Installing a Pedestal Sink = Rocket Science???

Awl,
Goodgawd, another project from the Wife, who tore apart a perfectly good bathroom. Really, a semi-nightmare.
Here's the problem:
First, a pedestal sink sits on a hollow column, with one side "slotted out" vertically, into which fits the drain hardware. The sink itself is then screwed to the wall, so it doesn't tip over.
The problem is access to the drain nuts. Ackshooly, there are lots of problems, but those are surmontable. Access to these nuts is crazy hard, bec in this case the pedestal is quite close to the wall, and the p-trap (or j trap, or whatever) is buried perty deep into the hollow of the column.
I ackshooly saw an installation of a ped sink on TOH, but they omitted this part! And I have other pedestal sinks in the house that I installed, but with a lot more room.
What I thought was the answer was to drop the sink with its threaded tailpipe (the part that screws into the sink drain hardware) straight into the p-trap nut -- and miraculously the sink drain hole and the p-trap hole line up!!
But because the p-trap opening is below the height of the pipe coming out of the wall, wrench access (even hand access) is really a problem.
So now I'm about to get a tail pipe thingy with the swaged end, put that in the p-trap, then mount a very short threaded tailpipe to the sink itself, then drop the sink/stubby tailpipe into the "extended p-trap", where at least the final nut tightening will be semi-accessible.
Am I missing something, ito tools, hardware, plumbing? I don't do plumbing everyday, but I've had my concentrated share, incl. sweating hundreds of feet of 3 and 4" copper water line, boiler installations, sinks, gas lines, stoves, washers, etc, and never saw something that was almost *geometrically impossible* to do. All for the want, apparently, of some aesthetic flair.
I also thought of propping the sink up on stilts with no pedestal, plumbing the drain, THEN sliding the pedestal in place. Heh, nice idear, but because of lips, ledges on the basin bottom, you'd wind up tearing apart the drain plumbing to finagle the pedestal in.
I also thought of leaving the drain assembly off the sink entirely, plumb all the drain tube beneath first, then drop the sink on top of that, and assemble the flange ditty (that gets puttied in to the sink basin) LAST -- but that doesn't seem too viable.
Finally, god help me if I ever have to mechanically clean this trap..... hooboy....
Thoughts? Experiences?
--
EA



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Just looked at mine and the side of the P trap that connects to the waste line is easily accessible. With mine, you'd put the P trap onto the sink, slide it into place, then connect the other side of the P trap using the P trap nut.
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wrote:

Just looked at mine and the side of the P trap that connects to the waste line is easily accessible. With mine, you'd put the P trap onto the sink, slide it into place, then connect the other side of the P trap using the P trap nut. ================================================== That is a very insightful solution!! It solves the fundamental "geometry/topology" problem of the installation.
BUT, the p-trap that is there is the old kind, that threads on, like a fitting. I'd have to muck around quite a bit more, to employ this solution, and I think I can bull my way through with a vertical extension pc as above, as I'm almost done.
Hopefully I can get the tailpipe nuts etc tight enough for zero leaks, but if not, I will proly have to consider your solution. Also, if there is ever a blockage later on, I'll proly change the p-trap then.
--
EA




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wrote:

But even this solution seems to be pushing the envelope of a "reasonable installation", eh? Again, the price of aesthetics, I suppose. Off to the hardware store -- I hope my li'l tailpipe modification works....
--
EA


>
> BUT, the p-trap that is there is the old kind, that threads on, like a
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I wouldn't be using an old P trap with a new sink. Especially if it's metal.
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wrote:

I wouldn't be using an old P trap with a new sink. Especially if it's metal. ================================================== This is a *real old* p-trap, proly will last another 100 years, heavily chrome plated, etc. I'm sort of on momentum from my initial push, but if need be, I'll change it. But as you proly know, the fewer things you "touch" in old plumbing (and old everything else), the better off/simpler yer life will be.
Good solution, tho, nice to have a plan B.
--
EA



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Existential Angst wrote the following:

