Patching Lead Pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by xroad, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    The 4" lead vertical pipe coming down through the basement ceiling meets up with a 90* elbow then goes horizontal downstream. Right before the vertical pipe meets the elbow, there is a 2" horizontal lead pipe that "T" into the 4" vertical pipe. This 2" horizontal pipe is about 12 inches long before it elbows upward again, into the the basement ceiling. It is a vent pipe, I believe. The 2" elbow is all corroded. I was told that it drips once in a while. Maybe when there was a clog, water backs up into the 12" of horizontal 2" vent pipe and reach the elbow. Anyway, it obviously have a hole at the elbow. How do I patch it? A piece of lead and a small torch to melt the edge of the patch to the pipe, covering the hole? Tight space! Silicone caulking? Epoxy ... the gummy tootsie roll type that cures to hard as rock? Cut, remove, replace? Again, tight space.

    Need recommendation.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Post a picture...
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    You get a torch near that and the lead will disappear faster than an Oreo at a weight watchers meeting. Best solution, take it out and re-pipe.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would agree...
    Time to get the lead out!
  5. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Oh-Keeeeie ..... Thanks guys. Fire is out.

    Sorry, no pictures. Tried a couple of shots, did not turn out very well.

    Never work with lead before. How do I take it out? There is not even a joint or fitting. The 2" pipe just seamlessly "T" into the 4" pipe. Same for the elbow, it just seamlessly turns upward.

    Assuming I can cut out just the elbow part, can I get a rubber boot type elbow with steel hose clamp at both ends? How soft are these pipes? Will it collapes if I torque down the hose clamps?
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You probably want a plumber for this job...
    Where does the lead end?
    I'm talking we are taking the lead out....
    New closet flange right to the cast iron...
    Where does the other smaller line that ties into the lead go?
    The tub?
  7. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    This leaking 2" lead elbow only leaks once in a blue moon. A plumber came in and worked on something else looked at it and he said it's probably a vent pipe. Maybe that is why we rarely see water drip from it.

    Like I mentioned earlier, it "T" out of the 4" vertical lead pipe that came down from the basement ceiling that fits into a 4 inch elbow. This 2" lead pipe turns up again into a wall upstairs. This elbow is pretty close to the subfloor of the floor above.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    26,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    lead

    You, and the majority of plumbers, do not have the skill to work on that piece of lead and repair it. Even taking it out and replacing it could be beyond your level of incompetence. It is usually much more complicated than just, "Cut it off and change it to PVC/ABS". Call a plumber.
  9. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I would assume you are referring to the old slipping Fernco on the tapered bushing routine? :D
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    routine

    That and using a Fernco to do it, as starters.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Then may I assume that Mighty Putty would not be an acceptable fix? Darn!:D
  12. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    OK, it is too complicated of a job for me, and most plumbers ..... so how DO a well trained plumber do it? Please use layman terms. Lots of words you guys throw around is beyond me, but I am willing to learn.
  13. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    I think the best thing to do would be to send some pictures.I can repair lead
    pipe as I was trained by an old master plumber and it was in my journeymans
    test the first year of my apprenticship.If you want to fly me out I`m sure could fix it.
  14. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Billy Mays here for Mighty Putty

    You can clean up later with SHAM WOW
  15. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Is this some kind of old world high tech secret that no one wants to talk about it? Now I am just so curious about what the big deal is. Not that I am believing it is simple job. I DO believe that it is beyond me, and most plumber. I am just curious, just like when I read an article on how a jet engine works, I had no intention to tear into one. For a usually chatty forum, this topic is pretty quiet.
  16. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Trouble is that lead waste and vent piping is a dead art. Here in Illinois they still allow us to use lead piping for DWV, but the trouble is 99.9% of the plumbers have no idea how to work with it. My sponsor was an old world plumber that taught me how to wipe lead and make my own lead shower safety pans, and pipe. Its mostly a learned skill with the right tools and materials.

    Now for your situation any plumber worth a grain, can remove your lead piping and install new PVC, abs, cast iron or even copper piping to solve your troubles.
  17. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Thats right Mr,Ratz it is a lost art in fact the word plumber is derived the
    I think latin word plumbum which means lead.I have wiped joints,installed lead shower pans,and cut out enough lead to make fishing sinkers to supply the
    fishermen for a long time,now the ? is why is OP reluctant to have the job
    upgraded.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  18. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Hi cwhyu2,

    I am not sure what the question is? "Upgraded" means remove all the lead pipe instead of repair that leaking section? At this point, I don't even know what my options are. I have been asking lots of questions and got not much answers. Maybe the answers are in the comments posted and it is just me not understanding it. So far, I got the recommendation of calling a plumber that can do lead.

    Well the house is over 100 years old. Rip out all the old lead pipes is not an option for now. It is a two family house. Too much impact to tenant and finance.
  19. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Okay I lived in 130yr old farm house for 20yrs and understand your concerns,
    if you can post a picture, that can help me help you.
    The only suggestion I can give you is a temporary fix,take a wire brush
    and clean the area of the leak real good and apply JB weld two part epoxy.
    Not the putty but the stuff in the tubes,$8.00 at your local hardware.
  20. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Thanks a million for the help.

    Some projects are obviously over my head and I should call a pro. Many, can be learned if approach slowly. That is what I am hoping to get from this forum. Otherwise, every thread in this forum will only be discussing which plumber is good and which is bad and provide their telephone numbers.

    Pictures ... I'll have to wait till the next time I am at my mother's house, 2 hours away! Stay tune.
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