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Question DetailsAsked on 4/30/2016

I need to know approx how much it may cost me to replace some bathroom pipes due to plaster being poured into it.

I would like to replace it myself.

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1 Answer


Doing it yourself - figure about $2-3/LF if water pipes - or about $3/LF for 1-1/2 or 2 inch ABS DWV pipe or about $5-7/LF for 3-4 inch respectively, including normal fittings. Plus drywall and paint to repair the tearout needed to get to the pipes.

You don't say how much plaster or how far into the pipes it got - if only a short ways into a copper pipe you could probably just let it soak in water for a bit then wire brush it out with a engine block oil passage wire brush set - they reach about 2 feet. Then flush out before hooking up to faucet or tub or whatever to avoid blocking screens and damaging faucet seals.

If in sewer/drain pipe, soaking it by letting water run by it in a good flow every 15 minutes or so then a trickle in between would soften it up in an hour or two - then a normal sewer router could clean it out except maybe if it is a total blockage, in which case the router might tend to deviate to the side and cut into the plastic (presumably) drain pipe. I would attack it with a spade cutter like shown in following link - then chase it all the way to the street with a full-diameter wall-scraping router head (similar to two at top left except smooth edged) - which should be done every 10-20 or so years anyway to clear out built up grease and soap scum and fiber deposits. Cost typically $150-300 by a Sewer Cleaning contractor.

For DIY you could soften up the plaster - perhaps using some undiluted vinegar so help break the plaster up if plastic pipes or cast iron in decent condition (but not in copp[er or brass or iron), then just use a regular snake, though that will take a good bit of moving the snake up and down while turning to scrape the pipe fairly clean - and of course you do not know exaqctly how clean you got it, so you might leave rough surfaces that will attract buildup inthe future. Plaster is not going to stick to plastic pipe well.

Of course, if this was because a contractor poured plaster into it, then HE should pay to have it repaired/cleaned out.

One other thing - if this is from plaster being poured down the drain (like washing tools or washing out a bucket) then the blockage is almost certainly just in the trap (the gooseneck) below the sink. Taking that apart and doing a bit of soaking in water (or vinegar if plastic pipe) then carefully digging it out with a dull knife or spoon would probably do it - or buy new trap pipe parts for probably about $10-15. Of course, this assumes the trap comes apart fairly decently - if very old metal pipe this can turn into a nasty job if you break adjacent corroded pipe along the way.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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