Pipes Nightmare in the Kitchen

elisa73December 1, 2012


I really hope you guys can help me, at least to make peace with this dilemma:

We just bought a 1930 colonial (first home), and in the kitchen there is an arch that separates it in two. The arch is cute and all, but just too low (I mean it's fine for me, I'm 5'2" but not for hubby, he's 6'2"), at about 6'1".

I've had two plumbers look at it, the first said it's a lot of work and it will cost more than $2,000, and I'm not too sure what he would do (he even said something about running the waste into the vent pipe on the side, and that scared me a little)

The second plumber said he can raise it 8 inches for $1,500.

If you look at the picture you see the waste line coming down from the bathroom, going around the arch and down to the basement. There is also another pipe up there, running diagonally which I'm not sure what it is, but from what I've understood it's also making things more difficult to move.

On the other leg of the arch is the vent pipe for a sink coming up from the basement and then the kitchen sink vent pipe attaching on this floor and both going up to the roof.

From a professional point of view, what can we really do? Can we really raise it without causing any problems? Is the job really worth $2,000?

Any input is sooo appreciated!


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Here's the picture of the other side of the arch.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:41PM
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I live in a major metropolitan area, in a 1940s house. A plumber called upon to deal with moving/teeing/adjusting those major waste pipes, one way or the other, would be thousands dollars more than $2000. That is a major job in our area.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Is there an adjacent room that you can expand the kitchen into and let this low arch become a wall for another adjacent room? In other words, doing a different configuration layout for the kitchen and surrounding rooms with new framing such that you frame that problem wall with the arch as a solid wall?

Not sure if I'm explaining myself but seems like framing new walls would be cheaper than moving major plumbing?

I'm not an expert but thought I would mention this as a possible way to cut costs (and maybe get a great new layout of rooms in the bargain?). Though if there are load bearing walls to be opened up, then that may not be so cheap.

I am very sorry about your predicament. we own an older home so I can relate somewhat to your struggle. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Hello elphaba,

I understand what you are suggesting, and I've thought about doing it too. The problem is that while I could expand the kitchen into the dining room, this piece of kitchen that I close off would be useless, just a small room with no purpose (maybe storage).
Also, on that side of the kitchen I have two nice windows that give a lot of light that I don't want to lose.
As you see, it's not an easy situation.
I have a third plummer coming to look at it this weekend. After that, I will need to make up my mind.
Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:32PM
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1) being old house are pipes cast iron? Great for soundproofing but extremely expensive to do anything in today's pricing. If so, may save money by replacing with PVC (pipe is very cheap--job almost entirely labor with PVC).

2) Pipe over arch is puzzling. Is there a second floor? If not ad this is just a vent pipe, may make sense to have two roof penetration for separate vent pipes, one for each stack straight up and nothing over arch

3) Rising pipe: no functional issues as long as all pipe is either vertical or at required slight slope

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Did you ever get this problem resolved? We are facing the same issues - almost identical layout to your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:23PM
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"being old house are pipes cast iron? "

Larger looks like CI.

Smaller ones like galvanized steel (threads together).

The Galvanized steel is likely past any useful life.

3 inch or 4 inch CI are likely just fine.

It can be some extra work to joining PVC to the old CI, but Fernco has adapters.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 3:08PM
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