Lead pipe repair


  #1  
Old 07-17-01, 01:26 PM
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I have bought a house built in 1963 and it has lead pipes for the drains in the whole house. I have seemed to develope a leak in one of the tees and I'm not to sure how to properly repair it. It apears to have thick lead around the places were it is connected. Do I repair it by melting the connection with a torch and possible adding more lead? I want to eventually replace all the lead pipes with plastic but money prohibits that at this time. Any help in this matter would be most appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 07-17-01, 02:56 PM
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are you sure it is all lead? Most I have seen are cast iron and lead. In that case i would reccomend getting a fernco coupler to go from the cast iron to plastic and eliminate the lead pipe altogether. If it is lead I have never repaired one so I could not say.
 
  #3  
Old 07-20-01, 12:14 AM
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I may have the same system--the drain pipes are cast iron with leaded joints. I understand that the pipes were originally joined using a special fixture that held them both so that there was the right gap between them, into which molten lead was then poured to seal the connection. What a pain!

When some of mine started to leak, the plumbing supply store told me they didn't even sell them anymore, and recommended replacement with ABS plastic. I used a saws-all to cut out the bad section, which included several Y's and couplings, and re-fabbed it all out of plastic parts, then spliced the new plastic assembly into the old iron pipes using special rubber clamp-on couplings. (The rental yard has a special tool that uses a chain to sort of crush and cut the old cast iron pipe, but it was no good in close quarters under the house, so I used the sawz all instead.) These couplings are rubber boots that slip over the outside of the cast iron pipes and join it to the outside of the plastic (outside diameters were almost the same). The rubber boots are held on by a sort of corrugated stainless steel sleeve that is held on by two hose clamps that you tighten with a screwdriver, the same as on a car radiator hose. It worked great, and sure weighed a lot less besides.

Good luck.
 
 

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