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 Lead drain and drum trap
Author: James S.

Below is a link to pictures of our existing tub and toilet drain. The sink, tub, and toilet drain is original ~1920s lead into a cast iron stack. A prior owner replaced the tub and connected 1.5" PVC from the new tub drain to the lead drum trap with a fernco (see picture below). The bathroom tile floor has a rough hole in it to access the drum trap from above. My wife is not too fond of the hole in the floor, and the tub drain is currently clogged up (the toilet drain seems to be working fine).

We are wondering if we could replace the drum trap with a 1.5" PVC trap, and still tie into the existing lead drain with a fernco or something similar. Is there a reason that all the lead needs to be replaced? It appears to be in good condition, and is not currently leaking. Will removing the drum trap lead to less clogs? We are also wondering whether the slipfit plastic drain should be replaced with glued PVC to enable future snaking, and reduce the chance for leaks. This tub is the only tub / shower in the house, and needs to serve 2 adults (shower) and 2 toddlers (bath).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

[www.flickr.com]



Edited 2 times.

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 Re: Lead drain and drum trap
Author: e-plumber (NY)

The quick fix would be to access the drum trap cover, remove it and clear the stoppage.

The right fix would be to replace all the lead, it seems that there is access but in a tight area, you'll need to have the drain (and vent) re-worked.

In addition, if the copper water line connection is to galvanized, (can't tell if the pipe is brass from the photo) that will form internal galvanic corrosion and eventually block the water flow.

e-plumber
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 Re: Lead drain and drum trap
Author: James S.

Thanks very much for the reply.... we would like to remove the drum trap so that we no longer need an access hole in the middle of our bathroom floor.

Is replacing the drum trap and tying into the remaining lead with a fernco a reasonable solution? (I understand that the preference is to remove all lead, but this would be a much larger job due to the existing toilet and sink, as well as the tight access.)

Yes... you are correct that there is corrosion between the old galvanized water pipes and the new copper. Can this be fixed with a dielectric union or brass fitting between the two different materials?

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 Re: Lead drain and drum trap
Author: redwood (CT)

"Is replacing the drum trap and tying into the remaining lead with a fernco a reasonable solution? (I understand that the preference is to remove all lead, but this would be a much larger job due to the existing toilet and sink, as well as the tight access.)"

No, connecting to the lead will surely have you leaking shortly...
It's time to get the lead out!

"Yes... you are correct that there is corrosion between the old galvanized water pipes and the new copper. Can this be fixed with a dielectric union or brass fitting between the two different materials?"

Put a 6" Brass nipple between the 2 materials.

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 Re: Lead drain and drum trap
Author: packy

replacing the drum trap with an improperly vented p-trap could be problematical. it is possible to have the p-trap syphoned out when you flush the toilet.
if you don't want to make a big project out of this, cut out the old drum trap, reuse the fernco coupling and install a PVC drum trap with the cleanout facing down.
you don't worry about syphoning a drum trap, it cant happen.

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 Re: Lead drain and drum trap
Author: James S.

Redwood and Packy,

Thanks very much for the comments.... your help / advice is greatly appreciated!

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