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Thread: Replacing lead bend clarification

  1. #1
    DIY Member Hillel's Avatar
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    Default Replacing lead bend clarification

    Hello All,

    Thank you so much to everyone here who have left some great advice for those of us with DIY Syndrome. I am in a situation similar to this thread, but also requiring an offset flange. Unfortunately, I cannot get a camera into the tiny crawlspace below to get a good picture. Following the advice already found on this forum, the plan is to cut the lead above the brass ferrule, use an offset PVC flange that goes inside a 4" pipe, and use the 4" PVC outside the pipe into a fernco connector on the brass ferrule.

    My question is that the top of the brass ferrule where the lead bend meets the cast iron bell has a bump or ridge at the top. You can see this in every other picture of a lead bend on this forum. Should the ridge be cut off and the fernco connector placed on the straight part below it, or cut above the ridge and put the fernco connector around the ridge?

    Thanks.
    ---Hillel

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    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Cut the lead off as close as you can to the brass ferrule, then melt the remaining lead from the brass ferrule wiping it clean of any lead. Let it cool and then connect with fernco or what ever is code in your state.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ferrule

    The brass ferrule is tapered so it would fit into the lead bend. I would not couple on to it but many do. The proper thing is to remove the ferrule and lead/oakum a piece of cast iron into the hub. If you are redoing it in plastic, why do you need an offset collar. That is normally a fix for a bad installation, but you are making a new installation. Do you plan on screwing it up ahead of time?

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    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Depending where you live, lead bars are outlawed. You can't find them anywhere in my neck of the woods. We can still get 50/50 solder , but lead bars are out of the question.
    PC4 was used for a little while to replace the lead and oakum in the cast hubs, but because of the high asbestos content, they removed it from the market.

    the hubless clamps do a good job if you cannot , or do not wish to go the lead and oakum route.

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krow View Post
    Depending where you live, lead bars are outlawed. You can't find them anywhere in my neck of the woods. We can still get 50/50 solder , but lead bars are out of the question.
    PC4 was used for a little while to replace the lead and oakum in the cast hubs, but because of the high asbestos content, they removed it from the market.

    the hubless clamps do a good job if you cannot , or do not wish to go the lead and oakum route.
    What do you do if you need to pour a lead joint? We can still get 5 pound ingots here. http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/leadingotpure.htm The link is a place in Cali selling the lead by the pound and will ship to you. Its funny cause we can buy lead bars but 50/50 solder is a huge no no. If an inspecter finds a roll of 50/50 on the job site he will make you tear out all your work and start from scratch.
    Last edited by SewerRatz; 01-30-2009 at 05:47 PM.

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    Plumber in Previous Life sixlashes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    What do you do if you need to pour a lead joint?
    I wouldn't use hot lead to pour a joint at all. No need really.

    If you need to redo a hub connection, you would use oakum as before and lead wool. You push the lead wool into the joint and use a compaction tool (looks like a chisel with a blunt curved blade) to hammer the lead wool into a solid joint. The oakum is your watertight seal and the lead is your mechanical joint.

    Having said all of that, I haven't bought any lead wool for quite a while. Hopefully it is still available. Using hot lead is a pain. Both the metal itself and the fumes are not good for your health.

  7. #7
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    What do you do if you need to pour a lead joint? We can still get 5 pound ingots here. http://www.rotometals.com/product-p/leadingotpure.htm The link is a place in Cali selling the lead by the pound and will ship to you. Its funny cause we can buy lead bars but 50/50 solder is a huge no no. If an inspecter finds a roll of 50/50 on the job site he will make you tear out all your work and start from scratch.
    We have to circumvent pouring of any lead joints. We would have to cut that section out and replace with the appropriate fitting and hubless couplings. I don't think they will let those ingots over the border (Don't ask me why, I have never tried to order lead ingots from Cali). We see lead bends and piping, we are to highly recommend to the client to have it removed and replace with ABS, CPVC, copper , or Cast Iron. Our province is currently trying to get homeowners to replace their old lead water services, using the "lead poisoning " scare tactic. They will probably be going gang-busters with it in the Spring of 2010. Pretty soon they will probably won't be able to sell a home without changing the water service from lead to copper( I'm only guessing on my last comment . I'm a big beleiver of conspiracies)

    We use 50/50 for copper drains and vents. Water pipe is "Lead Free" solder.

  8. #8
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixlashes View Post
    I wouldn't use hot lead to pour a joint at all. No need really.

    If you need to redo a hub connection, you would use oakum as before and lead wool. You push the lead wool into the joint and use a compaction tool (looks like a chisel with a blunt curved blade) to hammer the lead wool into a solid joint. The oakum is your watertight seal and the lead is your mechanical joint.

    Having said all of that, I haven't bought any lead wool for quite a while. Hopefully it is still available. Using hot lead is a pain. Both the metal itself and the fumes are not good for your health.
    Lead wool is not allowed in Illinois. They sell it just as just as the hardware stores sell AAV's here. But when an inspector comes in and inspects your cast iron joints it best be hot poured. And if you are putting PVC or copper into a CI hub best have a hub adapter in there. They are really strict about this stuff.

  9. #9
    DIY Member Hillel's Avatar
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    Default Working in tiny crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    The brass ferrule is tapered so it would fit into the lead bend. I would not couple on to it but many do. The proper thing is to remove the ferrule and lead/oakum a piece of cast iron into the hub. If you are redoing it in plastic, why do you need an offset collar. That is normally a fix for a bad installation, but you are making a new installation. Do you plan on screwing it up ahead of time?
    The vertical piece of the cast iron pipe is offset about 2 inches of the hole in the floor due to the proximity of a floor joist and what I would guess is the need for extra clearance for the bell in the CI to lead connection. (The houses in my neighborhood seem to have been built by Howard, Fine, and Howard.) An offset flange to a PVC pipe would fit perfectly. If I could cut the CI pipe where it is horizontal, then I could switch to PVC and use an elbow with a straight flange. Unfortunately, the pipes under the floor are at the end of a tiny crawlspace, so getting in there with a torch to melt any lead or a large enough saw to cut the CI pipe is out of the question. I can get in there with a socket wrench to tighten a fernco connector, so that seems to be the available option here.

    Alternately, is the donut connector for putting a 4" PVC pipe directly into a CI bell up to code in most places?

    Thanks.
    ---Hillel
    Last edited by Hillel; 01-31-2009 at 05:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The donut for the hub is code compliant. The kicker is that cast iron is often close, but not all the same size in the hub (the internal dimensions are standard, though). They make lots of sizes, but the supply companies usually only stock a few, and if you have an oddball, you might have to order the right one.

    The quicker way to cut CI, is to snap it with a special chain cutter...wrap it around the pipe, attach it to the other end, tighten it up with the attached wrench until it snaps...takes longer to talk about it than do it. Make sure that the pipe is well supported, it's heavy, you don't want it to fall on you!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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