Unfortunately, your old cast iron or copper stack may not be holding up anymore and will require replacement. This is natural with time and usage and does not mean that you have done anything wrong.
What is a stack?
Your plumbing system closely resembles a tree. In fact, some plumbing terminology like branch, trunk and even twig show just how close they are. You can think of your stack as the main portion of a tree if you removed all the branches and limbs from it. Your stack begins where your home’s horizontal main drain transitions to a vertical pipe. This vertical pipe then runs up through your entire home and actually extends through your roof!
Why does my plumbing go through my roof?
If you ever walk down your street you may see the homes in your neighborhood all seem to have a pipe sticking through their roofs. The portion sticking through the roof is actually called a terminal and performs a very important function for your home’s drain, especially if you are on a municipal plumbing system. That function is to allow air into your system and to vent sewer gas.
If you’ve ever held your thumb over the top of a straw to keep water inside of it you can see how important air flow is to drainage. This is one of the important roles of a vent. The other role is to prevent water from siphoning out of your P-traps while another fixture nearby is used. This happens as the moving water tries to pull in air from somewhere. If a vent isn't installed it will draw on the water in the nearby traps
How do I know my stack needs replacement?
Sometimes this is an easy question to answer. It’s leaking. Due to the age, size and location of your existing stack, repairs just aren’t possible or cost effective. Anytime you have a drain that requires attention due to leaking or a clog it is likely going to end up connected to a stack. Repeat snaking can lead to damaging connections on old piping which simply cannot be repaired.
If you are planning a renovation in, for example, a kitchen below your top floor bathroom and the stack is going to have new cabinetry or tiling put over top of it effectively sealing it off from access, it is recommended to have a professional from Cardinal Plumbing perform an inspection. We will either give you the green light to cover it up or make a recommendation on replacement so it doesn’t end up ruining that new kitchen renovation a couple years from now.
“I couldn't have asked for more friendly and prompt service. They completed a ton of work quickly and left the area cleaner than before! I will definitely be calling on Cardinal Plumbing & Electric again.”- Nicole M.
“Technicians were both very knowledgeable and clearly explained our options, with estimates, before starting. Kevin and Jaden were very professional, courteous, respectful and friendly. We were so happy to have all our repairs done in one afternoon.”- Janette F.
“Kevin is our new favorite person. He came out at the end of his day on a Friday and figured out how to fix our water issue so many other people couldn’t fix. We are beyond impressed at how knowledgeable, helpful and friendly the guys were. Thank you.”- Tom F.