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Thread: Bottom Drain Woes

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    HiddenLeaf03 is offline
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    Bottom Drain Woes

    Okay this is for all you smarties out there. If one is to consider using a 4 inch compression union for a repair in the pipework for a bottom drain, would that produce any problems? I have hit a wall during the installation of the bottom drains and the pipework is at a high incline. We are thinking about cutting the pipe out and using a compression union to connect the new pipework to the pipe thats coming out of the bottom drain.Why are we in this situation you ask? Well I think it's because of the angle that we were putting the pipe in. When we put the bottom drain in, we had a 4 inch pipe connected to it. We did not realize how hard it was going to be connecting the pipe together until we were down there doing it. In my personal opinion, I think that we should have had all the pipework connected together before cementing in the bottom drain. We would not be in this situation that we are in. What should I do? Is this new idea a good approach or should we consider ripping the whole bottom drain out and buying a new one and starting over? This has got me so down. I really need some help. That **** abs cement set's really fast!http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Ki...p/cpc-4000.htm
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    That coupling is a "straight" in fitting. Did the pipe to the left not seat or fit all the way into the coupling? Is the Bottom drain level?
    I see that the pipe is not, but I can't tell if it's rising or falling. Don't panic. It can be salvaged.
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    I'm also not sure what the issue is. I assume the pipe couldn't be pushed into the coupler fitting because the pipe is coming in at an angle and being in a trench you couldn't move the pipe into proper position?

    For future reference, which you've probably heard many times, it's best to dry fit everything first. Now you understand why. Look at it this way, for the cost of a coupler and a little pipe you've gained valuable experience. Even if you did have to rip it all out and do again it's just a cost of learning. Cheap really.

    But it can be corrected. I can't see everything and so here are just some things to consider...

    By "compression" fitting I assume you mean a rubber fitting with metal hose clamps? Flexible pipe connector, often called the brand name Fernco. And I assume you're thinking of cutting off the current straight coupler and using a straight Fernco. It would probably work to some degree. There is a protruding lip inside these (at least all that I've seen). The lip acts as a stop so each pipe is half in the fitting. Because you want to put some bend into this fitting it means the inside would not be as smooth (probably, depending on bend amount). So it won't be optimal. Has to be your call. Probably not the end of the world.

    You can cut the pipe off at the current coupler and buy a flexible connector made to fit over the coupler (called the hub) and the other end onto a pipe. That could make the inside a little smoother. Here's one, the 1059 series. Check your measurements first.

    Another choice could be a 22.5 degree coupler, if that's the actual bend, or close. Can be hard to find and always expensive

    Another choice is to cut the pipe almost flush and then slowly heating the inside of the pipe until soft enough to get one side of needle nose pliers between the pipe and coupler (were the glue is) and then twist the pliers which pulls the soft pipe away from the fitting (the pipe kind of collapses). Use primer to clean the coupler's inside. Difficult to glue the pipe back into this crapped up fitting. It's tricky. This is only useful if you can't cut the coupler completely off and add a new one. I see an air line in the picture that maybe means the current coupler can't be removed?

    Another choice is to bust the concrete away from the drain and start over. You should be able to reuse it. Concrete is easier to remove than many people think imo.

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    Also in the future...rounding over the outside edge of the pipe going into the fitting can make it easier to seat it. Easier for less experienced people although more work.

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    if you are talking about the angle of the two pipes going into the coupler i would cut the pipe as close to the coupling on the BD side as you can and then cut the pipe on the other side far enough back to give you some working room... then i would take a length of pipe longer then the distance between the two... with that length of pipe i would heat it and then bend it to fit the angle needed for it to fit between the existing pipe and BD location.. once you have the angle then trim the pipe to fit and glue it all back together...


    i would not use a Fernco underground and i would not use the coupling you listed if it shifts you will have issues..
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenLeaf03 View Post
    In my personal opinion, I think that we should have had all the pipework connected together before cementing in the bottom drain. We would not be in this situation that we are in. [/URL]
    You got that right!

