OH-OH Plumbing troubles! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by michaela-ATL on July 06, 2003 at 13:43:19:

maybe you can just bypass the plumbing inside the wall. See, if your plumber can lay a new drainline inside the cabinet, connecting with the rest of the drain somewhere else? I don’t know, if that’s possible, but worth checking into.

I have done a cinderblock house a few years ago and we had to furr the blockwall out and lay the plumbing within that new space and then sheetrock over.


OH-OH Plumbing troubles! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on July 06, 2003 at 12:09:29:

Has anyone dealt with this?

We bought a fix up. Planned on replacing the A/C and the roof,and cabinets. Turns out, we don’t need a new A/C, the cabinets were in better shape than I thought, and only 1/2 the roof needs replaced. So we saved money on those items, BUT…

We were running the water in the kitchen sink and my husband was out on the patio and hollered, “There’s water coming out of the wall!” Sure enough, water was seeping through the BLOCK wall, and a few minutes later it was also leaking onto the kitchen floor from underneath the sink cabinet. GREAT! I figure after we get teh countertops off, we’ll break through the drywall and find the leak. WRONG! Got through the drywall and there was the block wall.

So, how do we fix this problem? First time we have come across this, and I plan on getting a hold of our plumber on Monday, but how do we get into the block wall without alot of destruction?

The house has copper plumbing, the drain pipe in the kitchen wall is plastic. How hard is it to cut into the block and replace it(nicely)?

All suggestions are appreciated.


Re: OH-OH Plumbing troubles! - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on July 08, 2003 at 08:05:50:

Hi Kristy:

I had a old rental with plumbing problems, a leak here, a leak there. Then after the plumber leaves, I have to repair ceilings, walls (plastered with lathe behind), bathroom tile flooring, and cinder blocks.

It was pure Chinese water torture.

Not knowing if there’s a crawl space underneath, a basement, or the house sits on a slab, its hard to give good advice. But it seems to me that the most cost effective way sometimes is to run another pipe in from somewhere else without tearing out cinderblocks.

For instance, the water pipe coming into one of my rentals runs under the garage slab, and sprung a major leak. Rather than chopping up the slab, we ran a a parallel pipe from the water meter, across the garage ceiling, then back to the kitchen area, shunting out the bad section.

All we had were some holes cut thru some walls to let the pipe through. As there were already steam pipes and gas pipes running across the garage ceiling, one more pipe really made no difference.

Hope this helps.

Frank Chin

Re: OH-OH Plumbing troubles! - Posted by artsplumb1

Posted by artsplumb1 on July 07, 2003 at 17:07:37:

if you want to see if it the verical stack find the vent near the sink on the roof run water down the pipe
if you see water then it the vs if you dont get water then it arm that goes to the vs

Re: OH-OH Plumbing troubles! - Posted by Tom-FL

Posted by Tom-FL on July 06, 2003 at 15:34:12:

Well, since you already took the cabinets out, I guess you can work it from inside. First I’m assuming the leak is on a vertical soil stack running up the kitchen wall, and protruding through the roof, correct? Also, you didn’t actually say, but indicated this is an outside wall, also correct?

Now, what material is it made of? Could be blackish/brownish metal (iron), grey metal (steel) or white plastic (pvc). The first thing to look for is a screw in cleanout cap. Find it, run water, and see if that’s the leak. If it’s loose, remove it, put pipe dope on, and put it back, problem solved. You might also want to follow the drain pipe from the bottom of the sink into the wall. There are various types of connections used, depending on the types of pipe involved and you could have a loose fitting there. That’s usually fixed for under a dollar at good ol’ Home Depot.

Your best case scenario is white plastic pipe with a loose cleanout. Your worst is black iron pipe with a crack all the way down the side. Best case there is if you can reroute the pipe up the outside of the house. You could chop the wall open and replace the broken section of pipe as well. Worst of the worst is if the break continues down below the ground.

In any event, at least part of the wall needs to be chopped out for inspection. If you can limit it to the area behind the cabinet, so much the better.

Cameras are very popular lately for putting into the drain line and discovering why they stop up frequently. I’ve never heard of them being put down a roof stack to find a break, but I don’t see why one couldn’t be.