80 yr old cast iron drain pipe...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Soparklion, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. Soparklion

    Soparklion New Member

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    Jul 14, 2016
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    Pennsylvania
    my home is 80 yrs old. Due to another incident, I'm replacing the basement floor drain.

    The joints that I can see appear to be in good condition. The pipe isn't corroded through that I can tell.

    A plumber friend suggests that I have the whole house replaced... any opinions?

    Should I insist that he replace the pipe in sections? Am I correct that trenching French drain style is a bad idea and can lead to a lot of problems with the slab?
     
  2. Helper Dave

    Helper Dave In the Trades

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    Fully replacing cast iron drains gets really expensive, and it can necessitate ripping up walls, floors, etc. It can get quite complex.

    So I'd recommend only replacing what you need replaced. If other issues come up, get them taken care of, but cast iron isn't inherently bad if it's serving you well.

    And if you're talking about using French drains as waste pipe under your slab, that's not code at all. Perforated, corrugated pipe is used to drain water from under a basement to a sump pit, but you can't use it as a normal drain.
     
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  4. Terry H

    Terry H In the Trades

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    That’s a major major ordeal and unless your cast looks bad I’d leave it unless while you have it exposed to replace what you currently have access to.

    I like to reroute around the home rather than trenching allllll through the house. I have done it but it’s a nightmare. If you plan on tearing the flooring up anyway that makes it a little more reasonable but I either see cast in poor condition or good condition at that age. If it’s good I wouldn’t take the headache on.
     
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  5. Soparklion

    Soparklion New Member

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    Thank you for the information. To clarify, I didn't plan to replace my sewer pipes with a French drain - I was referring to whether cutting paths a foot wide into my slab would be a bad idea AND an expensive idea.
     
  6. Terry H

    Terry H In the Trades

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    You can rent a demo concrete saw fairly cheap and make a good cut if you feel comfortable doing it yourself. To have it done, it’s quite expensive.

    As far as a bad idea I don’t think so. I built houses for 4 years (not a lifetime I know) and have sawcut many ditches through slabs and it doesn’t cause any issues. If it were a problem I don’t think it would be allowed because after all that is what your home sits on. With the home being that old it has settled and that concrete probably will not be moving. It’s not like you’re cutting huge slabs from under a load bearing wall.

    I misread your question.
     
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  7. Soparklion

    Soparklion New Member

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    Sure thing. I'm sure that someone has substituting perforated pipe in a sewer system. LOL. But not funny.
     
  8. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    first if you dont have a problem now and arent opening walls . Why would changing your pipes be a concideration.
    2nd my definition of a french drain is perforated pipe buried around a foundation or even a retaining wall to capture and remove water. Again If your basement has no leaks why would you even think about this?
    Water removal is usualy concidered during construction but If your home has an ongoing issue (Im not from an area with many basements, the system you mentioned may be an option. I suppose some people dig around outside foundation apply waterproofing membrane gravel perforated pipe and daylight it out or go to a sump and pump it. or you may need grading or roof gutters .
    hard to give a good answer but neither are things people just do unless there is a problem
     
  9. Soparklion

    Soparklion New Member

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    I already have an interior French drain and I didn't plan to repeat or replace it... Someone told me that cutting long paths through my basement slab would be a bad idea. I was comparing the idea of digging 2 ft deep trenches to connect pipes to installing a French drain only because digging the trench is somewhat similar; in hindsight I never should have used the term.

    I WAS considering just changing out the rest of the pipe while I'd already started to open up the floor, since I plan to finish that area soon AND it is already 80 yrs old with a reasonable likelihood that it will need to be replaced in the next 10-20 years. The pipes run under an area that is largely unfinished but I plan to finish it in the near future, so the expense of access would also be lesser now than it would be a few years from now. I also imagine that it will be cleaner now as an elective situation than it would be if the pipes have failed.
     
  10. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    so what is your problem? and what are your questions?
    someone told you cutting up basement slab was a bad idea. ? Your considering 2 foot deep trenches and.. ? where.
     
  11. Soparklion

    Soparklion New Member

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    Problem is that my floor drain trap has collapsed. I seek guidance on whether all of the pipes should be replaced - I now appreciate that I don't need to replace them if they appear to be in good condition and I plan to get a camera inspection of the portion that I haven't exposed. The latter decision means that I don't need to open any more of my slab. Apparently, cutting a path in the slab is appropriate if it is necessary.
     
  12. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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  13. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    Before replacing you should find out if it is XHCI or service weight

    If one section is showing signs of being deteriorated then it is time to replace it

    It is usually cost effective to replace all of the underground rather then doing it in sections

    Also the horizontal drain lines fail a lot faster then the vertical in most cases
     
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