Removing a Cast Iron Drain Pipe

Old 04-15-07, 04:08 PM
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Question Removing a Cast Iron Drain Pipe

How would you remove a cast iron drain pipe that appears to have melted lead holding it together? Can lead be melted?

I tried a small propane torch with no luck.

Can it be cut or drilled to remove it? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Old 04-15-07, 07:11 PM
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Yes, lead can be melted but I advise you not to do so. It can also be easily drilled.

I recommend that you use a small chisel (cold steel, not a wood chisel) and "dig" the lead out. If you first drill a hole a bit less in diameter than the width of the lead you can (more or less) easily get the chisel under the the lead and with relatively light hammer blows get it to peel out of the joint. The lead is probably less than 1/2 thick. Below the lead will be a packing material called oakum. This will be a fiberous material with tar impregnated. Use the chisel or an old screwdriver to remove this oakum.

After doing this you still will most likely need to break the cast iron to remove it from the "bell" end of the pipe.

If you explain in detail just what you are trying to accomplish I (or others) can be of more help. Pictures always help in explanations and while pictures cannot be posted directly they can be uploaded to a photo hosting site and the URL posted here.

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