Lead pipe joint???

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Stuart79, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Stuart79

    Stuart79 New Member


    Ive got a nightmare job on tomorrow and would appreciate any advice from any of you experienced guys.
    The customer has noisy vibrating internal pipework when they open any taps in the house.
    Ive tried fitting a mini shock arrestor on the cold mains to stop this but its still persisting.
    It seems to be coming from the internal mains stop tap. A very old one on lead pipe(the large ones with a chunky handle).
    I have a dilema. The pipework is a bit mangled below the stop tap so I'm not confident of a good connection with a lead lock.
    But I will have little chance of removing all water to do a lead/copper soldered joint.
    Once that lead pipe is cut there is no turning back. And to add to the pressure the stop tap in the street cuts off the water to 3 houses.
    Not the kind of job you want on a friday, or any other day for that matter.
    Anyone have any suggestions that I might of overlooked for the remedy of this fault?

    I have wondered if I could turn off the noisy stop tap. Do a soldered joint above with a new stop tap on copper. Then remove the guts of the old tap and plug it off (if plugs that size are available?).

    Might have to make my excuses and abandon it all together I suspect.

    Any advise is massively appreciated.
  2. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Well-Known Member

    The only time in my entire plumbing career (to date) I've had to get another plumber to get me out of the poo was in the exact circumstances you've just described. He managed to solder a new bit of copper into the lead pipe coming out of the floor after I'd already cut it off for a leadlock, which then wouldn't seal. I too had three houses with no water. I've never touched lead pipes since. I was very lucky that he was there working for a builder who was doing some other work on the house (goodness knows why they didn't get him to do the stop tap anyway).

    In my case, what I should have done (as he pointed out...) was remove the old stop tap, which left a bit of old copper (or it might have been brass) pipe sticking out of the lead, and fitted a new stop tap directly onto that pipe.

    Have a close look to see if there is a bit of copper pipe coming out of the lead. You may need to cut the old bottom nut off with a junior hacksaw if there's not enough of the pipe for it to drop down to get to the olive. If that's not possible, your idea of removing the current guts of the tap might work. If the gland nut is okay, you could just remove the washer and its fitting, and put the rest back in, with a new stop tap fitted straight after it.

    What I would stress is this. If you're in any doubt that you aren't going to be able to do this, there's no shame in apologising to the customer and leaving it to someone else. Much better to do that than have a disaster on your hands.
  3. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    test th stop cock for soundness if ok job done if not
    see how much is passing if not too much then drill a hole just after the stop put a self taper screw in cut pipe lead to copper with screw out when welded fit screw
  4. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    There you go Stuart ,all clearly explained for you .
  5. Stuart79

    Stuart79 New Member

    Thanks Joe,

    I think I'm going to just try and fit another stop tap above the old one. Then hope that I find some kind of sweet spot, by partially closing both that stops the noises. Doubt it to be honest but like you say its not worth the risk.
  6. NoOhmToGoTo

    NoOhmToGoTo Active Member

    Excellent response Joe. I can empathise with the hard won experience. Especially the last paragraph. If only I had had advice like that I might have avoided some horrers!
    As for gasmonkey, ca n't the mods block him or whatever.
  7. Stuart79

    Stuart79 New Member

    I think the stop tap isolates the water to the property, but for whatever reason its causing pipe hammer noises to the property. The noise is very loud at the stop tap.
    I might be barking up the wrong tree, but it would seem the obvious thing to eliminate (changing the stop tap that is), if it wasn't so bloody awkward.
  8. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    any way you could fit a freeze off kit and remove and sort with new stop
  9. Stuart79

    Stuart79 New Member

    No, I couldn't solder if frozen and I doubt a lead lock would work as the pipe is mangled
  10. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    any way you could excavate outside cut trench fills with water fit comp valve turn off valve wait till water drains reconect
    so now your own outside isolation valve and then do what ever
    before anyone kicks off has been done and worked
    if not freeze off in ground
  11. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Yes a bit of a nuisance, however, provided you inform the neighbours, they cannot stop you turning the main stop tap off. It is there for good reasons and you have a good reason and they cannot stop you. Give them maybe two hours waring so any was cycle can finish and tehy can get some water stored for drinking. You get everything prepped and ready, tha after twop hours, turn it off, do what you need and then back on.
  12. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    sounds good if valve ok if fails well who knows
    had one once turned it and we had a leak
  13. Mr John Melvin

    Mr John Melvin Active Member

    Wiped Joints in lead pipes
    It seems so long ago but I served a full plumbing appentiship 1949/54.
    That kind of situation was regular where it was needed to convert the old
    lead input to copper. The old stop cock would not turn off completely.
    Turn off the main Water board one outside. They wept as well.
    I worked with a tradesman called OLD BILL
    I smile now when I remember his words and technique .
    Clean the outside of the pipe and flux it.
    Then Cut the lead pipe where its cleaned and fluxed.
    Open the end of the lead pipe out and form it into a V so that the copper pipe could drop
    into the lead maybe half an inch. Hammer home some.
    Then "wait for it" stuff the leaking lead pipe deeply with BREAD. Serious,
    Telling me that Brown bread was best. I never did prove that .
    They quickly get on wiping the solder joint. Making sure that the solder filled
    in the copper pipe to the lead. Fine solder was used in that position.
    It worked ok Turn on the main Outside stopcock and blow the bread out.
    You now have a length of copper pipe to put your new stopcock on to.
    Other method was to hammer a small nail into the lead pipe lower down
    Let it drip the water out do the job dry and dress up the hole in the lead

    These did work lol.

    Have a nice day.

    Johnny M
  14. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Very wise words.:)

    Could easily turn into the job from hell,me, I walked away from that job,or see if free lead mains replacement was available for the houses.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  15. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Active Member

    i remember going to a burst lead pipe with my dad when i was very young he would put a hole in the lead so steam could easape when put in a tapered match in hole then bell lead over match that was when plumbers where trademen and not plastic pipe men and quick fit joints
    dobbie likes this.
  16. The Teach

    The Teach Well-Known Member

    Seen that done but have also just removed the internal loose spindle that holds the washer.

    If you have no option to cutting the lead,philmac utc fittings work wonders,usually had a couple different size utc couplers ready for differing lead outside diameters just in case one does not fit http://www.philmac.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Utc_3G_tech_manual_METRIC-IMPERIAL_email_version.pdf

    good luck ;)
  17. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Well-Known Member

    I hope this isn't too late. I have also had a row of five terraced houses where there was a noise, particularly at night, in the pipework.

    To cut a long story short, it turned out to be caused by a leak in the incoming mains supply from the street to the houses, and that was sorted out by the water authority.

    It might be worth asking the customer's neighbours if they're getting the same problem before you start this morning, and if so, get on to the WA.
    KIAB likes this.
  18. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't surprise me with old lead.:)
  19. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    used the bread technice on a tap once worked fine
  20. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    What nobody has pointed out is you cannot use lead soldering anymore on potable water!
    So no wiped lead joints!
    Serious contamination of lead in the water if you did.
    You are best getting a plumber to sort it all.
    The old stopcock could have the jumper and washer replaced.
    Proper way - the way I would do it, is to put a new mains pipe into house if possible. At the very least to outside with a Philmac fitting to the lead.
    The stopcock at road is the water authority’s responsibility to be closing off fully

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