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  1. #1
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    Default Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    I think the connectors are wrong. I usually see white PVC on the grinder pump discharge.
    The line from the sump discharges through an elbow into the main stack in the second pic.

    Would the use of ABS be OK if it was glued with ABS unions or clamp adaptors?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    I can't speak to the connectors but as for the pipe.... all I ever see around here is ABS. I think as long as it's schedule 40 it's acceptable for use as DWV. In my area 99% of the time the DWV systems are ABS (modern houes anyway)... the other few times it's white PVC.


  3. #3
    James Foy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    ABS is rated for DWV in both UPC and IPC.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    The following is copied from a class action "info page" against some manufactures of ABS piping, which may help with why some are skeptical when it comes to ABS piping systems.

    The potential problem with ABS pipe...
    Five of the manufacturers of ABS pipe settled a class action law suit filed against them for problems with pipe manufactured between 1984 and 1990. The defective pipe tends to crack circumferentially at or near a joint or fitting. The cracking can potentially create leaks and cause water damage to the structure as well as promote the growth of mold.
    Not all of the pipe manufactured between 1984 and 1990 has proven to be problematic and it is possible that pipe manufactured during this time frame by the involved manufacturers is performing as designed. Below is a list of the manufacture's named in the suit and the time frames over which they may have produced questionable ABS piping...

    Apache: Between November 1984 and December 1990 Centaur: Between January 1985 through September 1985 Gable: Between November 1984 and December 1990 Phoenix: Between November 1985 through September 1986 Polaris: Between January 1984 and December 1990


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Thanks Ken, maybe that's it. A plumbing contractor told my client it all had to go, "wrong kinda pipe".
    He also nixed the soldered copper supply pipes and the old brass shutoffs, no leaks.

    I'm trying to decipher if there is a real problem with the 10 year old pump installation, which BTW, shows no sign of leaking in this 1960 house.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    The only problem I see is they used PVC fittings on the ABS pipe. That is not allowed.

    yes there is so called glue that claims to glue ABS to PVC, but it does not meet the standards. ABS just uses a glue where as PVC has to have a primer and a glue applied to make the joint.

    If its going to be ABS pipe then the fittings need to be ABS as well. And if PVC pipe is used then it has to be PVC fittings.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    The only problem I see is they used PVC fittings on the ABS pipe. That is not allowed.

    yes there is so called glue that claims to glue ABS to PVC, but it does not meet the standards. ABS just uses a glue where as PVC has to have a primer and a glue applied to make the joint.

    If its going to be ABS pipe then the fittings need to be ABS as well. And if PVC pipe is used then it has to be PVC fittings.
    Thanks Ron. I'm sure they used whatever glue, so just lucky it's not leaking.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    The fittings appear to be PCV Compression Unions. The use of the PVC compression union with ABS allows pulling the system apart with out having to cut and splice in glued fittings. You say no mixing of materials ABS & PVC . What supports that position? Code, Manufacture Specifications....? Looked at Fittings Products but did not see anything specifically precluding their use.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    The fittings appear to be PCV Compression Unions. The use of the PVC compression union with ABS allows pulling the system apart with out having to cut and splice in glued fittings. You say no mixing of materials ABS & PVC . What supports that position? Code, Manufacture Specifications....? Looked at Fittings Products but did not see anything specifically precluding their use.
    following quote is from Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) ABS Products - FAQ The link you provided from the PPFAThe is talking about plastic fittings in genral. They are not talking about mixing ABS with PVC. If you have inturpreted it that way Then I guess from that page I can use ABS and CPVC fittings on any type of plastic pipe. Remember we are talking about two differnt types of plastics. Each is made completly differnt, PVC is a vinyl thermoplastic product made from chlorine and ethylene, ABS pipe and fittings are made from a thermoplastic resin called Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene

    Can ABS pipe and PVC pipe and fittings be used within the same system?
    It's not recommended. However, ABS pipe and PVC pipe and fittings can be joined when connecting building drain to building sewer materials, if you use proper transition cement and adapters or other methods as approved by local plumbing codes.
    Most codes will not allow it mainly due to its very difficult to see if the proper transition cement was used. Also transition cements do not meet the required ASTM standards as an approved cement.

    The fittings pictured at the top of the picture is glue unions. They do make them in ABS to be used in ABS systems.

    Last edited by Ron Hasil; 07-27-2010 at 07:44 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I think the connectors are wrong. I usually see white PVC on the grinder pump discharge.
    The line from the sump discharges through an elbow into the main stack in the second pic.

    Would the use of ABS be OK if it was glued with ABS unions or clamp adaptors?

    Several manufacturers make a cement that is billed as a transition cement for ABS to PVC (It is usually green), but it has not been accepted for use by the three main code writing authorities (UPC, IPC and SPC).

    Had I done this installation, I would have used a check valve with compression unions on both ends (for easy removal/replacement) and shielded couplings (Pro-Flex, Mission or Fernco) in place of the unions.

    The mixing of ABS and PVC glue joints in an ejector system is just plain wrong -- And would concern me enough to question the rest of the installation.

    Did the installer drill a "5/16 hole in the discharge pipe 3" above where the piping connects to the pump? (This allows pressure in the line to dissipate, which allows the seal on the check valve to fully seat)

    Did the installer tie the discharge into a wye branch fitting?

