lead closet bend

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Robert C1, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I have a bathroom with several layers of work over the years.

    The structure was built in 1962, the subfloor is 2x6 car decking.
    Cast Iron waste system with a lead closet bend.

    At some point someone removed a second layer of plywood and installed durock. I'm guessing this left the closet flange a 1/4 inch proud of the floor which caused a rock and a leak. Later, someone else cut out a 2' square section of rotted wood around the toilet, supported it underneath the car decking with 2x4's and plywood then poured cement flush with the top of the durock. Then they made a 2' diameter mound of a finer cement mix around the toilet flange, laid a vinyl floor and set the toilet.

    The old toilet did not leak or rock, but had some pretty nasty caulk gaps at the base (3/4" in spots).

    I've pulled the toilet and removed the vinyl floor.
    I plan to remove the fine cement, drop some self leveling compound to smooth out the floor, new vinyl, and set a new Toto Drake toilet.

    I'm not sure of the best method to connect to the closet bend.

    The lead is currently barely bent over the inside lip of a rusted metal flange.

    My grand idea is to cut the lead bend flush with the finish floor (removing about 3/4" of lead) and drop an abs closet flange coated with silicone inside the lead pipe, then fasten the flange to cement with tapcons.

    Thanks for any and all advice.

    Rob
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    That seems like a good "handyman" solution and an almost guaranteed leak in the making. The proper way is to get a brass flange and solder the lead to it. The next best is to get the flange and then beat the lead onto the top of it. You want the wax seal to be between the lead and the toilet.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    If the lead is no longer long enough to do that, you need to either replace the entire lead bend with a new one, or tear that out and replace with either CI or PVC or ABS.

    [​IMG]
    I normally just pull the lead out of the cast iron tee, and use a 4x3 flush bush into a insert rubber pipe donut.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2010
  4. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Thanks for the replies, a couple of questions:

    How much of the lead pipe does one need to have above the finished surface to use the beat over the flange approach?

    Why is the ABS approach guaranteed to leak?
  5. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Much to the dismay of others here, I did this exact thing using a cast iron flange that had some rubber orings/gasket on it and it fit snuggly. I put a liberal amount of silicone too. It's held up now for a few years.

    My only regret is that I didn't put a SS worm drive clamp around the contraption from below when I had the oppurtunity to access it.

    Jason
  6. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    The soldered lead connection sounds like a good connection, provided I learn how to properly solder lead. But I'm having a tough time understanding the downside of the abs connection. With the 2" of overlap and lots of sillicone it seems like it would make a better connection than the beat over the lead technique with less risk/learning curve than soldering lead. What am I missing?
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,347
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You are mixing terms. Soldering and poured lead/oakum are totally different. Soldering is done with a relatively small hand propane or Mapp gas torch and is used to connect copper water lines. Cast iron drain pipe joints are first packed with oakum then molten lead is poured into joint over the top of the oakum. This is not a DIY process for 98% of us. You can not get a reliable drain seal with ABS or any other pipe with silicon caulk. I believe you are in over your experience level and it would be wise for you to have a professional do this job. Otherwise, I fear you will be tearing out the whole job very soon to redo it right. It's a wise DIYer that knows when it's time to punt!:D
  8. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Thanks Gary, but I meant solder. I was referring to soldering the lead pipe to a brass floor mounted flange.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    You solder it with a soldering iron, not a flame. The problem with the PVC/ABS flange routine, is that there is no way to verify that it is sealed, until the day that the sewer backs up. We are not DISMAYED that the other person did it, nor that it has not leaked, because so far he may not have encountered the situation were it will leak.
  10. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I'm sold on the soldered brass flange technique. I picked up a couple of flanges today.

    I'm thinking soldering lead has some different techniques to it. Is anyone willing to offer a primer on how to solder this connection?

    Thanks,
    Rob
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    lead

    Control your heat or you will melt the lead before you can apply the solder. Waste lead is very thin and will melt almost instantly if you use a flame improperly. Use the lowest temperature solder you can find, 40/60 is ideal, but 50/50 works.
  12. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I'll pick up some 40/60 solder at the plumbing supply store.


    Iron or torch?

    Should I apply heat to the brass or the solder? or does the first question answer the second

    Any tips on controlling the heat?

    A particular type of flux?

    Rob
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    I wouldn't want that to be my first experience with soldering! While you'll melt solder with the torch, you won't get a good joint. You want to make the junction between the lead bend and the flange hot enough so the solder will melt and flow. Putting the solder in the flame will just emulate dripping wax from a tipped candle...it will cool off too much and too fast to flow into the joint. One of the pros can give you more of the details. If you use a soldering iron, it needs to be one with significant tip, not one you'd use for electronics...I'm talking big here.
  14. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    I think HJ mentioned that an iron should be used rather than a torch a few posts up.

    I'm curious about this myself as I once was in a position to do this job and wound up simply peaning over the edge of the lead bend within the ring rather than soldering it.

    For an iron, would one of those iron adapters that fits on a torch be suitable? Or would you want to go get one of those ginormous 2-foot long 200+ watt electric jobs my grand dad used to have?
  15. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I think you all were dismayed when I suggested it on another thread back in the day. I think he ended up doing it though too....

    It's above the flood level of the basement drain, basement sink, washer drain, and the kitchen sink. If I get a clog in the closet bend (< 2' of horizontal before it goes vertical) then I'm in trouble. If I get a clog in the stack I'm sure i've got bigger problems to worry about...

    Thx,
    Jason
  16. Robert C1

    Robert C1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Here's how I ended up finishing the job.

    The first picture shows what's left of the mound of concrete. The caulking around the edges is to seal off the gaps in preparation for self leveling cement.

    The second picture shows my compromise on the lead bend. I realized ruining the whole thing trying to solder was a lot more probable than making a good connection on my first attempt. So... on to plan C, apply some silicone then peen the lead against the flange. So far so good.

    Thanks to all for the advice

    Cheers,
    Rob

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  17. VernK

    VernK New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Problem with lead closet bend

    Hi All

    Second post about our bathroom reno. Things have been going well, but a small snag has come up. After cleaning the old wax off the closet flange, I see that the lead bend is corroded and cracked right at the top edge of the flange, where it is bent over onto the flange. The crack is a little more than halfway around. The flange is in fine shape and is the right height above the floor. Short of getting a plumber in to replace the bend (I'm not going to start learning about cast iron & oakum and lead on this adventure. Maybe later ;-) ), what options might work for me. Bathroom is on the second floor.

    Yours
    Vern
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,999
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    I normally just pull the lead out of the cast iron tee, and use a 4x3 flush bush into a insert rubber pipe donut.

    [​IMG]
  19. VernK

    VernK New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    Thanks. I went to see how hard access was to do this from below, and discovered that it isn't actually a lead bend, it's a short piece of lead pipe leading (no pun intended) into a 4" cast iron 90 and then the waste stack. How does that change the prescription?

    Yours
    Vern
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If it is straight then that just means you don't need an elbow...
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