We have a bathtub that has a drum trap - which appears to be lead, as do
the connecting pipes. (The stack is cast iron.) The trap is leaking.
I'm thinking to cut the lead pipe on the stack side of the trap, use a
rubber coupling to join that end to PVC from there to the tub. Is there
reason NOT to do this? The alternative would be to unsolder the lead
pipe from the stack Y, and connect the PVC there. This looks like it
would take big heat, and might never get clean enough for the new joint
to seal well.
buffalo ny: where is the leak? is this a job for epoxy? it is
probably not a soft lead pipe. probably a horizontal galvanized drain
pipe leak, feeding an iron or brass trap. if you change to pvc you
will increase the noise of the drain. look at fernco rubber adapters
for your task. there is no pressure only gravity on the tub drain.
start the cutout after everybody's shower is done on a weekday
business day morning, and take the thing to lowe's or your local
plumbing supply shop like davis plumbing supply. exercise extreme
caution, this type of activity leads to thoughts of remodeling the
bathroom! :) -b
On Mon, 17 Nov 2008 04:56:01 -0800 (PST), buffalobill
Near the top. The trap cover screws into a (brass?) threaded ring. I
think this may be a separate piece, joined (soldered?) to the trap body,
and the leak is at that joint. It's not easy to get a good look at it,
and I could be misunderstanding things.
The situation is actually more complicated. The joists under the tub
are kind of ... distressed. I think they need sistering, which would be
easier with the pipes removed. AND, the last thing I want is to have to
take the ceiling down again, should an epoxy-ish fix fail.
I could be wrong, but I think it's lead. All the metal is that dull
grey color, and none of it is magnetic. The joints have significant
build-up of solder. The pipes are curved, in a kind of 'hand-crafted'
way. And, the trap wall is kind of flattened on one side.
All lead tub drainage was common from turn of century till 1920's.
I would cut the lead close to the stack entrance and use a
1056 series coupling to adapt to PVC.
If you can get to the stack connection, put the coupling over
the solder thimble where the lead attaches; that will help prevent
distortion of the lead. Sealant applied to the lead before sliding
the coupling on will help avoid leaks.
Use a PVC P-trap, such as #78515:
There is one with a cleanout: #78415,
but the CO may not be accessible.
If there is room, insert a CO TEE: #71315
That all makes sense, except it's so tight there. The (lead) pipes are
bent to fit.
I see that Genova lists a PVC drum trap (75715). At first blush, that
might simplify things. I gather that they're not recommended (and often
not code), but would that be a really BAD idea?
And, re the PVC drum: could it be mounted upside down, so the cleanout
was on the top? The current drum has an opening in the bathroom floor,
which could make the cleanout accessible.
Yes, the PVC drum would make sense in your case and put the cleanout
The guys bending lead to avoid obstructions had a big advantage, eh? :)
Use great care cutting the old lead so that you don't disturb it,
possibly causing leaks elsewhere.
drum traps are essentially obsolete and no longer used.
regular PVC traps can be easily snaked thru the tub control lever
you cant snake a drum trap, the snake just winds itself into a knot
inside the drum.......
besides the top of the drum is just another leak spot.
do yourself a big favor, dont patch replace it ALL, unless you want to
revisit this again,'
piping tends to all fail close in time, design life i guess.
add distrubing things just leads to sooner faliures
replace drum trap with PVC, replace the part that fits on the tub too,
brass is better there.
after repeatred problems over many years i had a plumber replace all
the lines from tub and sink too basement.
the cast iron was clogged and rotting, and had a crack, what remained
of copper was clogged, it was a mess, that damaged kitchen cieling
below. our home was built in 1950
for me the plumber was a good choice i dont want to see that cieling
the plumber managed to increase the slope of the sink drain, it emptys
sister joints with steel plates, like 1/2 inch thick.
takes up less space, and stronger too
anyone here ever open a drum trap top clean it out.
the plumber who replaced the entire line said even plumbers avoided
distrurbing them for fear of leaks
After reading these posts, I'm leaning toward replacing all the lead,
right to the wye, rather than risk a future leak. (On further
inspection, some of the soldering is ... 'curious-looking'.) But doing
this has its own problems. So, I have to do some thinking, which
doesn't go that quickly for me. Fortunately, we have a second shower.
Anyway, this has been very helpful, so thanks to all.
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