Mr. Plastic, meet Mr. Cast Iron Hub?

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    • #274760
      alex14

      My toilet drain is lead and goes into a cast iron hub on the main soil stack. Can I replace the lead with plastic and, if so, how do I seal it inside the cast iron hub? The hub is vertical, so it’s not something I can do myself “the right way” with cast iron, oakum and lead.

      I’m not opposed to calling my local Licensed Master Plumber, but I’d like to fix it myself if I can.

      PLEASE, before you respond: I don’t need a lesson on the benefits of lead/horrors of plastic or a lecture that what’s wrong with DIY plumbers is just a sign of what’s wrong with America. I read all that in an earlier message and, quite frankly, hesitated to post my question because I didn’t want to see another pissing contest or cock fight.

    • #290384
      fourth year
      Participant

      Unless the hub is fairly new and has the dimensions for a Ty-Seal type gasket, the only proper way to connect into a hub is with a lead/oakum joint. And in that case, I would install a complete cast-iron closet bend rather than a piece of cast-iron with a plastic bend coupled to it.

    • #290385
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      If the hub is on the vertical there is absolutely no valid reason WHY you cannot do a caulked joint.

      When I taught apprentices how to do a caulked joint on the horizontal using lead and oakum and runner it took them a WHOLE 7 minutes to learn to do it.

      A Vertical joint takes about 4 minutes to MASTER.

      Ty seal is GREAT if your hub is New and If you know if your cast Iron Hub is standard weight Or extra heavy.

      If you really want to get in get out without going through the trouble of trying to learn something new do the following

      Rent or Borrow a Rigid snap cutter RATCHET type

      Cut off the cast Iron pipe just below the hub Or if you have the room You can use a few steel or carbide saw blades with a recip saw and again cut off the hub.

      Get a MISSION or No HUB coupling NEVER EVER a Fernco and then you can do this job in any materials your little heart desires and even mix CI and plastic

      If you think you may have trouble handling molten lead ask any fishing buddies you may have how they make sinkers?

      Im an E mail away if you want to do a caulked joint.

    • #290386
      Wallingford Plm+Htg
      Participant

      This is a very easy repair that you should be able to do yourself.You wiil first need to cut the cast below the hub.You can do this with a rented or borrowed cast iron cutter,or a recip saw with carbide blades.After removing the cast iron you can install a BOCA approved Fernco coupling.This is a fool proof product that will give you a leak proof seal.With a pvc toilet flange and a short piece of 3″ pipe you should be able to complete the job.

    • #290387
      fourth year
      Participant

      The may be a problem with the term “vertical”. Others assume this means the pipe is vertical and the face of the face hub is therefore horizontal. If that is the case then the previous answers about cutting off the hub will work. But then making a lead joint is also a simple process. But since the majority of lead connections are into a tee in the main stack, which makes the pipe horizontal and the hub face vertical, cutting off the hub will compound your problem immensely.

    • #290388
      ThisOldHouse1
      Participant

      Thanks for clearing this up, fourth year. The lead drain for the toilet is horizontal, going into the hub, whose face is vertical. The hub is a tee off the main stack. I wondered how a vertical connection could be easier than a horizontal one. I guess I had my terms backwards. Does anyone want to change their answer? Sounds like you’re telling me not to cut the hub off. Maybe this quick attempt at a diagram will help.

      m e
      a g
      i n
      n a
      h u b | t o i l e t f l
      s
      t
      a
      c
      k

      As a side note, if I want to get rid of the cast iron altogether and replace it with plastic (sorry Sylvan!), what are the chances the cast iron is supported inside the wall of my one-story house? It can’t be as easy as cutting it loose in the attic at the top of the wall and having it fall to the floor in the basement. Can it?

    • #290389
      kenny b
      Participant

      if you have a cast boozy with a lead stub another option is to caulk in a short section of 4″ copper in place of the lead stub, then solder on a 4″ flange. this works best on upper floors where space is limited between hub and finish floor. you were not very clear on your location.

    • #290390
      ThisOldHouse1
      Participant

      The bathroom is on the main floor. I’m accessing the plumbing from the open ceiling in the basement. The top of the hub is right against the ceiling of the basement, between the joists (or right against the floor of the main level, depending on how you look at it.)

      By the way, what’s a “cast boozy?”

    • #290391
      fourth year
      Participant

      A Ty-seal gasket is not likely to fit your hub, so unless Sylvan has a way of pouring lead uphill, you are going to have to access the joint from the top. I would not trust any of the “quick fixes” like plastic lead, lead wool, etc. to stand up to long term usage.

    • #290392
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by fourth year:
      A Ty-seal gasket is not likely to fit your hub, so unless Sylvan has a way of pouring lead uphill, you are going to have to access the joint from the top. I would not trust any of the “quick fixes” like plastic lead, lead wool, etc. to stand up to long term usage.


