Method of removing lead joint from cast iron hub

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Al S

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Hello,
I have a 1955 cast iron hub with a 2 in galvanized pipe in what looks like 3 inch cast iron hub with a lead joint. The hub and pipe are vertical and I am seeking advice as to removing the lead that surrounds the pipe.

I've seen examples of drilling out the joint with dozens of holes using a 1/4 drill. Other examples involved heating the joint with map gas. My concern is whether there is a way to remove the joint without the the packing or hunks of lead falling into the cast iron pipe, given that the cast iron is vertical.

Thank you,

Al
 
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Sylvan

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A decent plumbing supply may have a chisel we use to remove lead from a hub.

The chisel end is offset approximately 45 deg.

As you use a small ballpein hammer the end of the chisel as it bores though the lead and lifts it out
 

Al S

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If there is a clean out below on that pipe you could stuff a rag down the pipe to where you can reach in the clean out and pull the debris out. Or use a wet vac while you drill and pry out the lead and okum.
Actually there is a clean out port. That might be helpful should a big chunk of okum drop down when lifting out the galvanized pipe, potentially causing a clog downstream. Thank you very much
 

Modulerics

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I had to do this the other day on 4 inch. I found drilling holes and prying out w a flat head to work decent. I don't want to recommend it but I also used a chisel tip on a hammer drill (Hilti) to help loosen it up. Once I'd got about 3/4 maybe a lil less of the lead cleaned out I was able to free the ferrule. I also used an old Sawzall blade to scrape out the oakum to free up space.
 

Sylvan

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Actually there is a clean out port. That might be helpful should a big chunk of okum drop down when lifting out the galvanized pipe, potentially causing a clog downstream. Thank you very much
If the joint was properly made there is no way to remove oakum from the bottom

For example when I had to use a galvanized pipe in a hub I would take a galvanized coupling and cut it in half to take up the area inside the hub
 

Al S

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If the joint was properly made there is no way to remove oakum from the bottom
Hi. Can you explain why the oakum is not able to be removed? Isn't oakum just oiled hemp - a fibrous material? I know it packed in tight to seal the lead being poured. Not sure why it cannot be removed. This post is a first that claims this from my searches.
 

Terry

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Hi. Can you explain why the oakum is not able to be removed? Isn't oakum just oiled hemp - a fibrous material? I know it packed in tight to seal the lead being poured. Not sure why it cannot be removed. This post is a first that claims this from my searches.
Once the lead and the pipe has been removed, the oakum will be laying at the bottom of the hub, yes, it can be lifted out and tossed.
Options are to pour a new joint with new oakum, or use a rubber donut which sets in the hub and the pipe gets pushed into it.

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DIYorBust

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I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do, but could you cut the galvanized clean with a steel tubing cutter and then attach a no-hub coupling? That would be so much easier.
 

Terry

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I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do, but could you cut the galvanized clean with a steel tubing cutter and then attach a no-hub coupling? That would be so much easier.
Yes, you can cut the 1.5" and couple it, but when I have a chance to upgrade to a 2" pipe, I do it every chance I get.
For instance, you can have one lav on 1.5" but change that to 2" and now you can have two. It's also better for a washer, which we currently do in 2" anyway. It's no longer the '60's.
 

DIYorBust

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Yes, you can cut the 1.5" and couple it, but when I have a chance to upgrade to a 2" pipe, I do it every chance I get.
For instance, you can have one lav on 1.5" but change that to 2" and now you can have two. It's also better for a washer, which we currently do in 2" anyway. It's no longer the '60's.
No disagreement there, but the OP says he has 2" galvanized:

Hello,
I have a 1955 cast iron hub with a 2 in galvanized pipe in what looks like 3 inch cast iron hub with a lead joint. The hub and pipe are vertical and I am seeking advice as to removing the lead that surrounds the pipe.

I've seen examples of drilling out the joint with dozens of holes using a 1/4 drill. Other examples involved heating the joint with map gas. My concern is whether there is a way to remove the joint without the the packing or hunks of lead falling into the cast iron pipe, given that the cast iron is vertical.

Thank you,

Al
Technically, it is the '20s, so lead and oakum hub may be coming back in. Stranger things have happened in the last five years.

Edit: well I guess he could be talking about the O.D. of the pipe since it does seem like an unusual situation to have a 2" galvanized tub drain, but I'm not really sure.
 
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Terry

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He's talking about the OD of the pipe. I have never seen a 2" galvanized pipe leaded into a cast hub fitting. And he is right, it is 2" measured to the outside. We call them 1.5" ID pipes.
I use a 2-1/8 drill bit for that when drilling studs in a wall. 2-9/16" for a 2" pipe.
 

DIYorBust

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Yes, that makes more sense. And I'm guessing they didn't make a hub type 1.5" CI pipe, so under 2 inches they went to threaded galvanized at the time. Still through, if it's just a tub drain, and you're DIY, do you really want to chip out all that lead for a slightly faster draining tub? Then again, I don't know what he's doing, maybe the drain will serve something else.
 

Al S

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He's talking about the OD of the pipe. I have never seen a 2" galvanized pipe leaded into a cast hub fitting. And he is right, it is 2" measured to the outside. We call them 1.5" ID pipes.
I use a 2-1/8 drill bit for that when drilling studs in a wall. 2-9/16" for a 2" pipe.
In my application, the galvanized pipe measure very close to 1.9" OD. The best I can see from the hub ID is a bit over 3"
 

Al S

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Once the lead and the pipe has been removed, the oakum will be laying at the bottom of the hub, yes, it can be lifted out and tossed.
Options are to pour a new joint with new oakum, or use a rubber donut which sets in the hub and the pipe gets pushed into it.
galv-pipe-resized.jpg
 

DIYorBust

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2 Inch would be better on a kitchen sink for sure, but. But is it worth the de-leading job might be a tough call. If you break that cast iron fitting trying to do it, you are in for a rough ride.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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That looks like just about the easiest possible scenario for removing lead from around a steel pipe. Have a few 1/4" metal drill bits on hand. Absolutely replace it with 2" and a rubber fernco donut.



That might be helpful should a big chunk of okum drop down when lifting out the galvanized pipe, potentially causing a clog downstream.

If the joint was properly made there is no way to remove oakum from the bottom
Hi. Can you explain why the oakum is not able to be removed? Isn't oakum just oiled hemp - a fibrous material? I know it packed in tight to seal the lead being poured. Not sure why it cannot be removed. This post is a first that claims this from my searches.

Just a misinterpretation.
 
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