Rotted out 4" copper waste line

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Mother Nature is being sarcastic with me. I went into basement, looking for leaks from post-blizzard thaw currently underway. Instead, I find puddle in furnace room (full of nasty things I won't describe), and 2 rotted slits in the bottom center of soil line from toilet, one on either side of the wye leading up to the flange. Slits are very straight-edged, almost look like they were done with a router.
I don't have the tools or the time to try to fix this myself this week month, and my sweating skills suck anyway. Anybody wanna SWAG how much a plumber is gonna charge me to replace 3-4 feet of copper? Bronze wye under toilet, and another bronze wye under vent stack a foot away with a cleanout (blocked by a framed wall) on the back side. Will they be able to reuse these wyes? I figure it will be half a dozen joints overall (unless they need to get into the vertical runs), a coupling and maybe new wyes, and maybe even lifting the toilet and replacing the flange and starting over. Open ceiling with decent access to the pipes.
To pacify plumber, I'm gonna give him my whole plumbing punch list (half a dozen items, small to medium), and ask for an estimate for 'later' work. I also plan to keep saying 'cash' when I talk to him. I may eventually have all the basement drains replaced with PVC (which should resist my crappy well water better), but right now only looking for a good workmanlike spot repair, so I can get furnace room dried out and start scraping up the filth. At least I don't have to pay golden time for the work- stuff like this is why I insisted on a house with 2 bathrooms, and the one in the addition feeds into septic line outside the basement wall and five feet lower, so it is safe to use.
Any useful ideas or sympathy appreciated. Rest of line doesn't show any rot, but previous owner cleaned and shellacked it 6-7 years ago. Light tapping along bottom didn't produce any 'dead' sounds.
--
aem sends...

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wrote:

Your plumber will almost certainly replace it with plastic, and I would not let him do it any other way.
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On 2/15/2011 11:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I'd agree if he was replacing the entire line for me (and depending on the quote, I may go ahead and spring for that), but how is he gonna to tie back into the copper? I undertand how you link supply lines, by soldering a threaded fitting on the end of the copper. But I have never personally seen a copper to plastic waste line transition. I <really> don't wanna open the wall and replace that vent stack right now, especially since the sink drain ties into it halfway up the wall.
Other than places with bad water like this, I have no heartburn with copper. It did last 50 years. And back home where they have decent water, I know of many 60 year old plus installations in perfect shape.
--
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SNIP
But I have

Snip
Look here for some info http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?2524-Copper-to-PVC-CPVC-Transition-Question&p 142&viewfull=1#post11142
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-snip-

They make copper to PVC-- but I'd go with fernco fittings.
Jim
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wrote:

Fernco or "MJ". Actually Fernco makes MJ couplings as well as flexible couplings - they are better for heavy suspended horizontal pipes because the are made to be a "mechanical joint" instead of a "flexible joint"
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On 2/16/2011 7:50 AM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Well, instead of coming to patch the rotted section, the guy just came to do a site survey. His recommended approach is to replace entire run with PVC, from bottom of vent stack to where it goes into the cast iron monster that leads out to septic tank. He said he COULD just patch in the leaky part and link it up with fermcos, but that I'd be calling him back in a year to change the next section, because entire run was thin on the bottom. (and previous owner did burnish and shellac them for some reason...) This includes new flange and feeder from toilet, and new trap and feeder from bathtub, and new standpipe for washer and other nuisance basement drains. Says he only works time and materials on jobs like this, but swagged it at 1-1.5k$
I'm choking a little on the price, but at 12-16 hours x75 per, plus materials, it adds up about right. He knew all the right words, and SEEMED honest. And looking at resale < 5 years from now, I'd rather have pipes that didn't look cobbled together for buyer's inspector. Would I be insane to lay out that much? Next available install window is Tues/Weds of next week. He taped over the rot holes with good old 3m electrical, and said it would hold tell then, and bathroom was safe to use. I have the second bath, so I'm tempted to tough it out and just work out of the second bath- cleaning the splattered furnace room is gonna take a solid day, once it dries out. 5 pounds of kitty litter in place now, and dehumidifier is running. I need to let the main tub dry out several days to touch up a little of the caulking anyway.
I did NOT need this, this month. I have enough backed-up half-done projects stacked up as it is...:^(
He did say one thing that seemed a little implausible, that code no longer allowed copper waste lines. Anybody know if that is anywhere near true? This is SW MI, so I'm sure they follow national model. As I've previously noted, in Indiana we routinely got 60+ years out of copper, but apparently water up here is a little different?
I do thank y'all for giving me a place to vent and whine about this...
--
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?

