Removing Lead pipe fittings

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    • #273822

      I am in the midst of a problem. I have an old bathroom that I converted into
      a powder room by removing the tub. The contractor left the old length of 1
      1/2 lead pipe that used to drain the tub, and simply cut it off. Recently,
      my toilet was blocked, and water came out of that long length of lead pipe
      into my basement. I wish to remove that old pipe, and cap it off at the
      elbow where it turns, or, better yet, at the connection with the soil pipe.
      I have cut the lead pipe close to the elbow, and am now trying to remove the
      threaded adapter from the elbow. This adapter looks like a nipple with a hex
      head shoulder on it. I am currently trying to loosen the adapter with an 18″
      pipe wrench after using Liquid wrench and heat, but I am having no success. Are there any tricks or tips you
      could give me as to how to successfully remove this adapter so I can put a
      cap/cleanout plug into either the elbow or into the soil pipe? Please
      help!!!! Thanks in advance.

      Jeff Mattero

    • #288618
      fourth year

      Cut it off flush with the hex and then use a hacksaw blade to make two cuts about 1/4″ apart through the brass piece and through the threads. Then use a small chisel to remove the 1/4″ piece and then fold the rest inward a little and the brass piece will unscrew easily.

    • #288619

      eff your in luck and this job is a piece of cake.

      You lucked out by finding the solder nipple (the hex fitting)

      Simple task just pay attention FORGET the 18″ wrench its useless and the liquid wrench give to a helper to sniff in a corner as it wont do a darn thing here

      1- Get any saw and cut off the excessive length of lead pipe so you are now working like a gentleman

      2- cut about 1/2-3/4 inch from this ell bow.

      This solder nipple is brass so its soft metal and very easy to cut.

      3- Now take either a hack saw blade with duct tape on one end Or get a reciprocating saw (like a sawzall)

      NOW Here is what separates the mechanics from the apprentices SKILL in following directions.

      GENTLY saw this nipple inside wall GENTLY and slowly take your time this is not a race OK?

      Your blade should be cutting the internal wall of this brass nipple as soon as you think your getting close to the threads of the ell bow STOP

      Now move the blade either to the right or left of this 1st cut and do the same thing about 1″ AWAY SLOWLY again as soon as you are close to the threads of the ell bow STOP.

      Take either an old screw driver Or a chisel and gently using ball peen hammer knock out this small cut section out.
      Now with this piece cut out you can CAVE IN the open ends towards the inside of this brass nipple If you did it correctly you can just about unscrew this solder nipple by hand.

      Now get a 11/2 Galvanized plug with rector seal # 5 or Teflon tape or paste and screw in this plug. Congratulations you are now officially as qualified as any 5th year apprentice LOL Welcome to the club.

      Now considering you just saved yourself over $85 why not take this savings and make a small donation to the American Cancer society or St Jude childrens hospital. Thank you

      PS if you REALLY want to get away FAST cut the threads BEHIND the ell bow and buy an 11/2″ No hub cap if you have the room and just cap the pipe, BUT this takes all the enjoyment out of jobbing plumbing.

    • #288620

      Thanks a million! Actually, after reading your reply, I went in and began to melt the lead pipe close to the nipple only to find that there is a 6″ length of 1 1/2″ copper inserted into the nipple. I am now on my way to Home Depot to but a 1 1/2″ copper cap that I can solder on the end of this piece. This took all of about 5 minutes, after wasting hours yesterday trying to unscrew that adapter. Again, thanks.

    • #288621

      Sylvan and/or Fourth year:
      I went and got a cap, actually, it is a fitting that fits over 1 1/2″ copper pipe on one end, and on the other end, it has female threads. I tried it at the store, and it fit perfectly over 1 1/2″ copper pipe. since they didn’t have a male threaded copper cap, I bought one in PVC. HOWEVER, after cleaning the copper pipe, and trying to fitting, I find that both are the same diameter, and the fitting therefore won’t go over this “pipe”. Tell me, is this 6″ copper piece on the old drain a piece of pipe, or is it part of that hex fitting that screws into the ell bow? If it is part of the fitting, do they make a cap that will work with this, and what is it called? The reason I am going this route rather than the one you described, is the fact that working room is very limited, and if I start to cut the inside of the nipple, there is no turning back. Any suggestions?

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