Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?
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markcal02
Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

I have a lead pipe supply line that has pin hole leaks. I don't have the money to replace this supply line, but when I'm working again it will need to be replaced. Until I'm working again i was hoping to find a way to temporarily repair it.

I have used a small hammer and tapped the pin holes and this would close the pin hole holes somewhat, but the leaking returns over time.

Could i wrap the lead pipe where it is leaking with rubber cut from a tire inner tube and tighten it down with a stainless steel pipe clamp/ Band Clamp?
I understand that the lead pipe in soft and i wouldn't want to over tighten it. This would only be a temporary repair until i'm working again.

I would appreciate any help you can give me and i tried to post some photos, but they wouldn't upload.

dj1
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

There are repair kits available at the stores, but they are not reliable for long term.

For long term solution, replace the defective pipe.

markcal02
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

When I'm working again this will be replaced, but until then have you tried the method i described (rubber/clamp)?

Take care,
Mark

dj1
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

No, I've never tried it, because I don't like to do the same repairs more than once. Time is money.

but, I can't see how it won't work. try it.

johnjh2o
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

A hose clamp and rubber will work. I would use a softer piece of rubber other then a from a tire. There is also no need to wrap it just place it over the pin hole. Don't tighten the clamp any more then you have to.

John

farmer52
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

I hope you have more than just an inch or so or exposed pipe. Lead is very easy to work with, but also easy to damage. Ole lead pipe can be brittle so bend it very slow if at all.

There are commercial , external repairs that can be done under pressure.
One is a wrap that I didn't believe 'til I used it. It is a gauze which is soaked in a paste. It is then wrapped on the pipe while leaking and it hardens and stopps the leak. I don't know the brand, check with Ace Hardware or somewhere small like that.

The other is a steel clamp. Two pieces with a rubber gasket that goes over the leak. It will work and is perminent.

Another way requires the water to be turned off (outside by the City)and then you'd need to re-plumb in the immediate area of the repair. This is a lead-pak fitting. It is brass with a rubber compression ring that goes over the lead. Then the other end of the fitting will either go over another pipe or have threads for you to go from. What ever works.

farmer11522
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

Shine the spot up and use JB weld.

dj1
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

Let me just add this: Lead pipes and lead containing connectors are now banned in California, and soon in other states, for obvious reasons, so think about replacement rather than temp fix.

farmer52
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

California, bah.

No one wants to use lead for a new service. But there is no reason not to repair it.

Lead is a perfectly good material for an existing home. If it isn't causing problems like leaking.

The lead portion of your plumbing, no doubt stops at the meter. Some other material beyond that.

Unless you are on a very aggressive water supply the water will not leach lead from the pipe. If the water is aggressive, flushing for a few (about 30) seconds will give you water from the main that has not been in contact with the lead. If your water is scale forming, the water is not in contact with the lead anyway. It is in contact with the calsium lining. Call your local water utility for more information on lead. Read your Consumer Confidence Report. Check the EPA web site.

johnjh2o
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?
farmer52 wrote:

California, bah.

No one wants to use lead for a new service. But there is no reason not to repair it.

Lead is a perfectly good material for an existing home. If it isn't causing problems like leaking.

The lead portion of your plumbing, no doubt stops at the meter. Some other material beyond that.

Unless you are on a very aggressive water supply the water will not leach lead from the pipe. If the water is aggressive, flushing for a few (about 30) seconds will give you water from the main that has not been in contact with the lead. If your water is scale forming, the water is not in contact with the lead anyway. It is in contact with the calsium lining. Call your local water utility for more information on lead. Read your Consumer Confidence Report. Check the EPA web site.

Maybe you can explain to me why for the past 30 years or so all solder has to be lead free.

John

dj1
Re: Could you give advice on a leaking lead pipe supply line?

Farmer -

Lead used to be everywhere. And so was cancer.

They took it out of paint. They took it out of gasoline. They took it out of school supplies, toys, you name it...Now they're taking it out of plumbing - and rightfully so.

The idea is, when a part or a pipe full of lead fails, to replace it, not repair it, with a leadfree part, slowly move from leaded to unleaded.

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