Lead Bend Repair?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Zuber, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Zuber

    Zuber New Member

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    Is it possible to repair a hole/tear in a lead bend?

    Concrete foundation & Lead Bend is attached to PVC (see attached Photos)

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  4. Zuber

    Zuber New Member

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  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Unless you have the tools, materials, and skills to reproduce a lead bend, there is not much hope in trying to repair one that is damaged.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Suppose he just spreads it out against the existing lead?
     
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Some jobs are not DIY. There are times to realize that and know when to call the professional.
     
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    The focus must always be on making a repair that will last as long as the rest of the piping system. Any repair that will not pass a pressure test is not a viable repair.
     
  9. Zuber

    Zuber New Member

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    You sound like one of those professionals Gary was talking about up yonder. So how would you complete this repair?
     
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Most of the guys that made lead bends and wiped joints passed away years ago. They were the artisans of the trade in their time.
    Thankfully, where I am there is almost no slab on grade construction and most buildings have basements, making the rest of the plumbing accessible. From what I have seen, the most common cure for a damaged lead bend is to remove the lead back to the joint and replace it with cast iron, PVC, or ABS.
     
  11. tom098

    tom098 New Member

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    Back in the old country I was taught to wipe & pour joints, lead burn (weld sheet lead).
    And produce waste and vent bends, esp. 4" closet bends, from thin wall lead pipe.
    We also learned to boss lead sheet for gullies, & intricate lead flashings.
    We used "Bobbins" & dressing sticks to make the closet bend.

    I am not dead. Neither was I, or ever will be, an "artisan of my trade" - I just got on with it.
    And, like all the other apprentices, I hated everything about bossing and wiping.

    To answer the post: dont even try a repair - snap the line further back and use no-hub to tie in a new bend and ring.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Would you say the same if the pipe and bend is set in concrete?
     
  13. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Yes.

    Concrete is not a problem, it only slows down progess a bit.
     
  14. tom098

    tom098 New Member

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    Thank you - your posts are spot on. Yes.
    Once the thin wall lead starts fading or splitting its gone - unless you want to risk call backs all the way to the wiped on thimble?

    For the DIY'er no way should they be attempting to "solder" the lead - I think cutting the concrete is actually easier in terms of knowledge & time for a DIY'er.
    There's the matter of dealing with the finished floor but I've only had a few objections once the possibilities were explained.

    There are guys in the field & on youtube who do repairs but its not for me.

    But thanks Reach4, for your reference, and comments on my suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  15. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    One of my nursing home accounts is in a building over 40 years old and when the maintenance staff removes an old toilet many times the brass floor flange will also come up with the bowl .

    To make the correct repair the leads bend has to be really clean removing all the oxidation ( I use a wire brush on a drill for this) wear a mask

    The brass ferrule should be the extra deep type and also shined as much as possible and all flux to the lead pipe pipe and flange

    Place a rag down the pipe so when your lead wiping or soldering the flange and bar solder ( I suggest 40 -60) you the extra solder will land in the rag and not go down the soil line.

    It is not that difficult to do as I told several maintenance guys and women how to do it .


    The hard part is cleaning both the existing lead pipe and the brass flange. Soldering or lead wiping is easy . If the ancient Greeks could have installed lead wiped water mains and waste lines then a modern day person should find it easy with the proper solder and flux

    I have leaded wiped and lead burned joints over 50 years ago and I can honestly say not one single call back. A properly made connection can last decades
     
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  16. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    I still make a fortune lead wiping, lead burning as many of the building including churches in New York city are well over 100 years old

    Rather then ripe up the marble or inlaid wood flooring these accounts are willing to pay several hundred dollars for a repair then several thousand dollars chopping up floors

    Saving a lead bend with a newly wiped floor flange I charge around $1,200 and its takes the better part of a half hr from start to finish as cleaning the lead with shave hooks and non corrosive flux .

    They are paying for the skill not for just the materials
     
  17. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    How does one "pressure test" a floor flange installed?

    How do we "pressure test" the upper most piping on a vent terminal?

    A pressure test on drainage in most civilized areas require a 10 foot head of water which equals .433 PSI

    Pressure test .433 x height of water

    To prove take 4.33 times 2.31 = 10 feet

    So how do we get to test the lead bend with a 10 foot head of pressure on a floor flange again I would like to know?
     
  18. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    It sounds like you have a great variety of experience, and I surely do respect that. The current practices where I work do not allow us to work with lead except to remove it, and to do that we have to be suited up, and all of lead has to be contained and sent to a recycler.

    We would not normally do a pressure test for a minor repair, but yes we do use a 10 foot head or an air pressure test on everything else, and work stops until the inspector has signed off on it. Water closet risers get sealed with a compression plug or test ball, just like any other fixture.
     
  19. Zuber

    Zuber New Member

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    I want to thank everyone that took the time to offer up advise to resolve this issue, even the ones that said a DIY could not fix a lead bend.

    Plan "A" was pretty much exactly what Sylvan suggested. Only thing I did different was tinning
    the flange after cleaning it.

    Plan "B" was to rip out the lead & use a socket saver to bore out the 3" 90* then come back in with PVC. I guess if the wife calls me back for some reason I will give "B" a try.
     

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  20. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    That looks really good.

    I would be interested in hearing more about the materials and methods you used. Did you melt a stick of lead and wipe it with leathers or ??
     
  21. jtylerc

    jtylerc New Member

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    This forum helped me through the same problem and it came out great! I am not a plumber but have done lots of DIY projects and have experience with soldering. My toilet in my 1997 home was wobbly so I took it off and was surprised to find a lead bend. In fact it was pretty badly damaged and not even bolted to the floor! Someone had attempted to solder it but clearly did a bad job. I was very worried that I'd have to replace the lead bend which is encased in the concrete foundation.

    I bought a deep brass flange online, roughed up the inside surface and then pre-soldered it with 60/40 solder. Then I cleaned up the lead bend and carefully tapped it back into shape so the flange would fit. I had to pour some new concrete patch to raise up the flange so it sat on the level of the finished floor. Then I drilled 4 holes to screw in 1/4 inch Tapcons and anchored it down. Unfortunately one of the tap on screws broke off in the hole but at least I got 3 in there.

    Once the flange was anchored I applied flux to the outside of the lead bend and tapped it out against the flange. To solder I used a propane torch and was really careful to heat the flange just barely to the point where the solder would melt and suck into the joint. I added solder as I went, even though I had pre-applied solder. I wanted to make sure the gap was completely filled.

    It really wasn't too difficult and I feel really good about the end product. It seems like it will last longer than the house now! Thanks everyone.
     

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