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    Disassembling hubbed cast iron -- lead and oakum

    Asked Jul 21, 2007, 08:17 AM 9 Answers
    Hey folks,

    I'm taking apart part of the cast iron main stack in my house (3" hubbed service-weight) to replace a leaky fitting.

    I've used a galvanized saddle clamp, and am pretty happy with the support/blocking/pre-load i have on the main stack, so it's time to take apart the joints and bust that bad fitting out of the basement wall.

    The problem is, the top of the hubbed fitting that i really need to remove is not accessible, hardly at all. I can get a screwdriver on it to just barely scratch the lead, but that's only in one spot on the fitting anyhow.

    My question is..... Can i remove the fittings from below?

    Ie, first break the basement wall and get the combo wye/bend out, then pull off the 3" x 1.5" vent-tee, which is attached to the bottom of the 1/8bend that comes out of the house wall...

    The sequence is like this:

    1/8 Bend (from stack inside house wall)
    1/8 Bend (to make stack vertical again, this is the lowest fitting i need to keep, and has the support clamp on it)
    3" x 1.5" vent-Tee (to be removed and replaced with a Wye, and that PVC routed into it)
    3" x 4" Combo Wye-bend (goes into house foundation, the other end of this inside wall is what's leaking)

    Attached is a quick picture, for those visually inclined.

    What i'm worried about is that without getting the lead out, i won't be able to pull that 3"/1.5" Tee off the rest of the stack. Of course, I'm also wary about standing in the basement and PULLing the stack down towards me!

    Will I be able to wiggle it around and get it free? Do I need to invest in a team of micro-robots to climb in there and dig the packing out?




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    9 Answers
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 29,302, Reputation: 1939
    Eternal Plumber

    Jul 21, 2007, 01:12 PM

    If the raiser clamp is braced securely then I would simply take a hammer and break out the hub of the tee. I would also cut out the hub underneath and convert to PVC using a No-Hub clamp. Good luck, Tom
    Helpful (2)
    shreefer's Avatar
    shreefer Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 2, 2007, 10:03 PM
    From your local home center you can rent a soil waste line wrench for about $15 a day.
    Helpful (1)
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 29,302, Reputation: 1939
    Eternal Plumber

    Sep 3, 2007, 08:14 AM

    Shreefer gave me a bad rating saying, "shreefer disagrees: answered incorrectly" I have over 50 years of working with cast iron and bell and spickit joints. If your going to bad rate me you better put up a reason why and be prepared to to "answer correctly". And like Growler I never heard of a "soil pipe wrench" Please give me a reason for the bad rating and tell us what a soil pipe wrench does. Cheers, Tom
    dkelley's Avatar
    dkelley Posts: 17, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 27, 2010, 02:16 PM They rent them at HD>
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 29,302, Reputation: 1939
    Eternal Plumber

    Feb 27, 2010, 05:34 PM

    You guys arre thinking of a No-Hub Torque Wrench. And what are we doing hassling a 3 year old thread. :? Tom
    scirocco70's Avatar
    scirocco70 Posts: 128, Reputation: 9
    Junior Member

    Feb 27, 2010, 08:23 PM

    Yeah, I fixed this long, long ago.

    For the record (in another thread, I think) the actual, real-best solution was to stick a 24" pipe wrench on that plug, attach about a 4' section of 2" square tubing to it, and do a couple of pull-ups on it.

    I figured that if I was going to crack the fitting anyhow, I might as well crank on the plug.

    It came loose. Possibly soaking the ancient sealant/putty/goop with first PB Blaster (softened it a little) and then Goof-Off (softened it a lot, soak a rag in it and wrap around the area) helped some.

    Anyhow, this horse is loooooong dead.

    DIYsometimes's Avatar
    DIYsometimes Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 4, 2010, 09:16 PM
    I had a situation like this. I took a hammer broke the pipe as flush as I could to the bell end then used a 1/4 inch metal drill bit put as many holes in the lead as I could and then took a screw driver to pry the lead out. This thread may be three years old but the idea for the drill came from another thread. Mapp gas was totally worthless when I tried "softening up" the lead. And mapp burns hotter then propane so if it was going to work it would have.
    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 29,302, Reputation: 1939
    Eternal Plumber

    Apr 5, 2010, 06:37 AM

    Thanks for the input DIY but why are you piggybacking onto a three year old thread? Tom
    ironjawz61's Avatar
    ironjawz61 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 8, 2010, 12:51 PM
    I wish I would've read this stuff before using a map torch to melt the lead. I was wondering why I couldn't wiggle the damn fitting out. I had no clue about this oakum stuff. Anyway, mission accomplished. Thanks guys.

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