Evaluating the HVAC and Plumbing System

Bob meets with HVAC and plumbing contractor Frank Iadarola to review the HVAC and plumbing systems and discuss how to begin the remodeling process.

Clip Summary

Bob meets with HVAC and plumbing contractor Frank Iadarola to look at a 40-year-old furnace that needs to be replaced with a more efficient system. They discuss the layout of the plumbing and waste pipes and the best way to begin the remodeling process. Upstairs, a workman is cutting off old pipes. Then Bob joins carpenter Bob Ryley in the kitchen, where he's attaching joists to the beams.
Alright. Frank Andirola is is not only going to be our plumbing contractor on this job, but also HVAC, right?


And what do you think about this heating system that we have?

Well. Well, we've got a forty year old dinosaur here, Bob, that was installed originally with an oil burner. And recently it's been converted to a conversion gas burner.

Probably in the last ten years.

Probably in the last ten years. And this system replaced the original 1895 gravity warm air system that was hand-fired with coal or wood.


So my advice is just to throw this thing out and start from scratch.

It's woefully inefficient -


- in a house that isn't insulated.


So that's another story. But, I want to talk about the plumbing.


Because we've got a number of new baths and such. And I'm really trying to fully develop this basement. And one of the things that I want to do in this area over here here is to create a family workshop.


Not just a woodworking shop, but a Repair shop, you know, a hobby place.


And one of the problems is banging your head into the waste pipes.

Right well we've alleviated that problem by tearing out all of the waste pipes and all of the duct work and digging in these trenches.
All of the main waste stacks will meet at the individual bathrooms. One here, one here, and one there, will all intersect at one point in this underground.

And this is well below grade. Don't you have to worry, don't you have to end up pumping the waste out of the house?

No, because the invert is well below this and we have the usual quarter inch per foot to the exit of the soil pipe that's in front.

So the sewer line is sufficiently deep outside the house.

Right, right.

OK. Alright, so then you're picking everything up here and branching off in this direction, and here's where we have the original cast iron wastes coming from everything that was upright.

This feeds the half bath. A powder room, if you will, in the first floor.

Which we've kept in place for few weeks, so that, workmen would have a place to, you know, to use.

Exactly. So what we're What we're going to do is remove this end clean out here and then tie all of the soil pipe that we just discussed right back into this fitting right here.

Yeah you can barely see it, but what we've got here is the top of a hub.


And the cast iron waste going off in that direction towards the street.

Right. It's about a foot below the grade.

Now the important thing while you are demolishing cast iron waste pipe is to start at the top, right?


Let's go upstairs.

Thank you.

Let's take a stop on the second floor a minute, Frank, and I'm gonna put you on the spot. Why do plumbers do this? Look at the condition of the framing here.

Well, we can blame integrity, I guess.
Because they removed the integrity from the building with lack of integrity of their own.

I don't know.

But here's the, here's the four inch cast-iron stove pipe that comes up from the basement, that we talked about in the underground. And you can see where they cut this joist out right here.


We did similar things all the way around. This was probably the original stack that was put in the turn of the century Three, and then it went to PVC pipe which was right there that was probably put in in the early 70's.

Yeah. And so every time somebody came in here, and when the advent of good reciprocating saws - man, what a mess we've got?

Didn 't leave you much.
Well, let's go up to the top and see what we're taking apart there. Sure.

All right, now up here, we do have some of the early plumbing, right?
Some of the stuff that we're looking at here.

Yes. We have brass threaded pipe which is probably original with the house at this point. And then at a later time, back in here, we have copper tubing, which dates from the 40's to today's modern plumbing, water piping.

Yeah. Now we've got to remove everything because of the new layout, right?

Exactly. This stack is going because this wall is going to be moved forward about a foot, and the vent that we put in is gonna be only 2 inch.

And none of this material can be re-used?

No, it's all junk.


Tell us about this tool that he's using up there.

That's a ratchet soil pipe cutter. What it does is, it's a series of cutting wheels that

are compressed with.

He just snapped it.

So we have a cut that was made previously up above. We have another one here,

now we probably won't be able to remove the pipe until he makes at least one cut

here and another one on the horizontal line.


Then we'll be able to pull it out because, we've got a lot of weight here.

Why are you concerned about saving the pipes where it goes through the roof? Just

so we don't have to reflash it?

We've got some nice copper flashing high hats up there, that probably were made at

the time the house was built.


These never wear out. We want to keep those, so that it blends with the


All right well, thanks a lot. We will be seeing you again. We've got a break for some

messages and when we come back, I wanna check in with Riley down in the kitchen.

Stick around. Okay. We're back.

And now we're doing the easy part of this job. The beam's in place, and we are simply attaching joist hangers -- two inch joist hangers -- to the existing timbers. The existing joists in here are all full dimensional, two inch.

And then we just ... What size nails do you use with these?

I'm just using inch and a half joist hanger nails. Galvanized.

Galvanized, even though it's inside .

Boy, don't you love that dust?

Well, we're running out of time, Friends. Hope you can join me again. Next week, we're gonna be doing some of the shingle repairs to the exterior sidewall of the house. And we'll be taking you on a tour of a shingle mill out west.

'Till then, I'm Bob Vila.
It's good to have you home again.