When I had my house built in 1984, my wife insisted on a pedestal sink. It wasn't long afterwards, that she changed her mind. No place to put anything down on the top. Nice view of the plumbing when sitting on the john next to it. No place to put cleaning equipment, extra soaps, extra toilet paper, etc.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Maybe not Rocket Science, but certainly beyond an undergraduate degree. Even Rich Trethewey of This Old House acknowledges that fact:
"This is the graduate school of do-it-yourself projects."
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,221693,00.html
While I like the look of the sink SWMBO chose, I cringe every time she announces "The drain is running slow again".
First I remind her (for the gazillionth time) "If you girls would wipe the hair out of the sink instead of rinsing it down the drain, I wouldn't have to take it apart - again."
My drain consists of a tail pipe that houses the pop-up, which sits down into a tail pipe extension which in turn fits into the top of the p-trap. It sounds like I have en extra section of pipe between the sink's tail pipe and the p-trap.
I can just get to the p-trap nut with a pair of channel locks, but it is next to impossible to get to the upper nut. I recall that when I first installed the sink, I spent way too much time with tiny turns getting that nut snug. I then spent way too much time getting it loose the first time the drain stopped up and I had to drop the trap.
Ever since then (and it's been years and a bunch of disassemblies) I have left the upper nut for the tail pipe un-attached.
The tail pipe just sits inside the extension. I've never had a leak, even when pulling the stopper completely out and letting a full sink drain at a very rapid pace. The tail pipe sits deep enough into the extension that it's never been a problem.
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wrote:

Maybe not Rocket Science, but certainly beyond an undergraduate degree. Even Rich Trethewey of This Old House acknowledges that fact:
"This is the graduate school of do-it-yourself projects."
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,221693,00.html
While I like the look of the sink SWMBO chose, I cringe every time she announces "The drain is running slow again".
First I remind her (for the gazillionth time) "If you girls would wipe the hair out of the sink instead of rinsing it down the drain, I wouldn't have to take it apart - again."
My drain consists of a tail pipe that houses the pop-up, which sits down into a tail pipe extension which in turn fits into the top of the p-trap. It sounds like I have en extra section of pipe between the sink's tail pipe and the p-trap.
I can just get to the p-trap nut with a pair of channel locks, but it is next to impossible to get to the upper nut. I recall that when I first installed the sink, I spent way too much time with tiny turns getting that nut snug. I then spent way too much time getting it loose the first time the drain stopped up and I had to drop the trap.
Ever since then (and it's been years and a bunch of disassemblies) I have left the upper nut for the tail pipe un-attached.
The tail pipe just sits inside the extension. I've never had a leak, even when pulling the stopper completely out and letting a full sink drain at a very rapid pace. The tail pipe sits deep enough into the extension that it's never been a problem. ================================================= This is good to know, makes me feel better -- sort of.
I was thinking, if there are any leaks, if they are small enough, to just wrap a g-d rag around the drain, and change it every once in a while!!! Or maybe put the pedestal in a basin, and just scoop out the water as necessary?? LOL
So actually, this IS rocket science!!! LOL
--
EA





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Having dealt with a pedestal sink for years, I pretty sure that a basin wrench won't work for the large nuts on the drain pipes.
Note the size of the basin nuts in this picture. I don't think a basin wrench opens far enough for a drain pipe nut. If it did, I don't think it would fit inside the pedestal.
http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TFH/Step-By-Step/FH06FEB_FAUCET_06.JPG
Channel locks have been my preferred wrench when working on my pedestal sink drain.
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Actually, looking at the pics, it doesn't look much more difficult than doing a regular sink. In some ways it's actually easier. No vanity to crawl into to connect the water lines and drain for example.
I agree with him that the rough in is obviously critical. You can't have an oversize hole or pipes going at some crazy angle. If your stuck with existing lines instead of new work, that could be a problem. But, if you're ripping out a vanity and switching to a pedestal, then you're likely going to have work to do with the wall anyway. So, opening it up to get the pipes right doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
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On Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:22:22 -0500, "Existential Angst"

A strap wrench might help. If you can't get a real good bite with the wrench, don't be afraid to use liquid rubber or silicone sealer before you assemble, and even slather some on the gaps afterwards. Let it cute some. Works for drains, and easily peels off later.
--Vic
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