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jmdoggett 07-15-2013 06:33 AM

Bathroom Sink Drain Conumdrum
Hello everyone. This is my first post. I have a bit of a dilemma and I hope some of you experienced knowledgeable folks can advise me.

Over the weekend the brass trap under my bathroom sink crumbled apart to the point where the threads of the brass 1 1/4 tube coming from the sink stayed, but everything else fell apart. The threads of the brass tube going down to the floor also crumbled.

I cleaned the spot where the long tube runs to the floor and discovered a previous owner or repair person soldered the tube into another pipe below. I expected a compression fitting there, but nope. Where the fitting is supposed to be, there is a rather thick wafer of solder.

I'm a little reluctant to take a torch to it. I can take a picture tonight and post it if that will help visualize the problem.

What can I or should I do? Is this sort of thing common?

Fireguy5674 07-15-2013 08:10 AM

As I understand your problem you are attempting to replace the down tube from your S trap where it goes into the house plumbing at the floor. Since it is a sink drain I will assume you have a 1 1/4" drain going into 1 1/2" house plumbing and someone helped you out by soldering the two together. First question: Can you tell what material the the house drain is made of? IE: galvanized, copper, lead? Second question: Are there any threads left on the end of the pipe coming through the floor? If there are usable threads you can get a thread adapter and try to screw it onto the pipe and use a compression drain fitting. If the pipe is copper, you can sweat a thread adapter onto the end of the pipe and again go to a compression fitting. In either case, you should have no damage if you heat the pipe and remove the existing solder. If it is lead you will have to be extremely careful when removing the solder not to damage the house drain. That might even be a job you want to find a plumber for depending on your experience and comfort level. I am assuming ( you know what happens then ) it is not plastic if it was soldered before. Let us know how it goes.

jmdoggett 07-15-2013 08:38 AM

Thanks for answering me.

It is 1-1/4 chromed brass going down into something I can't see well, but it appears to be the same or very close to the same below. I can't tell if it's galvanized or lead. it's definitely not pvc or copper. I have been looking at 1-1/4 double slip couplings, thinking I can just cut off the rotten part of the chromed brass and run PVC from there to the sink. That way I don't have to deal with the solder joint.

nealtw 07-15-2013 10:00 PM

Do you have access below the floor, basement, crawlspace.

jmdoggett 07-17-2013 06:25 AM

The bathroom is on the second floor. I could tear into the floor, but I really don't want to do that.

nealtw 07-17-2013 11:58 PM

I don't think there is a good answer here. You will need a pipe that fits inside your pipe. I guess cutting off a peice and taking it to the supply store to see what you can find.

jmdoggett 07-18-2013 06:01 AM

I re examined the PVC bits I have and realized I can cut the top off of the brass tube going to the floor, slide a PVC compression nut and rubber washer over it and attach the P-Trap to that. In theory it will work.

If money and time were no object, I'd re-plumb the bathroom.

jmdoggett 07-29-2013 07:04 AM

I performed the tasks I talked about. Cutting off the top of the brass tube going to the floor was challenging because it's close to the wall. My tube cutter would not go all the way around. I improvised and finished the job with a hacksaw blade. I filed the top smooth and cleaned fifty years of disgusting gunk out of the tube ( nasty ).

The fitting under the sink was a pain. The threads from the brass tube remained behind. I got the fitting off and took it to my brother. He's a jeweler with a wide assortment of tools. He used some steel picks to get the brass out and cleaned the fitting up with a small wire brush on his dremel.

I got a short length of chrome plated brass tubing from home depot, cut it to size and applied two revs of Teflon tape to the threads. After re attaching the sink fitting I screwed the brass tube in snugly and assembled the PVC P trap together and attached it to the floor tube and the sink tube with compression fittings. There were no leaks.


So I went downstairs to tell the Mrs. She didn't have the heart to tell me. The drain under the tub is leaking.


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