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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Richmond, VA
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    Default Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    1953 house with septic. Cast iron waste pipe from crawl space to septic, about 30 feet. I gather that the cost of having a plumber dig up, remove, and rerun whole new waste pipe is expensive. I assume that the expense is in the labor and that the actual plumbing is pretty straight forward. Is this true? Could someone do it themselves if they are willing to put in the elbow grease or is there more to it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    There is almost zero labor involved when there are people that have been known to rent a trencher and trench right along the old DWV and just leave the old piping buried

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by MrButters View Post
    1953 house with septic. Cast iron waste pipe from crawl space to septic, about 30 feet. I gather that the cost of having a plumber dig up, remove, and rerun whole new waste pipe is expensive. I assume that the expense is in the labor and that the actual plumbing is pretty straight forward. Is this true? Could someone do it themselves if they are willing to put in the elbow grease or is there more to it?

    Thanks.
    there is more to a sewer main replacement than you imagine especially considering the lack of detail in your post.

    i can't think of an area in north america where this work would not require a permit and likely require a licensed or bonded individual to be responsible for the work. public health issues especially with septic system.

    are you even sure it is cast iron? might be transite pipe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    It is a pretty straight forward project. The hard part is the digging which can be made easier by a trencher or small backhoe. Although it is straight forward, it can be fairly easy or fairly difficult depending on your tank, crawlspace, other buried utilities in the area, etc. You may or may not need a permit to replace the pipe. I would not need one where I live to replace or repair a soil pipe to the tank, in other areas "private" property is more government controlled.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    We live in MD and prune ours back in the fall to about knee high. It always comes back each year to a height of about 7-8 feet and blooms well. The butterflies and hummingbird moths aren't complaining!
    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    It is a pretty straight forward project. The hard part is the digging which can be made easier by a trencher or small backhoe. Although it is straight forward, it can be fairly easy or fairly difficult depending on your tank, crawlspace, other buried utilities in the area, etc. You may or may not need a permit to replace the pipe. I would not need one where I live to replace or repair a soil pipe to the tank, in other areas "private" property is more government controlled.
    its not a soil pipe its a main sewer, and unless you've moved out of the state, yes it does.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-13-2008 at 04:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
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    15

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    Thanks a lot for the good advise. I live in VA. Speaking with building inspectors on other projects, the only work I can't perform as a homeowner is running gas lines. Yes, I would have to get a permit and inspection, etc.

    A previous owner replaced most of the plumbing with PVC. They didn't replace any of the sewer main line. The PVC is connected to the old metal pipe. I'm not sure whether it is cast iron or not, but my though is to replace the entire thing, which would be a permanent fix.

    Again, I appreciate you-all's help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    47

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    Ya I wish my city had told me I wouldn't be able to pull my own permit on a 65ft. BI gas line that I recently replaced with poly. This would have forced me to shell out the money for work I could have done just as well. Man on man that was a long day indeed! But I'm a proud owner of a diaphragm gauge now. Woo Hoo!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
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    340

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    What is the reason you are or want to replace the cast iron pipe? If the system is working fine there should be no reason to replace the pipe. Is the system not draining? Do you think there is a crack somewhere? If the system is not draining it may be with the tank itself especially if you have a cesspool and not a septic system. Basically a cesspool is a hole in the ground and there is no leach field. The liquid waste is suppose to just leach into the soil around the cesspool. After many years the soil gets caked up with solid waste and will not absorb liquids very well. So in this case your cesspool would fill with water especially after a heavy rain and may back up into the line coming from the house. More information as to why you want to replace may be helpful.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    That is a good question that Sabo asks. Unless the pipe is damaged between the crawlspace and the tank replacing it could be more trouble than its worth.

    Check with your county or township health department on what is required, it varies by location unlike what some others think. By the way, where we live in MD the county health dept said we would not need a permit or inspection to move our tank and replace the pipe to the new tank. (I'm sure the stalking will start soon!)

    What they did want from us was to perform a perc test to move the tank. This seemed odd since we were not changing the drain field, just moving the solids tank (and connecting to the same pipe to the pump tank). There were plenty of other inspections with the work we were doing, but none for the tank. But we gave them what they wanted, a perc test about 3 acres away from where the present drain field is located and that made them happy. I specifically asked the health dept guy that came out for the perc test if an inspection was needed for the new solids tank and he said no. He would have been the guy to do it if it was necessary. He didn't have a good reason for requiring the perc test and didn't care that it was so far from where the actual drain field was, either.
    Last edited by titleist; 12-13-2008 at 03:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Advise on Replacing Cast Iron Waste Pipe

    Ahh.. yes, the reason. We would like to add a 1/2 bath. Currently it has just a single bathroom. The toilet is connected to the old metal pipe. So, adding another toilet would require attaching its piping to the old pipe, which from all accounts is a real job. My thought was that it would be easier for the remodel, and better off in the long run, to run all new piping.

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