What torch do I need?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by DavidTu, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. DavidTu

    DavidTu Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've decided to replace a short section of pipe that is quite corroded inside and/or has lots of deposits on the walls. (This was my previous "leprosy" post.) Anyway, what sort of torch do I need in order to loosen up the old oakum and lead joint that connects this pipe to a very heavy-duty Wye (right before it exits building)? Also, please give your tips for how best to do it.

    I'm not clear if there are different torches for copper vs. cast iron joints... different temperatures... different flame shapes, etc? Please advise.

    Thanks!
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You are better off drilling the lead and using a screw driver to pry the old lead out.
    Just because you heat the pipe up, it doesn't always mean that the lead will be smart enough to fall out of the joint.
    It takes a big torch to heat up a 4" cast iron pipe.
    I don't even try.
  3. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Big as in a #7 rosebud tip which takes a lot of gas to feed such as a professional welding

    shop may have !

    Do what terry says and drill it out !

    By the way when using a big torch you have to be aware of methane gas coming up the

    sewer pipe !
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    An oxy-acetylene cutting torch so you can use the oxygen lance to blow the melted lead out of the joint. Otherwise the torch will just melt the lead and then it will harden just like it was.
  5. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    There is a tool called a lead pick but finding one is near impossible. Mephisto tool might have one
  6. 3m

    3m New Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    NY
    You also run a chance of cracking the cast iron with a torch
  7. DavidTu

    DavidTu Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks everyone for all your advice--especially the bit about not blowing myself up, would not have thought of that! I ended up drilling it out as per Terry's suggestion. It worked all right but took a while and killed two bits.

    Now I need to find a Fernco or other donut-style fitting to mate the old and new CI pipes.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    NEVER cracked a cast iron hub with a blowtorch OR a cutting torch.
  9. steelers fan

    steelers fan In the Trades

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    va
    I have actualy pulled them with a #2 on a mc tank
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