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Old 11-09-2007, 02:14 AM   #1
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Cast iron vent and ceiling leak


Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a cape cod home built in the 1940s. Recently I noticed many large brown wet spots on the ceiling tiles in an unused bedroom. I squeezed into the attic crawl space and found a cast iron pipe that is dripping water (about a drop every 10 seconds) at a corroded joint. I molded plumber's putty around the joint and put a cake pan underneath it for now.

1. Is this the sewer vent pipe?

2. Where is this water coming from?

3. Will the plumber's putty stop the leak or will the water seep inbetween the putty and pipe down the pipe now and end up somewhere else?

4. Do I call a plumber?

5. How expensive is this to fix?

6. Can I fix this myself and how? The crawl space is ridiculously small. I can only lay down and inch my way slowly through to the pipe.


Last edited by iboya; 11-09-2007 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
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Cast iron vent and ceiling leak


I am guessing since I cannot see it. It does sound like a vent pipe. The moisture is probably condensation since the temps are changing. Warm air in the pipe and cooler air surrounding it is causing condensation inside the pipe. You MAY be able to take a chisel and reseal the lead in the joint by tapping all the way around the joint. Plumbers putty will not help. Silicone would be better, but make sure the joint is clean and dry before doing this. Good luck.

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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Cast iron vent and ceiling leak


Thank you.

"You MAY be able to take a chisel and reseal the lead in the joint by tapping all the way around the joint"

Do I buy lead or Silicone?
If I go to home depot would they tell me how to do this?
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Cast iron vent and ceiling leak


When a lead joint is installed, Okum is pushed down into the joint between the pipe and the hub of the other piece of pipe. Lead is then poured into the joint. After it cools a bit, tools are used to compress and seal the joint. The tools look like chisels but with angled ends on them to seal the lead against the pipe and hub. These tools are hard to find now since lead joints are not poured very often. A chisel with the end flattened a bit will work. What you are trying to do is push the lead up against the pipe and the hub. This can be done without adding any more lead. The joint may have moved from vibration and loosened the seal. If you do not have the room to do this, apply silicone to seal the leak.
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