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Plumber sawed through my I-beam joist to make room for a toilet waste pipe.

tackitybits's picture

11 years later I find the toilet, flooring and subfloor all failing because of the sag in the floor, created by sawing through an I-beam joist that runs the length of the house.  The joist was cut to make room for the PVC waste pipe for the toilet. Only a small section in the Master Bath is affected but it looks like I will have to pull the vanity, cut out of old sub flooring and figure out how to support that section of the floor where the toilet will rest, once all the repairs are done. It's possible I might be able to sister up about a 14 foot length of joist to the I-beam that's been sawed through. Is that the best way to go? What about the sag?

I would contact the I-joist manufacturer........ (post #207108, reply #1 of 27)

after looking underneath and seeing what is possible (other piping, electric etc that might need moved).

Ask if there's a fix/header/added joist that would work according to the span, load and bearing.

 

They should engineer this for free.

At least worth a try.

Is that the crawl or basement?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


by the way........... (post #207108, reply #2 of 27)

Not all blame can be placed on the axe weilding plumber.

Framers should pause a moment and look at the plans.  If there's a toilet shown in position, a good framer will move a joist or correct his layout according to a KNOWN center from a wall.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


It pisses me off to no end (post #207108, reply #3 of 27)

It pisses me off to no end when plumbers do that.

Depending on the span on the I-joists, it might be possible to header them off to the adjacent I-joists. But you'd have to run that one by the I-joist manufacturer or an engineer.

Putting new joists alongside the drain might be a good option, if you can get them in there. If there are mechanicals or utilities in the way it could be all but impossible.

I'm guessing this is in a (post #207108, reply #4 of 27)

I'm guessing this is in a crawl, since you didn't notice it for 11 years.  Any reason you can't just add squash plates to the cut ends and add pillars under them?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

do you know the plumber that (post #207108, reply #5 of 27)

do you know the plumber that did this?  is he still in business?  if you know his name and he's still around, i would contact him first.  he has codes he has to abide by and he knows what he can and cannot drill through.  you can plumb through i-joists but not like that.  you have an easy win with a lawsuit.  if you can't find him and you have to fix it yourself you can run header i-joists to box off the area.

Ah, but part of the "code" is (post #207108, reply #6 of 27)

Ah, but part of the "code" is that a plumber has to saw through some structural member on every job.  If he doesn't they'll drum him out of the union.  Same as the rule that an electrician must drill through at least one drain pipe.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

More extended code notations (post #207108, reply #7 of 27)

When you get to a bathroom, use your head framing. 

Same thing in the kitchen, build to plan and make it real square.

There's a bit more than not putting dbl plate nails between the studs.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


When you get to a bathroom, (post #207108, reply #8 of 27)

When you get to a bathroom, use your head framing.

I tried that but it gave me headaches.

Same thing in the kitchen, build to plan and make it real square.

Ah, that was the problem -- the plan was rectangular.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

The plumber's defense on this (post #207108, reply #9 of 27)

The plumber's defense on this would be hard to beat.

The problem started with the framer--he KNOWS that toilets rough in at 12" from the back wall, and his floor plan showed where it was to be located side-to-side. The plumber probably located the toilet right where the plan showed. Did he tell the framer that he had to chop the joist? Maybe. But, even if he didn't, the framing inspection is supposed to be done after the other trades (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) have finished. The framing inspector should have caught this, but he might not have bothered to crawl under there to check.

The general contractor would share blame as well since he hires the subs.

when framing a house it's the (post #207108, reply #10 of 27)

when framing a house it's the responsibliity of the contractor.  aside from that a good architect will incorporate it into his framing plans.  you can't blame it only on the framer, they go by the framing plans which do not show toilet locations unless the architect puts it in the framing plan.  if this was done via a bathroom remodel then the responsibility lies on the contractor who did the job or the plumber if the homeowner acted as the contractor.

plumbers know better.  they should have stopped the job and told someone what was going on.

 

I hope you noted that I did (post #207108, reply #11 of 27)

I hope you noted that I did not place blame entirely on the framer--there is shared blame here as with most problems.

I've never seen a framer on any job who did not have the architectural floor plan showing bath fixtures. But, again, I'm not saying he's the only one to blame. And neither is the plumber.

"The plumber's defense on (post #207108, reply #12 of 27)

"The plumber's defense on this would be hard to beat."

I'm calling BS on that one.

You don't know if the framer had a good floor plan of the bathrooms or not. Even if he did, things might have changed after it was framed. People change things all the time.

All he had to do was stop and let the GC or framer know there was a problem, rather than cutting an I-joist in half. Anybody with half a brain knows that's wrong.

 

 

Amen (post #207108, reply #13 of 27)

Amen

We don't know a lot of (post #207108, reply #14 of 27)

We don't know a lot of things.  The plumber may have been screaming for three days that there was a problem, while the contractor just scratched his arse and did nothing about it.  In which case I'd not blame the plumber for butchering the joist.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Included in what is unknown (post #207108, reply #17 of 27)

Included in what is unknown is who cut the joist. It may have been an incompetent framer who, upon realizing he put the joist in the way of the toilet, simply cut out that section. Maybe. 

Dear Sirs, (post #207108, reply #15 of 27)

I'm thinking of building a house and will do much of the work myself.  I'll probably do most of the carpentry as I've been working on our own houses and friends places for quite a while...............

