Removing lead closet bend?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lza206, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. lza206

    lza206 Steamfitter

    Seattle, WA

    I just closed on a 1956 house a few weeks ago, and I'm in the process of remodeling the bathroom. I removed a portion of the old CI and galv waste lines, and I'm replacing with PVC. The old lead closet bend and flange doesn't seem to be leaking at the hub joint and the flange seems to be okay, but I am considering replacing the bend anyway. A few questions:

    -In a previous post, Terry Love wrote:

    "There is a brass Ferrel where it meets the hub.
    And then the lead is built up around that.
    To remove, we use a few drill bits, drill out what we can, and pry out the rest.
    I don't bother putting heat on anything. "

    What exactly would you be drilling out? The lead and oakum? The pup piece coming out of the hub?

    -Terry also suggested using a Fernco donut. I'm concerned about fit (or lack of), and longevity. Some of the plumbers at work suggested Tyseal? Oakum then lead wool?


  2. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Seattle. WA
    Re: the lead toilet bend: looking "OK" means nothing, those things corrode from the inside out. On several occasions, I've started leaks on fine-looking
    lead bends just by lightly running my fingers over them, which evidently broke through the tissue-thin spots. If the bend was installed in 1956, it's long
    overdue for replacement.

    The lead in the space between hub and fitting is what's drilled out. Use caution: it's easy to jam the bit in there, perhaps snapping it off.
  3. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    New York
    the lead is soft so you'll know what you see when you hit it. I took a screw driver and basically peeled it out. Took a while though.

    Can you post a picture?

    Does yours look like this?

  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    I lose a few drill bits along the way.
    It's the price of progress.

    Fernco is one brand I've used. It depends on the hub as to which rubber seal would work. The last one I replaced in Seattle we tried two or three different seals. And then beat on on the fitting for a while getting it in. The homeowner can in after we were done, and said it couldn't have been that hard to replace a few fittings. That particular nearly beat me.
  5. lza206

    lza206 Steamfitter

    Seattle, WA
    Thanks Kreemoweet. I did stick an inspection mirror down into the bend and it seems to be in good condition. Mostly I worry about the lead and oakum joint leaking in the future.

    Terry: Thanks for the tips. If I end up tearing it out, I'll make sure I pick up one of each brand of seal at the supply house!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The lead/oakum joint is the one place you do NOT have to worry about in the future. "Tyseal" uses the "donut", and that like the lead/oakum is NOT a source of failure. The difference is that Tyseal hubs are designed for the donut and lead/oakum hubs were not, (and did not have to be), so their dimensions and quality control may not fit the donut you try to ue.
  7. lza206

    lza206 Steamfitter

    Seattle, WA

    What you're saying is that modern CI hub and spigot pipe would be great for a compression type gasket, but old hub and spigot may have too much variation in the diameter of the hub. So if I was to replace the lead bend, I'm guessing I should use the tightest fitting compression gasket I can find? If I could start over, I would skip the PVC and go with no hub!
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