I'm working on redesigning my kitchen - 1950's brick ranch with
basement (MI). It appears the previous owners moved the sink from the
east to the south wall of the kitchen. This makes for a very limited
kitchen layout, so I would like to move it back.
There is a 3" drain that was cutoff flush with the basement floor
directly under the old sink location. It was sealed with, as best I
can describe it, "cloth gunk" when I bought the house. I capped it
with an expanding gasket. The gunk would get wet if the drainline
backed up, so this tells me it is still connected under the basement
The current stack is on the south wall near the existing kitchen sink
and next to the laundry tub in the basement.
I see my best options to move the sink as:
1. Run PVC straight down to the old pipe. Use a Fernco doughnut (or
something similar) to seal 2" pvc to the inside of the 3" cast iron.
2. Run PVC straight down. Break up the floor around the old pipe and
install an external coupling.
3. Run PVC down, turn 90 degrees horizontally (with propery slant)
about 8', turn 90 degrees right, run about 5' to the existing stack and
tie in there.
For all options I would install a Studor vent under the sink.
Option one seems the easiest. Would this work? I would really like to
avoid having to cut into the stack.
Any help is appreciated.
I am not aware of any donuts that will work. The 2" one might since the ID
of a 3" pipe is close to the ID size of a 2" hub. There may be other
options I am not aware of at a real plumbing supply house. If you can find a
fit that is just a little oversized you can always trim the rubber a bit to
fit. I have been forced to do this a time or two with untrue sized hubs.
If you have to break away the floor you will only need to go about 2" deep
for a Fernco coupling to work.
I would suggest that before you tackle any of these that you open the pipe
and make sure it can handle a strong flow from a garden hose. It would be a
real pity to find a broken or plugged line After you did all the work.
If you find a solution be sure to post back to the same thread for the
education of myself and others.
Just got home and opened the cap. It was actually just a mixture of
broken pieces of cast iron and sludge. Picked out what I could and
used a shop vac to get some of the gunk. It is taking a medium flow
from a hose now and is draining out through the main cleanout (I had a
fear it was just dumping under the house or something). Poured a
bottle of drano down and will see if it clears more gunk and if there
is more phyical blockage.
Seems like a weird location for a stack - dead center of a basement
window. If I get it flowing good I'll divert around the window with
I'll update again if I find a fitting.
Latest update: It's actually a 4" drain. Drano did not do much. I'll
try digging for more broken iron and snaking tomorrow.
I'm now thinking I could transition from 2" to 4" with PVC, then use
the donut or some rubber gasket. Home depot did not have anything that
looked like it would work. I'll keep searching.
On 12 Oct 2005 20:21:50 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Get a short piece of 4" PVC, break away the floor about 2" deep around
the pipe (carefully to avoid breaking the cast iron pipe). Apply 4"
Fernco. Reduce the 4" PVC to whatever size you need with glue on
If you are real handy. Get a piece of 3" cast iron. Slip it inside
the 4" cast iron pipe in your floor. Apply oakum between the pipes.
Melt lead and fill the gap with lead using the proper tools to do a
leaded joint in cast iron. (Yes. i am dating myself, but I have all
the tools and knowledge to do leaded joints). They do make some junk
called plastic lead. I've tried it, it's pretty crappy, but would
probably work for your needs. Oakum is still used.
(Of course you will then need a 3" cast to 2" PVC fernco and they are
made). You wont likely find reducing fernco couplers at HD. Go to a
plumbing supply house.
Thanks for the advice. I kind of like the lead/oakum idea - seems like
it would be a little more rigid than a Fernco connector if it gets
bumped. It will be in an exposed traffic area along a wall in the
The other issue I have not fixed is that the main cleanouts were never
leaded in - I can just pick up the cast iron piece without removing the
screw in cap. Probably easier just to cap these with the Ferncos.
Is any special equipment needed to do the leading, or just a torch and
something to melt the lead in? Time for more research.
Should I put in a cleanout too, or is that overkill?
On 13 Oct 2005 06:20:02 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
To melt the lead there are stoves that have a cast iron pot on the
top. I used to do plumbing, but I never did that much lead work to
make it cost effective to buy one. I just bought a cast iron pot for
around $10 (probably $20 now) and would hang it from something
(sawhorse) with a chain. Then I took a propane TURBO TORCH and melted
a small amount as needed. (Old wheel weights work fine, but remove
the steel clips). You will need a ladle (a scoop to pour the lead,
also cast iron. Then I had two tools to pound the edges of the lead
tightly. One is an inner, the other is an outer. (I can not recall
the names of these things). That is an important step to use these
tools. They are not all that expensive. You could probably rent all
these tools from an older hardware store that rents tools, or spent
$50 to buy the whole set, assuming you have a turbo torch or other HOT
torch. These common propane torches that sell for $12 are not hot
enough. Turbo torches are $40 but well worth the price for sweating
copper, etc. (Maybe Ebay or an other online auction has this
Your cleanouts sound like an accident waiting to happen. If you get a
clog, you will have sewerage all over the place. Fernco caps will
solve that problem. (Leading a horizontal joint requires yet another
special tool, and is much harder to do).
If you want a cleanout, put it in the PVC. Of course if it's only 2
or 3 feet to thje sink trap, you can just remove the trap for cleaning
in the future.
I seem to have found a cheap/easy solution at Lowes. The ID of the
iron pipe is about 3 3/4" Picked up a Fernco 3" to 3" donut, a section
of 3" PVC and a 1 1/2" to 3" PVC wye. Cut about an 8" section of 3"
pipe and put the donut on so about 2" of pipe is below the donut. This
fits VERY tightly into the pipe - maybe too tight. Put the wye above
the donut - the wider bell keeps the donut from sliding up. Managed to
push about 1/4 inch into the iron pipe and gave it a full garden hose
of water - No leaking through the donut (didn't seal the PVC yet).
Disassembled for the moment since I'm not ready to run the rest of the
pipe yet. I'll wire brush the ID of the iron to clean it up and help
push the donut down. Cleanout cap will go in the top of the wye, sink
drain into the side.
The cleanouts are higher than the floor drains, so my sewage problems
back up on the basement floor anyway. I will pick up caps on my next
trip to Lowes. Learned two things several years ago:
1. Never try to snake a sewer line under a maple tree with a 50' flat
blade snake - it can get entwined in tree roots 40' out.
2. You never want to hear your plumber say "backhoe".
Well it worked. It took a lot of soap, trimming the donut a bit, and a
lot of pounding with a 3 pound sledge, but I got it to seat. Ran some
1 1/2 inch pipe about 5 feet up and no leaks with a full blast garden
hose. Of course I forgot one 45 degree fitting, so it is back to the
store to complete the run to the kitchen.
Thanks for the help.
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