      OK Class is in session AGAIN.

      ARE YOU SURE your AN “APPRENTICE”??

      PLEASE tell folks the truth your NO way, not even close to being an apprentice.

      FYI “helper” I know you never soldered a joint BUT some folks have been known to solder copper fittings where the coper joint was UPSIDE DOWN.

      This phenomena is called capillary action where HEAT goes to the absence of heat (DUH COLD)

      NOT to be confused with the liquid seeks its own level theory

      Now as for REAL apprentices the very 1st year apprentices learn LIQUIDS seek their own level.

      Knowing LIQUIDS seek their own level a lot of instructors show the NEW apprentices how to pour an UPSIDE DOWN JOINT using a ladle and runner (asbestos rope) and plumbers putty or plaster.

      Once the plaster sets up in 7-10 minutes the REAL plumber pours this upside down joint waits one minute removes the runner and plaster and there goes a perfect joint.

      By the way helper this kind of joint is used for venting as you honestly dont want a hub facing down stream on waste/soil or storm drainage.

      Never ever think of going for some of the Master plumbing tests.

      Thankfully the Canadian U/A Apprenticeship training programs are a complete success and we should look North for the real future mechanics in the plumbing/heating profession

      Amazing how folks dont THINK

      Imagine me trying to explain how I did under water “welding”. He would tell me he cant light the match LOL

      [Edited by SylvanLMP on 17 March 2001]
      [Edited by Moderator on 18 March 2001]

    • #290393
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by kenny b:
      if you have a cast boozy with a lead stub another option is to caulk in a short section of 4″ copper in place of the lead stub, then solder on a 4″ flange. this works best on upper floors where space is limited between hub and finish floor. you were not very clear on your location.


      Hi Kenny ever go to RAF Supply in
      Lackawanna,N.Y. for tools?

      Send them my best AS I buy my
      Milwaukee tools from them.

      GREAT Prices and your living in Gods Country

    • #290394
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      As a side note, if I want to get rid of the cast iron altogether and replace it with plastic (sorry Sylvan!), what are the chances the cast iron is supported inside the wall of my one-story house? It can’t be as easy as cutting it loose in the attic at the top of the wall and having it fall to the floor in the basement. Can it? [/B][/QUOTE]

      For a one family home owner hell bent on using plastic for drainage no problem.

      As for the cast Iron stack falling YES it can if you just cut it out.

      What normally holds these stacks in place is “Riser clamps” sometimes called pipe rests.

      On the horizontal we use clevis hangers.

      Try to expose as much as the cast Iron as possible and then start removing it from the top and replacing with PVC.

      The use of “Fernco” fittings and couplings are NOT allowed in some areas by code as the folks who do use it cannot depend on their skill to cut a pipe properly or line up piping in a skilled craftsmanship manner.

      You see the Fernco is just a piece of rubber with 2 hose type worm clamps subject to sagging and splitting.

      For example a plumber in my area using this type of connection can have his/her license revoked (and rightfully so) and a fine is in order if nothing else for not knowing the code.

      Check out the folks at home centers and plumbers lacking skills and see the materials they buy.

      What I would suggest is following the “basic” plumbing design as follows

      Every change of direction greater then 45 Degrees instal a clean out

      At the base of every stack instal a clean out

      All clean outs should be full size up to 4″ piping

      Use long radius fittings as much as possible and limit 1/4 bends (90 degree short radius ells) to go from horizontal to vertical.

      Consider the following option for the best of both worlds.

      Use Charlotte pipe for the cast Iron drainage and Charlotte PVC for all your venting using no hub or mission couplings

      This will give you a great job and will save you some time.

      Remember if your going to use plastic read the precautions 1st like carcinogenic fumes eye protection gloves etc.

      The stumble bums I saw using plastic never read MSDS or OSHA or NIOSH.

      They just go about their merry way not knowing about codes as they learned strictly OJT

      THERE IS NOTHING wrong with PVC drainage BUT my personal choice when conditions allow is copper type L tubing for all above ground work including heating and Type K copper for all under ground and Cast Iron for drainage.

      When you do this job think like a professional to protect your investment.

      Use clevis hangers and forget band iron, Use riser clamps for the vertical lines and on the horizontal figure a clevis hanger every 5 feet.

      If you need to fine tune your specifications just send me an E mail.

      Check what code your using and any local amendments to it.

      We can discuss sizing and pitch and NO WET Venting pleaseeeeeeeeeee

      Lets try to make this a work of art THEN when your master piece is completed take some pictures and we can set up a “plumbing franchise” in your area and ILL take the local mater plumbers test and you can run the operation there ROFLMAO

    • #290395
      Wallingford Plm+Htg
      Participant

      Let it be noted that in the last posting Sylvan did say that “there is nothing wrong with pvc drainage”.This may cause some confusion since in the past he has said that only stumble bums use plastic.Wow!! at last the cast iron suppliers can shut down.The old man gives in!!!

