Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fixing a cast iron joint

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fixing a cast iron joint

    The drain under my 1952 house is cast iron with (presumably) joints packed with okum and lead. Roots have intruded into one of these joints where a horizontal pipe section lying on top of the soil in the crawlspace joins a vertical tee (one side up to the roof, the other underground and out to the street). I believe the cast iron is still sound.

    What is the best or most economical way to fix this problem which is causing frequent mainline stoppages?

    I would think repacking the joint would not be too hard, provided there is an alternative to working molten lead into a horizontal joint in a confined space. The first plumber suggests cutting out the leaking tee and an adjacent tee (at least 4 cuts) then joining in new plastic with bands, but that sounds like a lot of expensive work.

  • #2
    I am a DIY'r not a pro...so my suggestions are just that suggestions.

    you can take your drill with a 1/8 or so blade and drill the old paking out. then repack with okum, and seal with a product i believe is called quickrite water stop. easier than working with lead and does the job. althought not seeing it, you might be better off with cutting out the cast and replacing with bvc....making the joints with rubber pipws clamped.

    wither way will work, i love the quickrite!
    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

    Comment


    • #3
      It sounds like it is time to cut the old cast out and replace with PVC and mechanical joints.

      Comment


      • #4
        rent a snap-cutter for CI soil pipe and replace the problem area with no-hub cast iron pipe and no-hub clamps.

        Comment


        • #5
          i guess that all depends on the condition of the cast iron. if it is just seeping at the joint, you maybe able to repack with a hammer and chisel. if the cast iron is not seeping and a repack with a chisel does not get the job done, it may be time to drill out the lead repack with okum, and pack with the water stop in lieu of lead.

          if the cast iron is seeping, get out the old sawzall (wear a mask, lesson learned the hard way), and replace with PVC!
          \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

          Comment


          • #6
            You can't afford the amount of sawzall blades it would take to make just one cut on CI pipe.
            best way- ratchet style snap cutters for working in tight areas
            next best- 4-1/2" grinder to make the cuts

            Comment


            • #7
              You can buy very good grit blades for a sawzall/RS. I bought one years ago at a woodworking show but I don't remember the brand. It was supposed to have a lifetime gaurantee and to be honest I haven't worn it out. I've probably only used it a half dozen times though. It came in real handy once when I was cutting a cobbled up hitch mount off a truck frame. It was made from leaf-springs and bi-metal blades would barely touch it. I have also used it on CI pipe and it did well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Snap-cutter is the best choice as said.

                along with the angle grinder, a roto-zip or similar tool would probably work too. Lots of sparks though, so watch it if there is wood in the vicinity

                Oh, and if you try re-packing the joint, a packing iron is the correct tool not a chisel. You would probably be hard-pressed to find a packing iron these days, they used to come in about 50 different styles and shapes, and guys would create their own special irons for those tough joints. Take an old cold chisel and grind the business end (bevel) off creating a flat, blunt end about 1/8" wide, this will work much better. If you take a file or hack saw and make a cross-hatch pattern in the freshly ground face it will have more grip on the lead and not slip around on you. these grooves only need be 1/32" deep if that.

                [ 12-12-2004, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: Bob D. ]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Snap-cutter is the best choice as said.
                  Didn't say it wasn't. Just wanted to point out for those who don't have one, or don't want to go to the trouble to rent one, that a grit blade in a sawzall will do the job in a pinch - without breaking the bank.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually when i did my soil stack. it required to be cut in 3 places to get it out. i bought two of those abrasive cutting blades and away we went. both those blades bit the dust as i was 3/4" through the final cut. i put in a cheap dewalt bi metal fine tooth blade and completed the cut. I am talking about the cheap ones home depot sells in bulk. it finished the cut no problem and actually cut a lot faster than the blades made to cut the cast iron.

                    In retrospect, if i had to do it again, i would rent the snap cutter because it would probably been quicker.

                    Now for the galvanized supply lines/drains, i just cut them out with my sawzall and a bi metal blade
                    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      QUICK FIX IS TO CUT OUT THE ROOTS AROUND THE JOINTS AND THEN ENCIRCLE THE JOINT WITH A ROOT KILLER/ COPPER SULFATE. WET THIS TO SET IT OFF. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO TAKE ON THE REPAIR HERE IS MY ADVICE: SNAP CUTTERS WORK BEST ON NEW/ NEWER PIPE. EVEN WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN PLUMBING THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL IF THE PIPE WILL CRUSH. TRY ROLLING THE CUTTER LIKE A TUBING CUTTER INSTEAD OF SNAPPING IT. ALSO I FOUND THAT A 4.5'' GRINDER WITH A CUT OFF WHEEL OR DIAMOND WHEEL/ SAFETY GLASSES, GOGGLES! IS THE SURE FIRE WAY. A SAWZALL BLADE WORKS ON CAST IRON BUT NOT ON NEWER NO HUB PIPE.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rick's right, scoring the cut by rolling the snap or ratchet cutter before you make the cut will help greatly with getting a clean cut, and also when he says old CI pipe may crush. This is because of the method used to manufacture the pipe, many times the pipe wall would not be of uniform thickness all the way around, and when pressure from the soil pipe cutter is applied the thinnest section will crush as you apply pressure.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X