion is that it creates more problems than it solves....a sched 40 male or female adapter on a brass tailpiece is pretty secure...can it leak?...certainly....no installation is bulletproof...but it will likely not

    by using fernco's you are simply trading one mechanical connection for another....a fernco can leak also

    also have what appear to be short sweep elbows in the horizontal.....if this guy is a master(whatever that is) plumber he should know that is wrong

    you are going to have to use an AAV in this installation and that is the mother of all mechanical fittings that will fail at some point...not to mention the fact that they are inherently inferior to a good old fashioned "standard practice" vent that exhausts to the open air..

    not to mention the fact that you are just making it even more difficult to clean the trap by using a glue type..

    sometimes the "better" way isnt better just different and the tried and true methods stick around for a reason....problems usually are a result of poor workmanship, not the method..

    sure, plumbing evolves like everything else and new ideas come around all the time that actually make an improvement over the old way

    this just isnt one of them


    and as Forrest Gump would say...."thats all I got to say about that"

    Good Luck:)
     
  14. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

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    I worked for a shop for 4 years that had a two year warranty. Cost was always an issue with our work and materials.... We didn't waist money on materials we didn't need... but we didn't waist time on Cheap, cheap, cheap parts... if the parts where of poor quality than we would be back repairing them within two years on our dime. It doesn't pay to skimp on parts.... the conventional ways always worked for us... Solid piping doesn't come apart and works great too.... just hard to repair when the FIP at the bottom of the sink splits.



    OH.... and I looked up old Rex's books, and he has Electrical how-to books also. "Safe electrical Practices"..... Is he a master Electrician also?????

    and I still want a picture of your finished project.

    good luck

    Dances-with-pumps
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    The trap should be vented.

    When slip joint fittings are used, it's easy to take them apart and run a hose through them, or knock out the crud into the garbage can.

    Nobody plumbs the waste line from the bottom of the cabinet if they could put it in a wall.
    The best plumbing, involves a vent through the roof.
     
  16. adrianmariano

    adrianmariano New Member

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    People who want to see Rex Cauldwell's bio can go here: http://ltmtnele.tripod.com/mybio/

    When you say don't use cheap parts does that mean don't use the cheap, lightweigh drain lines that connect together with slip joints? I was inspecting the drain I put together with slip joints for my utility sink and there are 7 slip joints plus the two connections at the sink drain. That's a lot of failure points... Should I be worried? Is it better to put the T between the sink drains or at the end?

    Well, somebody did plumb my waste line through the bottom of the cabinet when it must have been possible to put it through the wall. Unless that vent pipe does something REALLY weird in the wall.

    As I see it I have two ways to avoid an AAV. One is to rip out my kitchen cabinets so I can find the vent pipe that is in the wall to connect to it horizontally. I'm not doing that. The other one is to put in a loop setup to vent. Right now I'm definitely leaning towards using an AAV. (The venting problem can be fixed properly next time the kitchen cabinets are replaced.)
     
  17. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

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    How could you have 9 slip joints at a slop sink? You should have one for the flanged tailpiece to the drain. One for the return bend to the bottom of the tailpiece. One for the wall tube to the return bend and one for the marvel adapter to the wall tube. That's 4.
     
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    drain

    Certainly one answer is "that method is inferior". But another one is "that method, though superior, is more expensive". Both of these answers presuppose that the "alternate" way is better, it is just stated differently. I do not care about the cost of the drain, or the labor to install it, because it is a time and material job. My concern is for the customer's future ease of service, which is why I use the tubular materials. I do not know of any schedule 40 slip joint connections. Many new construction plumbers do use sch. 40 sink drains, but it it more for "job security", because the system often has to be cut apart and redone when something has to be repaired.
     
  19. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

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    I've only seen one sched 40 sink drain that had to be cut out and replaced in the last three years and that was because the original plumber tightened the trap nut too tight in lieu of using teflon paste

    in that same period of time I have replaced countless tubular traps
    I use sched 40 because I think it's a better job. period. It takes much more labor and cost to install it vs tubular.

    to say that anyone who uses sched 40 is doing it for job security is like saying that anyone who uses tubular is fat and lazy.....

    it's not true
     
  20. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

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    Sorry nothing to add but...."Hey, isn't that image from a book in the TimeLife series called "Crackhouses, Shanties and Lean-tos"?

    Seriously, my friend, that's just not right."

    LOL :p :D :) :eek:
     
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