cast iron lead packed hub removing pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by hellomoto, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. hellomoto

    hellomoto New Member

    Nov 9, 2005
    What is the best way to remove a galvanized pipe that is connected to the main waste pipe that is cast iron and the hub looks like it is lead packed? I found a book diagramed how cast iron pipes use lead packing, but doesn't say anything about what is the easiest and quickest way to remove the joint. I found a thread in this forum suggesting that a trusty screwdriver is needed to chisel out the lead, etc. Is it possible to torch the joint to soften the lead? Once the bond is soft, then the pipe can be twisted off. Any suggestions?

    Thx in advance
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A drill bit to remove the lead, then a small chisel or screwdriver to pick out the remaining? Seems that that is what I've read. You'd probably never get it hot enough to melt that lead. To make it, you typically use a lead pot to melt the lead, then a ladel to pour it into the joint.
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  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    I have removed vertical lead joints with a torch and map gas. If I can I break the pipe (ci pipe) with a hammer so all that is left is the lead. Slice the lead in 3 places with a sawsall, and pry the lead out with a large screwdriver.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2005
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If you have room to pull the pipe out, then wiggle it around in all directions to loosen the lead, then it may be able to be pulled out while twisting it. Sometimes plumbers deformed the end of the pipe and if they did that then you have to remove all the material from the joint to get the pipe out. There are many ways to remove the lead, but it depends on where the joint is, its direction, the width of the lead joint, and the tools you have available. Heating the lead does not do any good for most people because it hardens again immediately after you remove the flame, and hot lead is not really soft lead anyway unless it is melted.
  6. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    I am on board with hj. You an usually just wiggle the pipe out of the joint.
  7. hellomoto

    hellomoto New Member

    Nov 9, 2005
    Remove lead packing

    :cool: Thanks guys. I guess I will prepare to spend this coming weekend in the craw space to replace that pipe. I'll first try to loosen the pipe first before working on prying the lead out. Hopefully, it comes off easily.
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005

    If it's a horozontal joint then you can melt it out as long as you have room to get the torch on it. I use a Turbo-Torch with the large tip.
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