    Is the vent (the pipe on the left) run up through the roof independently, or is it tied into a plumbing vent?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Widdershins Saunders View Post
    Several manufacturers make a cement that is billed as a transition cement for ABS to PVC (It is usually green), but it has not been accepted for use by the three main code writing authorities (UPC, IPC and SPC).
    I agree with you here the codes do not allow the so called transition cement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Widdershins Saunders View Post
    Had I done this installation, I would have used a check valve with compression unions on both ends (for easy removal/replacement) and shielded couplings (Pro-Flex, Mission or Fernco) in place of the unions.
    Pro-Flex is a Fernco product. Fernco Proflex Shielded Plumbing Flexible Coupling, fernco, fernco coupling, fernco couplings, fernco fitting, Shielded Drain Pipe Coupling, Shielded Waste Pipe Coupling, Shielded Vent Pipe Coupling, Flexible Shielded Plumbing Coupling | Fernco I do not like the compression type check valves, and many codes do not want them along with a shielded couplings. They make check valves that are glue with threaded mechanical unions built onto the valve for easy removal and replacement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Widdershins Saunders View Post
    The mixing of ABS and PVC glue joints in an ejector system is just plain wrong -- And would concern me enough to question the rest of the installation.

    Did the installer drill a "5/16 hole in the discharge pipe 3" above where the piping connects to the pump? (This allows pressure in the line to dissipate, which allows the seal on the check valve to fully seat)
    Some pump manufactures do not require this hole since they have a small air vent hole in the impeller cavity. But as a secondary precaution in their troubleshooting part of instructions tell you can frill a 1/16" inch hole in he pipe below the check valve. So its best to find out what brand pump is in the pit and see if that manufacture requires the air vent hole to be drilled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Widdershins Saunders View Post
    Did the installer tie the discharge into a wye branch fitting?
    agreed, also did the installer tie it into the a 3" or larger line. I seen where an ejector was added as an after thought and tied into a 2" line which was the same line for the laundry and kitchen sink line. When the pump ran by itself there was no issues, but when the pump and the dishwasher or cloths washing machine where draining at the same time they overwhelmed the 2" line and caused a back up in the 2" floor drain in the utility room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Widdershins Saunders View Post
    Is the vent (the pipe on the left) run up through the roof independently, or is it tied into a plumbing vent?
    Many codes allow the vent for an ejector pump to tie back into the buildings venting system.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Those are good questions.

    The 5/8" hole is below the lid, right? So the lid would need to be removed to check for it?
    Beyond the scope of a normal home inspection, but we can listen for a trickle of water in the pipe after the pump shuts off.

    I couldn't locate the vent for this one, so it was probably not right either.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    The color coding for materials in use in Canada is DIFFERENT than that of the US. This includes solvents and cements (and chemical welds) used for "plastic pipe"(s).

    IIRC, for example, the color for regular ABS cement in Canada is Yellow.

    The Major problem with an ABS/PVC bond in this application is that PVC pipe expands and contracts significantly MORE with slighter changes in temperature, especially in its LENGTH, than ABS does.

    This of course effects the integrity of the bond between dissimilar materials.

    PVC is chemically welded not just cemented. For a sump discharge taking ground drainage, exposed in the interior and discharging to the exterior - the obvious temperature differentials make such a connection questionable. Similar "issues" with a sub-slab sewage ejector pit exposed effluant line with multiple "transitions". Venting of the effluant pump should be done as to sanitary requirements.

    MOST plumbing regulations LIMIT such a connection (cemented/glued or transition of other means) to ONE per drainage system, and do so for good reason.

    I believe you will find a limitation regarding same in the Local Code restrictions for Canada in the national code, and that same is restricted to building sewer or building drain UNDERGROUND and horizontal under cover, not exposed (maintaining an average temperature throughout). I do not recall at the moment if similar restriction to transition to vent, but vaguely recall some restriction as to smaller trade sizes.

    Finally, some areas restricted the use of ABS in exposed locations due to the fact that when burned it releases cyanide. Some areas further restrict its wet size use due to its limited useful life, and when deteriorating the signs of deterioration are interior, not exterior (swells, cracks and breaks down from the inside-out).

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-01-2010 at 08:05 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    MOST plumbing regulations LIMIT such a connection (cemented/glued or transition of other means) to ONE per drainage system, and do so for good reason.
    The limit is one in them codes, but there is more. Once you use the one fitting to make the transition you must keep running the material of the transition fitting. So if you are going from ABS to PVC the rest of the line has to be PVC, and the other way around PVC to ABS rest of the line must be done in ABS.

    The areas that allow this are very few. Most plumbing codes will not allow transitioning from one material to the other using the multipurpose glue. They will allow you to make the transition using male and female adapters, or a shielded coupling with the proper no-hub adapter fitting glued to each pipe.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is ABS OK for pump discharge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    The limit is one in them codes, but there is more. Once you use the one fitting to make the transition you must keep running the material of the transition fitting. So if you are going from ABS to PVC the rest of the line has to be PVC, and the other way around PVC to ABS rest of the line must be done in ABS.

    The areas that allow this are very few. Most plumbing codes will not allow transitioning from one material to the other using the multipurpose glue. They will allow you to make the transition using male and female adapters, or a shielded coupling with the proper no-hub adapter fitting glued to each pipe.
    Yes, I thought I made that clear, sorry if it wasn't. Of course the "gluing", "cementing" or "solvent welding" must be with the correct material.

    I do not believe the entirety of the "downstream system" is required to be the same material throughout, but agree that it is not supposed to swap back and forth regarding "plastic pipe type materials", i.e. later transition to transite, CI, etc. for the building drain, sewer, or transition to private treatment or public sewer.


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