Can I fix my lead pipes?
May 6, 2009 7:35 PM Subscribe
Can I fix my lead plumbing? The plumber says, "No."
posted by Midnight Skulker to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I want to move my bathroom sink one foot to the right. I have taken out the wall, and found the hot and cold water supply pipes. They are galvanized, which I can deal with. The drain pipe is lead, however. It runs horizontally to a vertical lead pipe, which goes down to a cast iron bell on the floor and up to a galvanized vent pipe.
I don't wish to cut the lead pipe and then attach a new pipe, using a rubber sleeve, unless I can be sure that it will not leak in my wall. I guess that this means that I need a professional. The plumber I asked says that he has to rip out the old lead, in order to comply with regulations that require all lead pipes be removed during renovation. He also tells me that the porous nature of the lead means that the old pipe would not accept solder well, now that it has had 60 years worth of water and gunk in it.
(As an aside, when I took out the old wall, behind the sink, I found more than a thousand double edge razor blades. They had been dropped through that slot in the back of the medicine cabinet over the decades.)
What say you, about the DIY nature of lead plumbing, and the assertion that it all must go? I live in Houston, TX, and the house is over 60 years old.