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Old 01-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #1
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


Hi,

I need to replace a horizontal cast iron pipe that connects to a bell on the side of a vertical cast iron pipe. I'll need to remove the lead & oakum in that joint. I was recently told by an asbestos inspector that the oakum in these joints is usually an asbestos rope and is highly friable. My house was built in 1925 so I'm assuming this is true.

However, I find it strange that after much searching I cannot find a single post anywhere about there being any exposure risk involved with cleaning out one of these bell/spigot joints.

I have already removed a lead pipe from another bell fitting, this one was vertical. The material below the lead did not look like rope though. It didn't appear fibrous in anyway. It was light brown in color and resembled wood filler or putty. It was approximately 1/4" thick at the most.

To be safe, I'm planning on wearing a 3M 6000 series mask with P100 pancake filters while doing this. The joint is in my crawl space so I'm not worried about contaminating the indoor air. I think that will make the process safe but I'd like to understand what I'm dealing with


So, couple of questions:

1) Does anyone have any ideas about what may have been below the lead in the vertical bell joint I've already cleared out?

2) Does anyone happen to know when asbestos oakum came into use? 1926?


Thanks,
George

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Old 01-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #2
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


I've never heard of such a thing.
I am wondering why your even trying to undo these joints and not just cutting out all the old leak prone cast and replacing with PVC?
Even if you were trying to splice in a piece or add a fitting why not just use a chain cutter and snap it off then use a hubbless connector to put it back together.
That way you do not have to mess with the soldered connection.

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Old 01-26-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


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I was recently told by an asbestos inspector that
Ayuh,.... Sounds like a fear tactic to drum up more business...
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:00 AM   #4
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


@joecaption

I'm replacing the horizontal pipe with PVC. The vert pipe it connects to goes into the ground and replacing it is more of a job than I feel comfortable tackling. It's also in decent condition. I'm using a 4" to 3" rubber donut to to transition to PVC from the bell.

I'd rather go with the hubless connector but this particular pipe is in terrible condition. It's so unevenly rusted that I don't think I could get an air tight seal with the hubless connector and probably not even a clean break with the chain cutter.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


Milwaukee makes really great abrasive sawzall blades for cutting cast iron. I think they're like 15 bucks a piece, but when you have a crappy piece of pipe, a snap cutter just won't do.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


my dad use to do research on asbestos and i wish i could remember the percentage but i can not but it was very high of the amount of people that got lung cancer that had asbestos particles in there lungs also smoked. and what tops it off is smoking gives lung cancer to more people than asbestos has and it is still legal and second hand smoke can give cancer to.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


well he is a researcher, scientist
in my opinion is it not funny how our legal system works it all depends on how they can capitalize more money in it for them to charge a sin tax and call it a persons right and the at the same time make laws with heavy fines on things not desired to be used any more like asbestos or lead
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


I can still buy oakum for what you have its is the same today as it was in 1901. no Asbestos.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


Quote:
Originally Posted by george.cox View Post
Hi,

I need to replace a horizontal cast iron pipe that connects to a bell on the side of a vertical cast iron pipe. I'll need to remove the lead & oakum in that joint. I was recently told by an asbestos inspector that the oakum in these joints is usually an asbestos rope and is highly friable. My house was built in 1925 so I'm assuming this is true.

However, I find it strange that after much searching I cannot find a single post anywhere about there being any exposure risk involved with cleaning out one of these bell/spigot joints.

I have already removed a lead pipe from another bell fitting, this one was vertical. The material below the lead did not look like rope though. It didn't appear fibrous in anyway. It was light brown in color and resembled wood filler or putty. It was approximately 1/4" thick at the most.

To be safe, I'm planning on wearing a 3M 6000 series mask with P100 pancake filters while doing this. The joint is in my crawl space so I'm not worried about contaminating the indoor air. I think that will make the process safe but I'd like to understand what I'm dealing with


So, couple of questions:

1) Does anyone have any ideas about what may have been below the lead in the vertical bell joint I've already cleared out?

2) Does anyone happen to know when asbestos oakum came into use? 1926?


Thanks,
George
Oakum does not have asbestos in it. all my union Pluming books and stuff I have Oakum never had asbestos in it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


wow something else blown out off proportion just to finally find someone that has done research to answer the postee s question with confidence and education hats off
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


Oakum, is our friend. I used handle it and then ate witout washing my hands when I was in my teens. Am I going to die no doubt, But it won't. Be from the oakum.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


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I never said Oakum contains asbestos.
Ayuh,... Then why are ya muckin' up this thread with all the Fear tactics,..??
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Asbestos in lead & oakum bell joint?


George....The possibility of coming across asbestos oakum is great.
I'm a construction electrician who started working as an apprentice in 1974.
Yep... you bet! The pipe fitters and the plumbers, all of them used to carry rolls and rolls of the white asbestos rope (oakum) to stuff tight into and around the chase (hole in the concrete floor) and then they would cook lead and pour the molten lead on top of the asbestos rope and after it would cool...voila, no more hole No need to get a cement finisher to mix up portland cement for the job.

Sometimes after years, this asbestos rope would loosen and fall down to the floor below or it would just land up there on a cable tray some where. I know this for a fact cuz I found some asbestos oakum in a Kansas City Airport cable tray at about the year 2000. I had it tested by a lab and it was 97% asbestos!

Also, back then (1970s) ....plumbers used to stuff the asbestos rope into the bell pipe flange and pour their molten lead on top of that. Made a real good seal.
You can cut carefully and slowly with a hack saw, but don't use a grinding wheel. Squirt some water to keep the fibers down if you want to.

While you are at it...stay away from the old 7 inch floor tiles if they are in your home...they contain asbestos too.

Your P100 filter is a hepa filter good for 99.97 % of a certain size/profile fiber. It will stop all asbestos fibers just fine. Make sure you have a perfect seal on your face, so get rid of the beard.

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