    • #290396
      fourth year
      Participant

      50 years ago, I asked Harry Griesback, (if you are really a dedicated plumber, you will know who he was), the same question and he gave the same “assinine” answer. I then asked him to make one of his upside down joints so I could break it apart and see two things. First what happened to the one inch of air that was trapped between the rising lead and the oakum since there was no way to vent it out like there was on a horizontal running joint. And two whether the lead was able to stay hot long enough to completely fill the annular ring, (except for the air). He backed down and admitted that upside down joints were made conventionally first and then inverted. The funnel and running rope answer was a “trade” answer to confuse apprentices, like the steam fitter’s “bucket of steam”.

    • #290397
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by Wallingford Plm+Htg:
      Let it be noted that in the last posting Sylvan did say that “there is nothing wrong with pvc drainage”.This may cause some confusion since in the past he has said that only stumble bums use plastic.Wow!! at last the cast iron suppliers can shut down.The old man gives in!!!


      WallFraud here is PART of an article I wrote 10 years ago BUT had part of it posted one here last year.

      Since thermoplastics are non-conductors, they are immune to the electrolytic or galvanic corrosion that attacks and often destroys metal piping materials, particularly when installed underground.

      Copper conveying hot water at 180 degrees F is prone to failure if the velocity is allowed to be in excess of 2-3 FPS (feet per second).

      PVDF can handle high temperatures up to 280 Deg. F (137 Deg. C) and CPVC and PP can handle temperatures up to 210 Deg F (98 Deg. C).

      I would love to put copper against the plastic piping in an acid system or even water with lots of minerals, like well water.

      Copper is subject to erosion from lack of proper installation (no reaming) or poor design (excessive velocity). Copper can allow hydraulic shock to be even more intense than its steel or brass piping counterpart.

      Copper in marine use just doesn’t hold up as well as other piping materials.

      I would never think of using copper for my main sewer piping as Cast Iron has longevity and the mass to have a very quiet system and plastic waste is one of the noisiest systems imaginable.Copper type DWV is paper thin and subject to attack from chemical action of domestic drain cleaners.

      To say one type of material is better than another is absurd just like saying a jet is the best plane out there BUT I certainly would not want to do crop dusting with an F14.

      Manufacturers are always pushing their products as the best, BUT as Master Plumbers and Gas fitters and Drainers we must make the final decision what is the proper material and equipment for each job application and what is allowed by codes and not just price.

      Copper is a great material if used properly and you know its limitations.

      I only use plastic under duress BUT if the system requirements needed plastic for an acid waste or water conditions warranted it, I would use the proper type of plastic as required by job requirements.

      Black steel is great for steam applications as the coefficient of expansion is not as great as copper and you wont get the loss of BTUs from the piping.

      Black steel is also stronger and resists the possibility of having the pipe wall penetrated by a nail, like a copper gas line can, can really be dangerous.

      On a steam pipe you have the real possibility of having severe burns using copper opposed to black steel if you brush against this piping.

      Steel can be threaded, welded and use mechanical clamps to hold much higher pressures.

      Some members of the population are actually allergic to copper and any water passing through this piping must be filtered.

      Thankfully we Licensed plumbers do keep abreast of current code changes and new materials and designs coming into play, especially in the heating industry with much lower hydronic temperatures and plastic being used underground in long joint free grids.

      The problem as I see it is many material manufacturers always tell how great their products are but never the short comings!

      Respectfully,SylvanLMP

      ONLY in your mind did you think I said NEVER use plastic If all conditions are equal and Quality is expected then of course Id go with cast iron

      I think your problem is you only know two types of materials BUT then again you dont even know codes so it proves your really not into these trades.
      [Edited by Moderator on 19 March 2001]

    • #290398
      Moderator
      Participant

      Please keep ontopic.

    • #290399
      kenny b
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by SylvanLMP:
      Hi Kenny ever go to RAF Supply in
      Lackawanna,N.Y. for tools?

      Send them my best AS I buy my
      Milwaukee tools from them.

      GREAT Prices and your living in Gods Country


      I agree, plumbers in the older cities(eg.buffalo)have a haven. Here an inverted bucket is not a 5 gal. pail you stand on and we still fold in clay traps, but as you know times are changing.I consider myself fortunate to have the best of both, not many will understand that.

    • #290400
      Richard
      Participant

      Don’t forget that PVC cannot be used in waste systems where organic solvents are dumped, as many (esp. ketones and aldehydes) will dissolve the plastic pretty quickly. Glass piping is usually the material of choice in such instances. Plus, with glass you can see where stoppages occut which is cool to watch it clear, and you know when you got the clog.

      The friendly chemist

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