Lead Pipes

May 11, 2012

So we’ve already mentioned that lead pipes were cemented into the floor of the upstairs bath, right? If you missed that fascinating detail, you can learn more about it here. In that article, I was having a tough time remembering why those lead pipes in the bathroom floor cement had to be removed. We knew that one of the pipes running down the wall was in bad shape and needed to come out, but thought the others could be reused. Oh the naivete of early assessment.

Now I remember what transpired. Once more of the pipes were exposed with other needed tear down, it was obvious that those pipes serving that bathroom were all in really bad shape. Stating the obvious…it’s never a good thing when the pipes carrying away sewage are cracked and leaking. Perhaps that’s enough dialogue for now, yes? We’ll just tell the rest of the story with pictures.

This is a view from the kitchen below once the bathroom above’s floor boards were removed. It shows a few of the lead pipes encased in the concrete.

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Here are two photos of a couple of the pipes once removed. Yeah, they needed to come out. (BTW…that’s Sean, one of our awesome plumbers. He refused to show his face for the camera. Not sure if he’s just shy or wanted by the law, but he’s awfully nice. He and I had a conversation during this time about how grateful the house was for getting these old pipes out. And the pipes…they’ll be recycled for other use. It was a very loving endeavor all around.)

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So how do lead pipes get removed, you ask? They’re sawzalled out. Check out a short video of that happening here. (Disclaimer: I am not responsible for Joel’s potty mouth…pun intended.)

And here’s the final view of the pile of lead pipes post removal. Others not pictured here were pulled from the walls and one vent was even hiked out from the roof.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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