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Thread: Removing drum trap in lead drain

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member jastori's Avatar
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    Default Removing drum trap in lead drain

    Attached is a picture of our existing tub drain. The sink, tub, and toilet drain is original ~1920s lead into a cast iron stack. A prior owner replaced the tub and connected 1.5" PVC from the new tub drain to the lead drum trap with a fernco (see picture). The bathroom tile floor has a rough hole in it to access the drum trap from above. My wife is not too fond of the hole in the floor, and the tub drain is currently clogged up (the toilet drain seems to be working fine).

    We are wondering if we could replace the drum trap with a 1.5" PVC trap, and still tie into the existing lead drain with a fernco or something similar. Is there a reason that all the lead needs to be replaced? It appears to be in good condition, and is not currently leaking. Will removing the drum trap lead to less clogs? We are also wondering whether the slipfit plastic drain should be replaced with glued PVC to enable future snaking, and reduce the chance for leaks. This tub is the only tub / shower in the house, and needs to serve 2 adults (shower) and 2 toddlers (bath).

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!
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  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Drum traps belong with button shoes and buggy whips. Yes, it can be replaced with a P trap. Your connections should be made with no hub, aka banded, couplings. They are similar to the neoprene sleeve as pictured, but they have a stainless steel band around the whole sleeve. Neoprene couplers like you have are not supposed to be used above ground as they don't provide enough support to the joint, and while they obviously work, the no hub is better. As far a removing the lead, I'll leave that to the pros. If it was mine, I'd replace it, but that's just me. Besides the dangers of lead, I'd be concerned that the lead might deform when clamping the no hub. Don't that this last part as the final or best answer.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I saw this posting in another forum. The lead drum trap drains via a lead line into a lead closet bend... Its all got to go to get a reliable drain connection.

  4. #4
    Plumber gear junkie's Avatar
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    Why not take out that fitting and run a snake to clear the clog? Easy day if you're past the drum trap.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    He's not past the drum trap. You would snake a lead line? Better get damage waivers filled out!

    Here is the rest of his pictures...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/26202292@N07/

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Tha is nasty....

    that is one that makes me shiver just looking at it....


    the fernco fitting tied into the arm is your best shot at victory.....


    I would suggest cutting that arm out with a hack saw and
    not a sawzall

    that will keep from shakeing the toilet arm..
    and possibly warping the lead line you want to tie onto....

    then get the fernco fitting and use some pvc glue
    on the lead arm and on the inside of the fernco...

    the glue actually helps make the neopreme adhere to the the lead joint.....

    tighten it down then run your pvc to the trap...




    that takes me back to days long gone......
    thank god for that..too

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Plumber Mark, why wouldn't you take out the drum trap, install a P trap, and get rid of all of the lead pipe?

  8. #8
    Plumber gear junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    He's not past the drum trap. You would snake a lead line? Better get damage waivers filled out!

    Here is the rest of his pictures...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/26202292@N07/
    Thanks for heads up. I would definently not snake a lead line. How did you see the rest of his pics? I can only see one in his original post.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking sorry, that is what I meant to say

    Sorry, but that is what I meant to mean...

    cut it all out back to the arm comming off the toilet
    adn install the fernco then a new trap to the tub...


    the drum trap has got to go

    but that will be sloppy

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear junkie View Post
    How did you see the rest of his pics? I can only see one in his original post.
    The poster had it also posted in another on-line forum. In that forum he posted the link to all 3 pics.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member jastori's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for all of the feedback....

    I apologize for the confusion about the missing pictures - I had posted on another forum with a link to the 3 pictures.

    I very much appreciate all of the comments and advice!

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