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iron sewer pipe leak

i have a sewer pipe from an upstairs toilet that leaks into the downstairs bathroom when flushed. it is a small leak and not noticible except one day i happened to be in the bathroom when the upstair toilet was flushed and got dripped on. it is a small leak and appears to be coming from the joint seam. is there something i can seal or caulk this with? and if so where i might find it? the house is over 100 years old and i have no idea how old the plumbing is. thanks

Re: iron sewer pipe leak

Difficult to advise in this situation because there are many unknowns. Cast-iron pipe frequently enough cracks down a seam and simply needs to be replaced. Other times the cause of a leak such as you describe is because the pipe is rusting thru. Other times, one might have a bad section that can be cut out and replaced with a section of PVC and a couple of Fernco fittings. Impossible to say from here what your situation really is and what is the "bestest" fix.

Something like this *might* get you thru for a long while. You won't likely find it at a big-box or hardware store.......so I'd suggest you try your local plumbing supply houses.


Or........if the leak is actually at a leaded joint in the cast iron pipe, you *might* only need to reseal that joint with some lead wool. Again......impossible to say from here. And again........you won't likely find lead wool at the big-box. Maybe at a local hardware store, maybe not. Plumbing supply house would be your best bet. Basically , you'd stuff some in the joint and then carefully pack it in there with a wood punch (custon made from a wood shim would work)...and a hammer. Many taps with medium force. You want to pack the lead wool in the joint.....not break the pipe. (Or use a metal punch......but be careful about how hard you hit. Tap, tap.......not wham!! wham!! Remember......lead is soft and cast-iron is brittle.)

Or......you might only need to "reseat/reseal" the lead that's already there. Many little taps with an appropriately sized metal punch around the perimeter of the lead.

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