    You could rip the drain and cement out and try again.

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    If you can heat bend 4" abs, you should win a special prize.
    Don't even try if it's foam core, it won't work. You can guess how I know.

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    A plain Fernco isn't allowed to be buried in many areas, but is allowed in other areas. I don't think they'd covered by code specifically, it more of local inspector issue. Using one with a metal covering is more accepted. Having a concrete base under the fitting can be acceptable or enclosing the fitting in concrete after inspection. The concern is splitting the fitting if it bends too much. The steel wrap or concrete stops the fitting from being able to bend.

    To me though if a pipe settles enough to split a Fernco I'd be betting cash it would also crack a glue joint. Bottom line, proper trench prep solves problems.

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    If the BD pipe is going up from the BD that is OK, as long as it does not go up and then back down, that would trap air.
    Or is the angled joint your problem?

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    The angled joint is the problem as it takes it up on a slight greater incline than we had planned for, but there are no ups and downs and then back ups again

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenLeaf03 View Post
    The angled joint is the problem as it takes it up on a slight greater incline than we had planned for, but there are no ups and downs and then back ups again
    So you must have the long pipe installed at two angles - one sideways and one going up. I would be afraid that there is not enough of the pipe in the coupling and might fail over time, even though it's not under much pressure. You sure don't want a BD pipe to fail. If I were you, I would bite the bullet and cut the pipe close to the coupling on the Drain side and try again. I know the air pipe is close, but you should be able to cut the pipe and not damage the airline.
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    Is the pipe before the coupling level?
    Still biding my time...but I will be the thread killer again!

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    A "compression" coupler is a totally different animal than a Fernco. They are a rigid pipe section with rubber gasket compression fittings on each end. These are specifically designed for this EXACT type of situation. I have seen them used especially when connecting iron pipe to plastic which was the original intent of this piece. However, nowadays, they make them for pvc to pvc as well. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this type of "fix" for this application. What I would do is cut the pipe on the BD side of the coupler, and then cut the pipe 3-4' away. I would then purchase a piece of FlexPVC and, utilizing regular PVC couplers on each end, install the new piece and you're done! The reason that you would need REGULAR schedule 40 pvc couplers is that they would provide a deeper socket to accept the flex pvc and make a much more solid glue joint. ABS couplers are much shallower and could, if any movement in the pipe happens, cause the flex pipe to dislodge, causing one serious mess!

    Also, when gluing up sections of 3" and 4" pipe, be sure to have a helper and THOROUGHLY GLUE both male and female parts heavily before attempting to join them, AND do it as quickly as possible. This will act as somewhat of a lubricant and assist in slipping the pipe in a bit easier. Also, someone else mentioned "rounding out" the outer edge of a cut piece of pipe. This is not that bad a suggestion. At least, use sandpaper to smooth out the cut edge both inside and outside. Not only will this allow less trouble fitting the sections together, it will also eliminate rough spots INSIDE the pipe which could catch algae and other particulates causing a premature build up of waste within the pipe, causing clogging and slowing flow.
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    Thanks, all. We just bit the bullet and lifted or dug out the BD and managed to chip away all the cement and are about to build it all in one piece with dry fits until we have it just right and then glue everything together out in the open without any of the constraints posed by the ditch etc. then drop in place and maintain our level to a slight incline as it runs to the filter. Second time has to be more fruitful then the first attempt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenLeaf03 View Post
    Thanks, all. We just bit the bullet and lifted or dug out the BD and managed to chip away all the cement and are about to build it all in one piece with dry fits until we have it just right and then glue everything together out in the open without any of the constraints posed by the ditch etc. then drop in place and maintain our level to a slight incline as it runs to the filter. Second time has to be more fruitful then the first attempt.
    Harder work but the best way.

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