Long term, it is probably the best method. If the rest of the pipe is thin, it will be section by section and total cost even more.
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get a second estimate at least but it sounds reasonable. Like me your better off to replace the entire run
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-snip-

-snip-
$1500 for time, materials *and peace of mind*. And done next week!
-snip-

I paid someone for a job last summer. The first time I've hired anyone to do something around the house since 1984.
It felt weird. But good weird. 4 guys came in and did in 4-5 hours what I would have poked around at for a month. They did as good a job as I would have. I handed them a check and it was over.
And I got back to doing things I enjoyed more.
If you *can*- pay the man & move on.

It is a welcome relief from solving the world's political problems.
Jim
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wrote:

Don't know about code but I have not seen copper soil pipe here in Ontario in over 30 years.
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On Feb 17, 1:53pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

copper can be attacked by drain cleaners.
my 1950 home had has copper drain lines in it. an both homes had leaks, owner 2 homes in the same neighborhood
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aemeijers wrote:

My only thought on this is that it is probably the remaining horizontal lines that are most at risk of failing. The reason is that the sewage and anything acidic runs along and lies on the bottom of the horizontal lines and sits there longer. So, if you are looking for a less expensive fix, maybe just doing the horizontal lines will work for now.
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wrote:

Which involves at least 2 transitions. Plastic pipe is CHEAP - you have the plumber there, do it all, do it once, and do it right. Take your scrap copper to the metal recyclers and it will pay for the extra plastic used to do it right.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I agree that plastic is cheap. I can't quite picture the OP's layout from what he wrote. But, if the whole horizontal run is easily accessible, it could turn out to just be a 2 or 3 hour job to cut it out and replace it with PVC and Fernco fittings. A 2-3 hour job vs. a 12-16 hour job is a big difference. Changing the vertical lines and all of the connections to the various fixtures may be what accounts for the remaining 10 +/- hours of work. And, once the horizontal lines are done, deciding to do the vertical lines at a later date would basically be no different than doing them now. The OP said the plumber will do the job as time and materials. So, if the OP decides to just do the horizontal lines now, he will only get charged the time and materials for that part. He could just explain that he cannot afford to do the rest right now and decided to just do the horizontal lines for now as a start.
On the other hand, if the OP can afford it, and the plumber is ready to come and do the work, getting it all done at once would be nice. I just wanted to point out an alternative if money is a problem right now.
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On 2/17/2011 5:57 PM, RogerT wrote:
(snip)

Yeah, at the moment I can afford it. I just got the estimates for what my retirement will be if I walk out in July when I am eligible, and if I do, I won't feel nearly so well off then. Not whining, because I know people raise families on what my retirement income would be, but it definitely would be a learning curve while I changed my buying habits and lifestyle. Of course, with all the un- or under-employed relatives I have, I may need to keep setting my alarm clock awhile.
--
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better to pay to have it done now while you can better afford it than wait till later when your retired and dont have the bucks.
messing with the old lines may create new hassles.......
better to do the job right, do it once, then relax.
doing a half way job to save money will only drive up the entire jobs cost
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I had a vetical line rot out directly below the tub drain, it was copper..... it brought down the cieling in the kitchen:(
so much for only long horizontal runs are a issue....
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wrote:

It's called an "MJ" - a "Mechanical Joint" - and it is a heavy guage rubber connector with a corrugated metal expansion sleave that is clamped to both the copper and the plastic. They work a treet transitioning to and from Cast Iron piping too. Just make sure you get the right one for the transition you are doing.
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?

I'd go with PVC. The cost of copper is very high and that alone can be a couple hundred bucks. Sounds like a few hours at about$75/hour.
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