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 Demo for cast iron drain replacement
Author: oldhouse92 (CA)

Does an underground drain replacement require removal of the shower, gutting the walls from floor to ceiling and throwing away all fixtures the fixtures?

When I contracted for replacement of both kitchen and bathroom cast-iron drain pipes in an old house, the only demolition discussed was the excavation from the patio/sewer septic access to the bathroom through a concrete slab and a wood floor removal in the kitchen to access the kitchen drain because the crawlspace was too narrow. The plumber is to be responsible for the cost of the excavation. The homeowner will besr the cost to refill the concrete excavation and wood floor.

Halfway through the job, the plumber demanded a complete demo of the bathroom and floor to ceiling removal of the laundry antique shiplack - stating he needed access to the pipes in order to replace them. He told me he would not come back to work until the demo was complete. He instructed the demolition person to gut the walls to the studs and remove everything that would include a tiled shower stall, toilet, built-in cabinet, vanity, built-in medicine cabinet and all fixtures.

Wouldn’t the plumber be required to present me with a change order?
I don’t understand why an underground drain replacement would require such an excessive demolition. I can understand cutting out some wall to access pipes that I could cover up with drywall. I expected the bathroom floor shower stall tile floor would be removed to access and replace the drain and then replaced. I never expected to have to do a complete bathroom renovation.

Why would the plumber need everything gutted? Could an underground train Replacement be completed without doing so?

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 Re: Demo for cast iron drain replacement
Author: bernabeu (SC)

Yes, it CAN, but potentially at a GREATER labor cost.

? Do you have an actual CONTRACT specifying the job parameters ?

? Is the plumber the primary or a sub ?

? Did you obtain a building permit as required ?

? Are your contractors licensed, BONDED, and insured ?

perhaps the plumber is actually doing what is right - perhaps not


"Measure Twice & Cut Once" - Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638

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 Re: Demo for cast iron drain replacement
Author: bsipps (PA)

Unless the piping in the wall is compromised there should be no reason to demo the entire bath/laundry walls
Normally the underground can be completed only removing the first foot or 2 above the floor and most fixtures on the ground level of discussed areas

Review your contract to see exactly what is stated as far as demo goes

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 Re: Demo for cast iron drain replacement
Author: packy (MA)

bernabeu nailed it...

"perhaps the plumber is actually doing what is right - perhaps not"...

we can't tell from here...

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