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Uh Oh, plumbing leak
Old 07-26-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Uh Oh, plumbing leak

I noticed a wet spot on my kitchen ceiling and drilled a 6" hole in the ceiling drywall. It turns out that my 3" copper waste line has a hole in the bottom just past the brass elbow that leads to the toilet flange.

I'm skeptical that I can repair the pipe with any kind of plumbing epoxy as the adjacent area of the pipe feels flexible. My inclination is to cut off the copper where it is still fairly sound and attach a new PVC elbow and toilet flange.

Here is my question: How do you attach 3" PVC to 3" copper? The big box store doesn't have a Fernco style couple for that application........

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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I have a surefire solution for this: call a plumber.

Sounds like you are more adventurous than me!
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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No plumber here

This looks like a useful website where a PVC to old copper drain is discussed. You could even ask at Home Depot or your local hardware store.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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A plumber fixed a leak in a copper pipe in a wall for us for about $150. He unsoldered the pipe in the attic and at the elbow in the wall, fit the new piece of copper and re-soldered the two ends.

The leak was caused by the copper pipe chafing on a metal footing between floors.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Wow! Copper waste lines = upscale commercial style plumbing. Early !970's construction? I think Fernco and ABS also - sure a Fernco is available somewhere - but would make absolutely positive it's not a leak at the wax ring running down to the drip spot. Snake that drain much? Chance it's a failed solder joint? Since you can clean, heat and dry the drain line well an epoxy and glass cloth patch covering the rotted(?, mechanically holed?) area should work also, saving toilet pulling.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Wow! Copper waste lines = upscale commercial style plumbing. Early !970's construction? I think Fernco and ABS also - sure a Fernco is available somewhere - but would make absolutely positive it's not a leak at the wax ring running down to the drip spot. Snake that drain much? Chance it's a failed solder joint? Since you can clean, heat and dry the drain line well an epoxy and glass cloth patch covering the rotted(?, mechanically holed?) area should work also, saving toilet pulling.
Unfortunately, the hole is about 1" in diameter (now that I have picked at it), in the pipe itself. Another inch or two next to it is also punky. Being over the kitchen and black water, I hate to risk a patch job that may leak again soon, so I'm up to yanking out the toilet. Maybe the Home Depot guy just gave me the wrong information regarding the availability of the rubber adapter.

Ironically, when I bought this house (built 1966) I thought I'd never have any plumbing problems with full copper on both fresh and drain pipes. Though I've never had a plugged drain, this is the third hole that has corroded it's way through the copper drain pipe.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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You need to talk nice to a plumbing trade supply store and bring cash, not plastic or check. Looks like a Fernco part # 3001-33 Proflex is the ticket. Fernco Proflex Shielded Plumbing Flexible Coupling, fernco, fernco coupling, fernco couplings, fernco fitting, Shielded Drain Pipe Coupling, Shielded Waste Pipe Coupling, Shielded Vent Pipe Coupling, Flexible Shielded Plumbing Coupling | Fernco

Check models in the link

Homer Depot schmoes might know their stuff, but it's a big world.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
You need to talk nice to a plumbing trade supply store and bring cash, not plastic or check. Looks like a Fernco part # 3001-33 Proflex is the ticket. Fernco Proflex Shielded Plumbing Flexible Coupling, fernco, fernco coupling, fernco couplings, fernco fitting, Shielded Drain Pipe Coupling, Shielded Waste Pipe Coupling, Shielded Vent Pipe Coupling, Flexible Shielded Plumbing Coupling | Fernco

Check models in the link

Homer Depot schmoes might know their stuff, but it's a big world.
Thanks, that's what I was afraid of - grovel time.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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Good news. I got my parts from the plumbing wholesaler and did a minimum of groveling, though the cost was high ($22 vs $11 + shipping on internet).

So the leak is fixed until the next pipe rots out. Once it is dried out, I'll patch up the drywall. Amazingly no mold!

Thanks for the help.
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