Plumbing Stacks

I have a 1950’s ranch. It has a cast iron stack. The two baths share the same wall and stack. It’s an economical way to build and plumb houses.

These days, I guess stacks would be a type of hard plastic.

I watch a lot of remodel shows on HGTV. I rarely see a stack in those homes. The plumbers add a Y to the sewer line in the floor. Then run drain and vent lines. I’ve never seen a stack installed on the HGTV shows.

Have stacks fallen out of general use? Are they used in new homes anymore?

No, they are still used.

raindog - is there anything I should know about my stack? I’m looking into remodeling my upstairs bath (the only bath, and it’s a 1/2, and I want to add a shower). The stack is inset about two feet into the house from the outside wall. One guy suggested “just moving it into the wall”. That sounded expensive, and his bid confirmed it. Luckily, the stack is exactly where I’d put the shower wall, so I can just work that into the design - but is there any info on what sort of access I’d need to this montrosity?

Generally no.

There is no maintenance protocol to them. If its an older house the stack will sometimes degrade over several decades. That said, I see house that are 60 years old, or older, with fully intact stacks. (which will be cast iron)

I suppose you might change out the stack for PVC if you were concerned and had some extra money in the budget.

But if you closely visually inspect the stack once the walls are open you’ll see signs of degradation if thats the case: split seams, bubbles, or blister like protrusions, water stains from water leaching through the cast iron.

If they look like they’re undisturbed I’d probably build your chase wall right around it.

The only caution is this: If at some point in the future you need to change that stack it may be a little bit more expansive if you have to open a tiled wall. However…thats not likely to be the case above the shower/bath, because above that point no water is traveling down (the source of degradation) but rather just methane (sewer) gas is traveling up.

I wouldn’t worry about it.

Cool - thanks. I had a feeling I might be in good shape. It’ll be cast iron - my house was built in 1920.