Lead pipe to copper

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Qwain76

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I live in the Chicago NW suburbs. We still have lead pipes for main water line. There is an ongoing replacement program by the villages that will last for the next 20 yrs, but for now I have to stay with my lead pipes.

The city water line (lead pipe) comes in my basement, goes to a short galvanized pipe and a shutoff valve and to the meter. After the meter it's all copper piping (done by previous owner).
I have a leak in the first fitting connecting the lead pipe to the shutoff valve. I would like to replace the first connections before the meter and replace with copper tubing from the lead pipe to the meter.
I asked several estimates and I have received astronomical requests for changing 4 ft of piping (over $2k), so I am leaning towards doing the job myself, since I have already done some plumbing (copper and PVC).
My area of unknown though is the the first connection, defining the transition between lead and copper. What are the options I have available?
Is there some sort of fitting I should use or are people soldering the connection?
Is there any city code that I need to be aware of or ask the village about?

Thanks for your help
 

Jeff H Young

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My guess is that the piping before the meter is hands off its the water company's issue. since our meters are out at the curb or at side of road in a box the entire line to the house is our problem. our gas meters are at house and if there is a gas leak feeding the meter that's not our problem unless we damaged it.
In a nut shell call your water department for advice everywhere can be different water district or county , city.
hopefully water co takes care free of charge let us know what they say , it just a phone call
 

Qwain76

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Thanks for the reply.
See attached pictures of the situation and of the incriminated fitting.

The lead pipe (coming from the right in the pics) has an external diam of 1-1/8” while the downstream copper piped are 7/8”

Let me know how you suggest to proceed

B8EA7E91-9B3A-4199-91D2-0E1836E94464.jpeg
34C16C25-3096-40A6-8884-73897732CC2D.jpeg
 

Weekend Handyman

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I am not a pro.

I believe, in my area, that would be the city’s problem. I would start with a call to see if it is something the would fix.
 

Qwain76

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I already spoke with the village. They are responsible until the shutoff valve in the street. After that it’s mine.

So I have to deal with it
 

Terry

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They do make brass threaded nipples in 3/4"
If a person was careful and you had some room on the left side to make up some plus or minus, the union could be disassembled and the new brass nipple used.
Or maybe it's way harder than that with lead to the right. Haven't had to work with lead like that on the West Coast.
 

Jeff H Young

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I already spoke with the village. They are responsible until the shutoff valve in the street. After that it’s mine.

So I have to deal with it
Not disagreeing but if the village is replacing all the lead pipe over the next 20 years. why do you need to repair it?
 

Jeff H Young

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Your welcome Quaine76, Ive never worked with lead pipe. Breplum had good idea of the UTC fitting in post # 3 . I see another called Lead-loc I think looks like a possible choice .
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I've never worked with lead water pipe either but I would imagine that we are looking at a flared union where the nut on the union is slid over the lead tube, the lead tube is flared then tightened and sealed by the union. The other end is threaded where the galvanized pipe connects.

If I were to encounter this professionally I would be coming up with several options to present to the homeowner.

1- Determine the rate of leakage and see if it can be left alone and hope that the galvanized rusts itself closed again.
2- Take the union apart, inspect the lead surface to ensure its not pitted, torn or otherwise compromised. If Okeh, we would remove the galvanized from the brass union end and replace with new and test the connection before proceeding to repipe.
3- If the lead is compromised in any way, replace to the meter and repipe.
 
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