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Old 01-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #16
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


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I know this is late, but are you sure the pipe coming out of the wall is lead? I hope experienced plumbers will disagree with me on this if I am incorrect, but I can not recall seeing a lead arm in a wall like you describe. All I have seen is cast iron or galv steel. Of course I am in God's country(Tennessee), and those yankees might have done things differently 50 years ago, if you live up north.
Absolutely. It is lead for sure. The whole house has lead drain pipes that lead to the cast iron. All the showers and sinks. We cut it by hand with a hack saw blade and it was relatively easy to cut. It's definitely lead.

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Old 01-24-2011, 04:54 PM   #17
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Crazy idea then: Could you get a 1 1/2" or a 1 1/4" brass trap arm to fit inside the lead stub out, then just put a hose clamp on the lead and tighten it up???
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:58 PM   #18
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


BTW, the plumber estimated between 2-3 hours to do the work if the wall was already opened up (which we would do). I know good and well it wouldn't take 2-3 hours to wipe on a new flange/pipe. The hang-up seems to be the flange itself. There's another sink adjacent to this one and the plumber said he could remove the old pipe out of that one and wipe in a new one. So I am assuming the flange is some kind of secret part that isn't available anymore or something. I say this because both plumbers said "that was a mistake" when I told them I cut the old flange off. So I guess I'm wondering what the difference is if the flange would still be attached and he melted out the old lead, pulled the old pipe out, and wiped in a new pipe vs. starting from scratch by putting a new flange on and wiping in a new pipe.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


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Crazy idea then: Could you get a 1 1/2" or a 1 1/4" brass trap arm to fit inside the lead stub out, then just put a hose clamp on the lead and tighten it up???
Well, I was looking to see the inside diameter of the lead to see if I couuld insert a brass pipe to prevent it from crushing. It looks to be 1 1/16"-1 1/8". So the 1 1/4" pipe won't fit inside. I'm sure the lead could be flared out somehow but I'm not sure you could tighten the lead down onto it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #20
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Well good luck buddy!! I am not trying to split hairs, but is the word "hub" more descriptive of the thing you keep calling a "flange"? A hub or bell is probably what was in that lead that you cut out. I am just trying to picture what your deal looks like. GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #21
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


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Which seems more labor intensive?
Ayuh,... As Usual,... the Right Way....
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:25 PM   #22
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Well good luck buddy!! I am not trying to split hairs, but is the word "hub" more descriptive of the thing you keep calling a "flange"? A hub or bell is probably what was in that lead that you cut out. I am just trying to picture what your deal looks like. GOOD LUCK!!
I posted a picture of the flange I cut off the 1 1/2" lead pipe.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #23
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Well, I'm not trying to be difficult or do a cruddy job here. I don't think wiping on a new 1 1/4" pipe to the existing lead is doing it wrong. I could see if the lead was in poor shape or something. Yes, installing a Fernco coupler onto the lead is not the best solution. Taking all the lead out obviously seems like the best solution. What is the proper way to transition from the cast iron to plastic?
Thanks for all your advice!
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:25 PM   #24
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Sorry Turbo I was not counting on a lath and plaster wall. Something you might want to avoid ripping out unless that is within your skill set.

You are correct, the ribbed fitting is what plumbers use, some call it a "doughnut" as you stated.

I was not really equating the amount of labour but what the cost may be. I assumed you would do the wall thing yourself at little or no cost. If it is plaster that changes the game.

I have wiped on new lead flanges and it does not take that long. Tricky on old stuff but not impossible.

I'm not sure what a plumber in your area would charge to do that part though.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:09 PM   #25
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Sorry Turbo I was not counting on a lath and plaster wall. Something you might want to avoid ripping out unless that is within your skill set.

You are correct, the ribbed fitting is what plumbers use, some call it a "doughnut" as you stated.

I was not really equating the amount of labour but what the cost may be. I assumed you would do the wall thing yourself at little or no cost. If it is plaster that changes the game.

I have wiped on new lead flanges and it does not take that long. Tricky on old stuff but not impossible.

I'm not sure what a plumber in your area would charge to do that part though.
I understand. It's no big deal. I know you're just trying to help. Yeah, I'd do the wall myself if it came down to that. No easy like you said but we've done it before.

If I could find a plumber who is willing to do it, that would be great. I guess I'll keep looking. I just don't get why the flange being cut off is such a huge issue.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:25 PM   #26
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Plumbers around here seem to be in the $85-95/hour range. I'd pay somebody for their time to do it. That's not really the issue. It's finding somebody to do it. I guess they are all just too busy to mess with a small job like that.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:20 AM   #27
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


Yes a lot of the really skilled folks are usually hard to get.

Trouble with your project is that a lot of qualified guys hate lead. If they do the work they have to make sure it is right and go good for it if there is an issue later. In most cases the going all plastic is the method of choice since it has less chance of a mess up. Also the guy doing the plumbing won't be the one to fix the plaster which in my mind requires an artist.

Don't give up though. There are a lot of folks that need extra money in times like this and even if they decide against the job they may give you some good on site pointers.

Good luck and don't sweat the small stuff, no pun intended.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:11 AM   #28
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Haha. Yeah, I just have to keep looking for the right guy who is willing to do this work. Youíd think if the plumbers wanted more work because of any slow down, they would get over their lead phobia and do it. Heck, there are 14 other sinks in the house and we arenít going to tear out plaster walls, etc every time a J-bend starts leaking. I even told the one plumber.

Iíve also seen glued plastic joints leak so they arenít bullet proof either. It seems to me that doing a lead joint under the basin where you can see if it ever starts to drip is as ďriskyĒ as doing all new plastic. With the plastic and the doughnut, itís all hidden in the wall where you might not detect a leak until damage has occurred.

Anyway, weíll keep plugging away at it.
Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:04 AM   #29
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


BTW, what does the "flange" look like under all of that lead (in the pictures I posted)? Is it like a large washer that fits over the lead pipe then the 1 1/4" brass pipe is wiped into that?
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #30
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Lead Drain Pipe Project


I know I'll probably get chastised for this option..... But if we have to get into the wall, what about cutting off the lead right before the brass ferrule and then carefully melting/softening up the lead and cleaning up the ferrule. Then we can use a Fernco coupler and securely join that to the 1 1/2" plastic and go from there. That to me is more stable than removing the ferrule and dealing with that doughnut--which apparently can be tricky to get to seal. The only thing I don't know at this point is the diameter of the ferrule and I haven't seen a Fernco that can join two different diameter pipes (small ones like these anyway).

What do you all think?
Thanks.

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