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Thread: Lead Drain Line

  1. #1
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    Default Lead Drain Line

    Does this look like a lead drain line fitting? I don't think I've even seen one in person, and this was the only one like it in the crawl space.

    Weird house. They ran the forced air into the crawl space with ducts, but didn't connect it to the vents in the floor. The heat worked ok, but they buyer said the utilities cost was way higher than any of the other houses he looked at.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Looks like lead.

    All you would have to do is scratch the pipe to find out. If it scratches easily and is shiny below, you can be pretty darn sure. (will be very soft).
    I've never seen that small of a diameter lead drain pipe though. (usually see them for toilets).


  3. #3
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    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Common in the old houses here!


  4. #4
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    This might have been part of a drum trap that was discarded when the bath was re-floored. If so, there would have been a screw-off top that would have been flush with the original flooring.

    I still have one lead drum trap left, in my 2 family house, that is functional. I killed the other by allowing an alkaline drain cleaner sit too long in it.

    It seems there is a U shaped (aka p) trap in the cast iron drain below. But the lead drum traps had a nice way of capturing hairs, etc and were very useful beyond keeping out sewer gases.


  5. #5
    Patrick Martinez's Avatar
    Patrick Martinez Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    It looks like sheet lead shaped into a pipe, or even an old lead flashing tempted to make it look like a pipe...


  6. #6
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Yep, that most likely is lead, poorly connected it appears. We still have homes with lead water mains and 4" lead drains on toilets around here.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    They ran the forced air into the crawl space with ducts, but didn't connect it to the vents in the floor.

    Causing all those odors and all that moisture in the crawlspace to be blown into the house with the supply air, no to mention the bugs and rodents.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Martinez View Post
    It looks like sheet lead shaped into a pipe, or even an old lead flashing tempted to make it look like a pipe...

    Patrick,
    Actually you are right. Heres a little history lesson. One of the reasons plumber is spelled with a "B" is that Pb is the chemical symbol for lead. So a Plumber was a worker of lead. Lead pipes were found in the ruins of Rome from Ceasars time. In the 1800's, plumbers poured their own sheet lead in the shop and hand-formed the fittings. The fittings connected to the cast iron pipe by using a brass "wiping sleeve" adaptor. You can see this one at the bottom of the lead, at the cast iron connection. I've seen P-traps formed of lead pipe, that ran as one piece from the sink drain, back to the wall, and laterally along the wall to the dwv riser. All hand made and custom for each job.
    Glad we don't have to do THAT anymore.
    Dana

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  9. #9
    James Oler's Avatar
    James Oler Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    Patrick,
    Actually you are right. Heres a little history lesson. One of the reasons plumber is spelled with a "B" is that Pb is the chemical symbol for lead. So a Plumber was a worker of lead. Lead pipes were found in the ruins of Rome from Ceasars time. In the 1800's, plumbers poured their own sheet lead in the shop and hand-formed the fittings. The fittings connected to the cast iron pipe by using a brass "wiping sleeve" adaptor. You can see this one at the bottom of the lead, at the cast iron connection. I've seen P-traps formed of lead pipe, that ran as one piece from the sink drain, back to the wall, and laterally along the wall to the dwv riser. All hand made and custom for each job.
    Glad we don't have to do THAT anymore.
    Dana
    Another tidbit-- the French word for lead is plombe, hence plomber or plumber.


  10. #10
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Thanks for the clarification on the spelling, I always wondered why it was pronounced plummer but spelled plum - ber, lol


  11. #11

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    They ran the forced air into the crawl space with ducts, but didn't connect it to the vents in the floor.

    Causing all those odors and all that moisture in the crawlspace to be blown into the house with the supply air, no to mention the bugs and rodents.
    That is called a plenum crawlspace if you want to look it up.......


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    That is called a plenum crawlspace if you want to look it up.......

    Actually it is not.

    A plenum crawlspace is for return air, not supply air. I read his post as being supply air.

    And, if you want to make it into a plenum, no sewer pipes and no many other things are allowed in there, or must be sealed off from the plenum - it can get complicated to meet the requirements for a plenum.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Jerry, not to argue with you as I have only seen 2 of these in my career.

    The links below show the plenum crawlspace as being for supply air.

    Audel HVAC Fundamentals - Google Book Search

    WAC 51-11-1004: Section 1004: Floors over unconditioned space.

    This is from the website listed above.

    Heated-plenum crawlspaces: Assumed to have 0.25 air-changes per hour, with no foundation vents. Heated supply air from central furnace is blown into a crawlspace and allowed to enter the living space unducted via holes cut into the floor.


  14. #14
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    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
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    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Ahh - So....

    * All this heating system has to do is pressurize the entire crawlspace, to then allow the heated supply air to force through the floor vents /registers.

    Much like the 'cheap-out' method I so often see under a sink cabinet (kick), instead of a direct-connection...

    Not so surprising their heating costs are sky-high; perhaps you've discovered the source /cause of 'global warming' !

    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Actually it is not.

    A plenum crawlspace is for return air, not supply air. I read his post as being supply air.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Jerry, not to argue with you as I have only seen 2 of these in my career.Heated-plenum crawlspaces: Assumed to have 0.25 air-changes per hour, with no foundation vents. Heated supply air from central furnace is blown into a crawlspace and allowed to enter the living space unducted via holes cut into the floor.
    Brandon,

    I stand corrected.

    I 'should have said': 'Actually it is not. A plenum used for *any purpose* (I specified "return air") is not allowed to be constructed that way, thus it is not a plenum.

    I will not slump back off to my corner where I will face the wall for the required 15 minutes.

    There are many, many, many condition requirements when using a plenum for supply air, many, many more than when using a plenum for return air.

    M1601.4 Under-floor plenums. An under-floor space used as a supply plenum shall conform to the requirements of this section. Fuel gas lines and plumbing waste cleanouts shall not be located within the space.
    - M1601.4.1 General.The space shall be cleaned of loose combustible materials and scrap, and shall be tightly enclosed. The ground surface of the space shall be covered with a moisture barrier having a minimum thickness of 4 mils (0.1 mm).
    - M1601.4.2 Materials.The under-floor space, including the sidewall insulation, shall be formed by materials having flame-spread ratings not greater than 200 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84.
    - M1601.4.3 Furnace connections.A duct shall extend from the furnace supply outlet to not less than 6 inches (152 mm) below the combustible framing. This duct shall comply with the provisions of Section M1601.1. A noncombustible receptacle shall be installed below any floor opening into the plenum in accordance with the following requirements:
    - - 1. The receptacle shall be securely suspended from the floor members and shall not be more than 18 inches
    (457 mm) below the floor opening.
    - - 2. The area of the receptacle shall extend 3 inches (76 mm) beyond the opening on all sides.
    - - 3. The perimeter of the receptacle shall have a vertical lip at least 1 inch (25 mm) high at the open sides.
    - M1601.4.4 Access. Access to an under-floor plenum shall be provided through an opening in the floor with minimum dimensions of 18 inches by 24 inches (457 mm by 610 mm).
    - M1601.4.5 Furnace controls. The furnace shall be equipped with an automatic control that will start the air-circulating fan when the air in the furnace bonnet reaches a temperature not higher than 150°F (66°C). The furnace shall additionally be equipped with an approved automatic control that limits the outlet air temperature to 200°F (93°C).


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
    Steve Lowery Guest

    Default Re: Lead Drain Line

    Pb = Plumbum= latin word for lead
    Ag = Argentum= Silver
    Fe = Ferrum = Iron
    Au = Aurum = Gold

    No wonder it's a dead language. All their words are spelled funny.


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