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  1. #1
    Scot Asher's Avatar
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    Default Capped pipe in attic

    Wasn't sure where to post this thread, so it seemed what I was looking at was a capped PVC pipe in the attic on a newer constructed house (7 yo) so plumbing seemed appropriate.
    It appears to be a plumbing vent intended to exit the roof, but is capped.
    Has anyone come across this before? Why would they run the pipe & cap it?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Although I would have expected to see it through the roof, it could possibly be a future for a radon mitigation system.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Plumber capped the pipe to pass the pressure test. There is a chance that there is a mechanical vent that takes the place of this vent (if that is what it is) under a sink. Don't go on the idea that the plumbing will drain slow or there will be a lot of gurgling if it is not vented. I have sealed every vent in my roof as a test and no difference was noted when flushing or emptying sinks and tubs. That said, code requires every trap to have venting, but not every vent has to go through the roof.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Although I would have expected to see it through the roof, it could possibly be a future for a radon mitigation system.
    I agree. They typically install passive radon systems in new houses. If it's for a passive system, even though there is not a fan installed, the pipe should extend through the roof.

    But normally, the passive system pipes would pass through the attic in a way that would provide adequate room for a fan to be installed if deemed needed at some point in the future.

    The location of that pipe hardly has enough room to install a fan. I suppose you could put a 90 on it and bring the pipe horizontally towards the center of the attic and then turn it up through the roof. That would give you room for the fan is needed.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Plumber capped the pipe to pass the pressure test.
    Agreed.

    There is a chance that there is a mechanical vent that takes the place of this vent (if that is what it is) under a sink.
    Yep ... a *slim chance* ...

    Most likely it was just forgotten about and needs to go through the roof.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Just a thought. A roughed-in radon system wouldn't need a cap installed with glue, would it?
    I see PVC central vac pipes installed and never used as well. Sometimes they are run thru the attic to the garage.

    But I vote with Vern and Jerry, it's a plumbing vent that was forgotten or not needed.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Sometimes original purchasers contract with developer, for example, unfinished basement, or walkout, with roughed in waste, drain, and vent plumbing capped off, (so they don't have to bust the slab later, and open walls above) when the purchasers plan to finish area and install bathroom or half-bath themselves (or act as own GC hiring contractors themselves)at a later date (when they can afford to) - quite common before the bubble. Due to freezing issues the vent may require increasing trade size a foot or so before it emerges the roof to prevent frost or freezing.

    Question is, was the bathroom group finished and this step overlooked, or was it never installed.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    In my area new construction requires a rough in for radon system. They are supposed to be marked Radon, and capped.
    When I have seen them uncapped, there has been a lot of moisture staining on the roof sheathing.

    Was there a pipe that actually went thru the roof? If not, then I think you have your answer. The plumber forgot to take it out the roof after they did the pressure check.


  9. #9
    Scot Asher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Thanks for your input guys, was helpful.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    it could also be for running "future" wires from basement to attic. A pre-chased pipe.. look in the basement and you might find the bottom of it. I know of 2 builders in the east coast that offered this as an option to make it easier to add music / data systems after closing.

    kurt


  11. #11
    Scot Asher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Thanks Kurt, nothing was visible in the basement as it was finished. The pipe looked like 6", maybe 4" at least. A little big for wires as well.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Around here the plumbing vents are always black ABS. The size and color looks more like a vent flue for high efficiency furnace but that doesn't make sense. Let us know what you find out.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt jensen View Post
    it could also be for running "future" wires from basement to attic. A pre-chased pipe.. look in the basement and you might find the bottom of it. I know of 2 builders in the east coast that offered this as an option to make it easier to add music / data systems after closing.

    kurt
    Better not "be for running "future" wires from basement to attic." as that plumbing PVC is not listed for use as a raceway for electrical wiring.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Asher View Post
    Thanks Kurt, nothing was visible in the basement as it was finished. The pipe looked like 6", maybe 4" at least. A little big for wires as well.
    Too big for residential plumbing vent.
    Perhaps a chase for a future swamp cooler or solar panel lines?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    waste line for future upstairs bath. remove cap and see if you smell sewer gas.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Capped pipe in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Webber View Post
    Too big for residential plumbing vent.
    Perhaps a chase for a future swamp cooler or solar panel lines?
    I don't agree. A future stack or a future planned auxilliary vent stack from a bathroom group would be increased to at least 3" or two trade sizes (whichever is greater) before penetrating the insulation blanket and at least 12-18" below the roof deck before penetrating the roof for a cold attic in New York (original poster), a far "colder zone" than you are from in mid-Indiana (Indianapolis). For a pre-fit capped off potentially future use (not yet connected to the DWV system) I would expect at least a 4" where it is shown in the photo. A primary stack vent minimum 4" possibly more depending configuration, and increased as necessary to prevent freezing/frost over issues below the roof deck.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-24-2012 at 02:05 PM.

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