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Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:08 pm
by greg1
I have a main sewer pipe that was duct taped by previous owners. How would I go about fixing this? Can I buy a copper pipe 4" or do I need some of those fernco connections?

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:55 pm
by Aaron
That looks like a tricky repair; you may want a pro plumber to fix that. I'm not sure I'd use a Fernco on a horizontal segment of 4" drain because it could sag over time. It looks like that branch goes to a toilet.

But perhaps that whole branch can be replaced with a new ABS piece, and a steel-banded Fernco coupling could be made right onto the tee. If that can be done I would put up a couple straps to support it.

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:20 pm
by greg1
Hi thanks for reply!
Yes, you right, that's the toilet branch. I'm also wondering if it's possible to just order a 4" pipe of ebay and try soldering it.
If that fails might need a pro. $$$

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:49 pm
by Shannon
Honestly I would cut that copper pipe (4”) off a couple feet below the TY. I would then replace everything up to the actual toilet with ABS and over to the horizontal 1-1/2” line. You won’t be able to replace the 4” copper pipe with out removing the entire toilet drain anyways.

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:08 pm
by A. Spruce
Now hold on guys, we don't even know what's wrong with the pipe.

If you do have the fire power to heat the pipe for solder, simply slice out the bad section, cut a new piece to fit, and get or modify two couplers that allow you to slide them fully onto the pipe. Slip the couplers on the patch piece, hold it in place, then slide the couplers down into place. You might want to mark the pipe so that you have the joint centered in the coupler. Copper is expensive, especially copper of that size, so you don't want to have to do any more modifications to it than necessary.

The average homeowner probably isn't going to have the firepower, literally, to heat a pipe of that size enough to get the old solder out or the new solder in. If it's a small hole, a Fernco would do the trick, if it's a split, then two Ferncos and a new section of pipe. Fernco fittings are meant to hold two pieces together, they aren't meant to be the pipe itself, so I wouldn't just hack out a piece of pipe and substitute a Fernco.

Pull the tape off the pipe, inspect it and report back with what the problem is.

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:17 pm
by greg1
Thank you for all the ideas! I never thought of removing the tape yet lol. I will inspect it tomorrow for sure.

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:23 am
by Shannon
Im not suggesting replacing with copper, I'm saying replace with ABS or PVC. You can likely recoup your costs by scraping that chunk of copper pipe you remove.
If there is enough copper at each end of the taped piece left that is good enough to use as stubs then you may be able to slip in a piece of PVC with two Ferncos after the old crap riveted with holes is cut out.By the look of that elbow headed up to the toilet you have troubles up there as well?

Re: Pipe fix

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:48 pm
by Aaron
Yeah I see evidence of water staining on the joist near that closet bend to the toilet. So you might consider replacing the whole kit and caboodle... new closet bend, toilet flange, wax ring, etc. Repair any potential damage to the subfloor, etc.

Better to do early repair than have a disaster later on!