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


"The plumber's defense on (post #207108, reply #16 of 27)

"The plumber's defense on this would be hard to beat."

I'm not excusing the plumber with that comment--I wrote that in response to the poster who said that he could see the basis for a lawsuit against the plumber, and I'm pretty sure I know how it would turn out--the plumber's defense would be hard to beat.

You're screwed. 11 years (post #207108, reply #18 of 27)

You're screwed. 11 years later? Come on .... what else do you expect to last that long?

Which is a pity, because there is NO excuse for the plumbers' action. It violates the first rule tradesmen are taught: Don't mess with the structure.

When the plumber discovered the problem, THEN was the time to stop work and say  "I can't do my job until the framing is changed or the toilet relocated."

I can't understand how pumbers get away with this all the time - somehow inspectors have no problems nailing electricians for similar issues.

Let a few plumbers get charge-backs, and you can be sure the problem will disappear. Let a few jobs grind to a halt, while the 'fix' is approved and the framer gets a charge-back, and the problem will disappear. Let a few architects and engineers eat the change orders, and suddenly the framing plans will improve.

I-Joist (post #207108, reply #19 of 27)

A   The framer should have picked this up and adjusted his layout.

B  The plumber should have brought this to someones attention and asked how he should handle this.

C  We have "underfloor" inspections prior to installing subfloor. Inspectors don't enter to the crawlspace.

Possible fix. Install 8' pieces 3/4" plywood webstiffeners on both sides of the I-joist on either side of the hacked one. Remove a section of the hacked I-Joist, add new I-joist perpendicular on both sides of the plumbing pipe using hangers. The new I-joists should have plywood web stiffeners also.  Most I-joist pocket framing guides show an example of how this is done.  

What was the plumber supposed (post #207108, reply #20 of 27)

What was the plumber supposed to do - move the toilet?!  lol   No - this is squarely on the framers.

Reguarless, plumbers don't do framing so the plumber did right by cutting out what they needed to to get the plumbing in and the framers should come back to reinforce what's there - that didn't happen and that's the fault of the gc.

If it's in a crawl it's a no-brainer to header off the section and add a few load bearing posts on adjustable post bases and precast concrete bases - and that will past code anywhere.

If you dont' know what you're doing, I-joist manufacturers have framing information detailing the specifics for various types of framing connections.   It also helps if you know which simpson hanger is appropriate for this situation.

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

What was the plumber supposed (post #207108, reply #21 of 27)

What was the plumber supposed to do - move the toilet?!  lol   No - this is squarely on the framers.

Reguarless, plumbers don't do framing so the plumber did right by cutting out what they needed to to get the plumbing in and the framers should come back to reinforce what's there - that didn't happen and that's the fault of the gc.

If it's in a crawl it's a no-brainer to header off the section and add a few load bearing posts on adjustable post bases and precast concrete bases - and that will past code anywhere.

If you dont' know what you're doing, I-joist manufacturers have framing information detailing the specifics for various types of framing connections.   It also helps if you know which simpson hanger is appropriate for this situation.

 

Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

What???? (post #207108, reply #27 of 27)

How can you say this is squarely on the framers? The only thing you said that was right was that the plumbers aren't framers. But the framers aren't plumbers either. I would always try to consider the plumbers but crap happens sometimes. If the plumbers let the GC know of the problem then it's on the GC. If not it's on the plumbers.

Framers put a lot of material in a house and not everything will work out perfect for everyone.

I can't even count how many missing roof braces, cut joist, knocked out studs I've had to deal with. I had a plumber cut through a hip once so that he wouldn't have to elbow his vent pipe out of the way. Should I have redesigned the roof for him too?

When I look at that picture I see a pipe that could have POSSIBLY been moved over another inch and solved the whole problem. Plumbers are really known for having the best measuring skills. Almost every house I've framed I've had to move a wall or five to catch the plumbing.

Suggestions (post #207108, reply #22 of 27)

I'm not a professional, I'm a homeowner, so if y'all could perhaps explain your fix ideas in plainer english, that would be great. Tell it to me like I'm 6 years old. A little sketch would really be helpful as well, otherwise I'm afraid the first person to use my master bath after the repair, might get an unwanted tour of the crawl space. My dad was a general contractor but he died when I was 10 and didn't get a chance to pass on any skills. Thanks

Jeffrey Green

Port Orchard, WA.-Where the salmon swim very fast because of all the Starbucks caffeine being peed into Puget Sound.

You've not told us whether (post #207108, reply #23 of 27)

You've not told us whether this is in a crawlspace or a full basement.  That makes a lot of difference.  If in a crawl it's fairly easy to add supports under the cut ends of the joists.  In a basement that might not be a satisfactory approach.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Where it is. (post #207108, reply #24 of 27)

This unfortunate joist is in my crawl space. The house is a rambler.

Well, then, you'd add "squash (post #207108, reply #25 of 27)

Well, then, you'd add "squash blocks" to the I-joist ends (pieces of heavy plywood tightly inset into the sides of the I-joist on both sides), then some sort of cross-bracing (so that the loose ends of the cut I-joist won't tend to twist to one side or the other).  Then place concrete pads under the cut ends and install jack posts.

There are several variations on how this might be done, but that's the gist of it.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Info (post #207108, reply #26 of 27)

Thanks brother, I appreciate it and thanks to everyone else on the forum as well. Happy Thanksgiving!