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Old 01-15-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default Foam Core PVC disaster

Got my R/I done yesterday and let everything set overnight to seal up good. Tested the DWV today and kept getting a pressure drop of about 1lb per minute! Unusual for me as I always insist on priming the whole hub including the lip in back and on top. I even insist that the 1/4 inch edge of the PVC pipe be primed as well. This creates 3 seals, end of pipe to hub, flat of pipe to socket, then when I smear the glue after joining pipe it fills in any voids from the lip of the hub to the pipe. So for the life of me I could not find the leak. Finally found it at a Sioux Chief test type closet flange. Figured the seal was cracked from someone dropping it or from delivery. Broke the test cap off and stuck a 3" inflater ball in the riser. It still lost pressure. This time I added water on top of the ball and no leaks, but I could hear air. Filled the pipe above the ball to the top of the closet flange and noticed that the bubbles were in fact coming from the edge of the pipe itself! I figure its because the air is getting between the 2 layers of PVC at the tee wey and traveling up and out the top of the pipe. I have NEVER in my life seen this. I always use foam core pipe as thats pretty much what most suppliers carry here. For now on any riser to my toilets will be done with sch 40 solid PVC and not foam core
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:27 PM   #2
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I used to think foam core leaks were a myth that production plumbers believed in to excuse sloppy joints. That is until I had one........

It seems to be a cold weather phenomenon. I think if it's cold enough the layers of PVC can develop a crack from being stepped on, dropped, flexed too much, etc.

Doesn't seem to happen all that frequently though, so maybe doing it all in solid is overkill? It certainly won't hurt anything, I just prefer foam core as I cut pipe with a roll cutter.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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I had never seen a leak in a pvc drain untill I started using foam core pipe.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:19 PM   #4
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Foamcore all the time no problems here. I have had problems getting test balls to seal in the pipe and flanges that fit too loose in the pipe, thus leaking sewer gas later. That was tough to find.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
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Foamcore above slab only.

ft. worth plumber . plumber dallas . keller plumber . plumber benbrook. plumber arlington
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:15 AM   #6
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I have wondered about it for a long time. Particularly UV damage to foam. So many commercial specs wont allow it. I live in a production home mecca and it is used widely.

Although it cuts like butter.

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Old 01-16-2011, 01:07 AM   #7
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I heard of a contractor here that used foamcore for the W/C risers on the second floor of some townhomes. After townhomes were occupied, residents noticed leaking in the ceilings below the bathrooms. It was traced back to the 4" pvc foamcore risers for the toilets. Somehow when toilets were flushed, some of the water wicked out of the pipe and was dripping down below.

Foamcore is great......if you're a service plumber

But it bites real hard in the rear-end.....if you're a new construction plumber who has to warranty the stuff
Hire a licensed master plumber.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:24 AM   #8
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I dug up a sewer line once to install C/O's. I started to saw the pipe with sawzall and with just a inch of cut apprx, it cracked the full circumference on it's own with a loud pop. It apparently had stress on it. After that I worry bout cellcore DWV. I can't say I've had a leak issue any more than sch, 40 but I worry about it holding in the future. And no was not on a cold day.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #9
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Too many times have I seen the G__ Damn supply house deliver material (pvc pipe) by just dumping it off the truck without a care in the world. Doesn't really matter right... Wait till it's 30 to 40 degrees outside or less even if it's sch 40.

Point being stay away from the foam crap. You never know how the suppliers handled your product. Don't forget it's going to be in somebodies house for the next 50 years!!!

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Old 01-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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All the manufacturers call for beveling the end of the pipe, do you?
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