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Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

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  • Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

    Hi everyone,
    I've been working on my two story home in which 1980's vintage ABS DWV (defective) was installed. I'm aware of the ABS Pipes website and have done plenty of research on this pipe. Some years ago I had the system inspected and was told that no cracked pipe was detected in the crawl space. However, I did have cracked pipe below the 2nd floor bathrooms. I decided to replace all of the stuff above the 1st floor and some of the DWV below the 1st floor bathroom.

    The other day I decided to test my work....

    I intalled a long inflatable Cherney at my sewer connection and plugged all drains. I climbed onto the roof and started to fill the system with water. The water would gush up and then disappear back into the vent. I plugged the lowest vents and worked at the highest one. Must have a leak somewhere... maybe at the Cherney. I readjusted the Cherney and tried again but had the same results. I went into the crawlspace and saw damp soil indicating a leak. I crawled all of the pipe runs and came to a 3x2 san tee where it connects to a 3" combi. Resting on top of this pipe near these fittings is a large heating duct. The soil below the san tee was quite muddy. The 3x2 san tee has a glue line crack at the 2" connection. I tested the drain pipe in the crawl and saw this 3x2 san tee leaking profusely.

    One problem is the crawl space under my home. I'm not a large person and I have trouble getting around down there. There isn't a lot of room to manuever and I'm no stranger to working in a crawl space. I'm thinking of opening the floor above that spot to fix the problem. There is carpeting there now which is going to be replaced anyway.

    My concern is the repair itself. I'm reluctant to just cut out the fittings and re-glue new fittings onto this pipe. The problem with this pipe was the glue (solvent) had an adverse reaction to the non-virgin resins that made up the pipe. I think the pipe would be fine as long as you don't glue any fittings to it. I was wondering about using new ABS fittings with Fernco/ Proflex type couplings where I have to connect to the old pipe. So, this would be plastic to plastic Fernco style couplings (shielded). That way no glue to react to the pipe and I wouldn't need to replace lengthy pipe. It's just too tight under the home to replace all of that pipe. Has anyone else done this?

    Thanks
    Rick

  • #2
    Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

    I did not spend a lot of time reading your post as I don't feel well tonight. However, it sounds like you are just getting a normal burp out of the system. The air has to go somewhere. Depending on your system it will look like a whale's blow hole several times while filling the system.

    Mark

    BTW: any and all non virgin ABS needs to be replaced.
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

      Originally posted by Rick15752 View Post

      My concern is the repair itself. I'm reluctant to just cut out the fittings and re-glue new fittings onto this pipe. The problem with this pipe was the glue (solvent) had an adverse reaction to the non-virgin resins that made up the pipe. I think the pipe would be fine as long as you don't glue any fittings to it. I was wondering about using new ABS fittings with Fernco/ Proflex type couplings where I have to connect to the old pipe. So, this would be plastic to plastic Fernco style couplings (shielded). That way no glue to react to the pipe and I wouldn't need to replace lengthy pipe. It's just too tight under the home to replace all of that pipe. Has anyone else done this?

      Thanks
      Rick
      rick, seeing that all ricks are smart you're exactly correct in your assessment. using shielded bands are the exact same way i've done it. it's the glue joint that created the weak link. eliminate the glue and the rest is fine.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

        Mark and Rick,
        Thanks for taking the time to respond. The water spouting vent startled me at first when I was up on the roof. I thought I filled it too fast. But after trying various rates of flow I concluded that it was expelling trapped air. Unfortunately, the leak in the crawl space didn't help.

        The Cherney I'm using is the long one, 4", and I thought I may have installed it improperly, too far down or not far enough. It calls for 30 psi, but the Shrader valve on the extension hose was loose. Finally, I was able to tighten the Shrader valve and achieve the 30 psi. I think 30 psi is the minimum before it seals. After several tries, I think I can place the Cherney just right.

        I think the heating duct resting on top of the 2" pipe, close to the fitting, hastened the cracking at that point. And my attempts at pressure testing probably aggravated the situation. I'm going to try to replace the fittings using the couplings, without opening the floor. I've crawled under many homes to install low voltage wiring, so I'm accustomed to working in such tight quarters. But, the crawl space under my home is much worse than any I've been under. I have a great respect for plumbers who do that kind of work in really bad crawl spaces.

        I hope to replace the remaining non-virgin resin pipe eventually. I inspected the rest of the pipe and couldn't find any other cracks.

        Rick

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

          I was the primary plumbing contractor replacing defective

          abs pipe in over 80 homes in the simi valley in the early 90's

          and that is the proper way to make the repairs !

          #1 be sure to use couplings listed as plastic to plastic

          #2 instead of water you need to be doing a air test 15 psi

          for at least 15 min's this is a code approved way to test

          when their is a suspected crack in the dwv system

          this prevent possible water damage from water leaking out though walls and ceilings
          Last edited by JERRYMAC; 05-06-2010, 02:11 PM.
          JERRYMAC
          E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
          CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
          FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
          SINCE JAN. 1989

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

            don't forget to drain the system before you try to make your repair
            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bad ABS pipe of the 80's

              Originally posted by Rick15752 View Post
              I was wondering about using new ABS fittings with Fernco/ Proflex type couplings where I have to connect to the old pipe. So, this would be plastic to plastic Fernco style couplings (shielded). That way no glue to react to the pipe and I wouldn't need to replace lengthy pipe.

              Thanks
              Rick
              When you say "shielded" and Rick says "banded" I'm assuming you mean an elastomeric band with a stainless steel backing. One brand is "Mission". In your situation I think I would personally prefer a mission coupling over a Fernco because the "rubber" part of the mission can be folded back to help installation in tight spots. Only the incredible hulk can fold back half of a Fernco.

              Personally I only use solid core PVC when I pipe plastic DWV. Around here ABS can only be had in foamcore and I've seen that leak too many times to be comfortable using it.

              Good luck!!!
              Time flies like an arrow.

              Fruit flies like a banana.

              Comment

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