I’ll not soon forget a lesson’s learned on a job site when it comes to cast iron drain vent lines. At this point I’d had about six years of experience as a field project manager. It was bought to the contractor’s attention that some of the toilets at the hotel were not flushing well. Come to find out, the vent pipes were full of sediment and corroded from the roof down through the 4th floor. To correct this, most of the 4th floor bathrooms had to have sections of walls opened up and sections of vent lines removed so we could snake the lines to be able to scope (use a camera) and see how far down the blockage went. This was an expensive change order. This was the first time I had run across an issue like this, and thankfully haven’t again. Most hotel renos have pretty much the same issues regardless of brand name but this was unexpected. What I learned is to ask more detailed qualifying questions at the beginning of the job to see if there had been plumbing issues. Had the issue been known beforehand, it could have been included in the bidding process to save the client and the contractor time and keep everyone on schedule. 

by Greg Culotti