I have a leaky pipe from a shower stall in a 35 year old house. See
pictures at www.goetchius.com/shower.htm
The pipe below the shower drain has corroded and is leaking onto the
ceiling below. I'd like to get a plumber to fix this but have no idea
what something like this would cost in central NJ. Can anyone give me a
rough price range?
I assume the procedure would be to replace the riser pipe with a new
piece of pipe and also put in a new shower drain at the same time.
A quick fix would be to thoroughly clean off the pipe and then clamp a
rubber sleeve around the pipe to close the leak. I could do that myself.
If it's a simple hole in the copper, you could just clean it off, and put
some epoxy-putty on it. If a plumber comes out, he'll probably change the
entire trap and riser, putting in PVC in place of the copper. Are you sure
it's not coming from the shower drain?
Given some of the prices I've heard from Jersey plumbers here, they might
charge $2000 (I'm still reeling from a pricing discussion we had here a few
weeks back). Call your plumber and find out how much he charges an hour. A
repair like that might take 2 hours (but no more), and the material
shouldn't be more than $25.00. If he charges any more than 2 hours plus
materials, he's probably gouging you.
Thanks for your comments. It is definitely leaking from where you see
the green copper oxide on the side of the pipe so an epoxy patch might
work for awhile. The problem is I don't know how bad the rest of the
riser is and when it might happen again in a different location.
Mike Grooms wrote:
Is it a leaky joint??
If so a plunger to clear trap and some self cleaning flux and silver solder
you can also melt some solder over a "small hole". ( I drained some 2" once
drilling a small hole in the bottom of the pipe, then covering with solder).
First YOU need to clean it off very well, get it spotless.
Pinpoint the location of the leak(s).
I mis-spoke on my previous post. I had my wife pour water in the drain
while I watched below. I identified two holes at the point where the
copper goes into the trap. My dentist would call these gumline cavities.
There are two holes fairly close together in the copper riser: one 1/8"
and the other about 3/8". Why not just use epoxy? There is no pressure
because it's a drain so I don't see the need for solder.
Over the long run I think I need to replace the whole unit because there
is no telling when another the hole will appear even if I do use solder
on the original holes. When another hole appears, I will have to cut a
hole in the ceiling again and repair the ceiling after I'm done. I just
as soon do this once and forget about it.
Ned Flanders wrote:
I am not a fan of gobing some goo over things.
I am a little suprised to hear that your copper
drains are rotting. If you are going to replace
everything soon anyway then go ahead with
the goo. I would solder it and be sure it was fixed
for life. Make sure the system is not worth keeping
before you tear it out. I work on some pretty old
copper systems that are in very good shape.
It is very common here to replace copper with
plastic, usually with rubber fernco. You can use
threaded adapter to make transition as well.
Take a shop vac and suck all the water out of the trap
Take a torch and heat the fittings (unsweat the joint)
Take your copper to the supply house and have them match up new
When you get home, thoroughly clean your pipe and sweat it up.
Clean the hell out of those holes and patch with epoxy putty (not
recommended fix and not allowed by code but it will work)
Clean the hell out of the pipe (especially where you have the holes)
and BRAZE over the holes. Repair the holes by brazing. You'll just
frustrate the hell out of yourself if you try to patch it with solder.
Cut out the bad part and replace the whole damn thing with PVC. You
need to make your transition from copper to PVC by using a no-hub band
(NOT a fernco as someone else suggested. Fernco is not an approved
Thanks for the great ideas. I've gone with solution #2 on a temporary
basis so it is now usable. Will go with solution #1 when I'm ready or
I'll get a plumber to do it depending how much the plumber wants.
I suggested the ferncos, and I like using ferncos, and I don't have
problems with ferncos. I wouldn't use them except for repairs like this,
and I'm pretty sure they're OK codewise around here. As a matter of fact, I
think it'd work better than a no-hub clamp. What possible problem do you
see with a fernco here?
I had an inspector tell me that an unshielded rubber coupling could allow
the pipe ends to shift causing a ledge in the joint and possible tearing of
His theory as to why it is against UPC to use inside a building. Must use a
mission band when transisoning dissimilar materials.
makes me sad when people remove copper to replace with pvc.
Rubber fernco is NOT up to code.
(pipes must be attached in a "rigid" secure manner)
I have seen more than one sewer line re-dug up because some jug head
tried to rubber fernco some cast iron together.
The fitting you want (as mentioned) is a no-hub metal clamp.
It is like a fernco but has a stainless band around the whole works.
problem is with the diferent size pipe, if you go to pvc.
There is available sheets of red rubber gasket material, cut a strip
of that and wrap the copper; it will make it same as pvc. Now the
no-hub clamp will work properly.
BTW this also is not up to code, but will work.
An idiot could mess things up with a fernco, I'm sure. I've never had
a problem. If you'll look at the picture the guy supplied, you'd see it'd
be impossible for the fernco to move once installed.
i am glad you did not use the rubber fernco
the repair you made is better off with that style clamp.
the picture you show is wrong. that plumbing is not up to any code,
its awfull and likely to clog.
I agree with Ned on that one. What the hell am I looking at here? It
sure as hell doesn't look to be "code". Is that trap laying on its
side in some weird attempt to make use of the tight space where you're
working? And to the left of the picture, the trap that appears to be
laying sideways - what fixture does that serve? I assume that is your
lavatory and it is supposed to be wet-venting your shower. At first
glance, I'd say you have some problems chief.
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 16:01:05 GMT, Arnie Goetchius
I don't see any problem at all with using fernco. The only thing I
said was that it is not an approved material. If you check your
codebook, you'll find that to be true. Fernco installed in a vertical
installation will work fine. And like you mentioned...you thought it
would work better than a no-hub...and yes, you are right. With Fernco
you get more bite on that pipe. In a pinch, I'll use a fernco. But
strictly code, you can't use that material.
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