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Friday, August 28, 2009

Lead Drum Trap Leaking Into Light Fixture?

We're on the edge of finishing our apartment conversion project. One last detail was to replace the light fixture in the tile shower. Sounds easy enough, right?  One problem,  I started to remove the globe and realized that it was full of water!???

That was the first clue.

So, I quickly made sure that the electricity was off to the light and pryed the fixture off the ceiling.  (The screws were completely rusted.)  Surprisingly, the ceiling was not damp, but I needed to make a hole and see where the water was coming from.

Soon I saw it.  The large lead drum trap under the upstairs bathtub.  The bottom was covered with corrosion that screamed, "Replace me!"

Apparantly, it was just dripping enough that the water would make its way down the drywall to the light fixture without pooling and breaking through the ceiling. 

I made a large enough hole to access the drain above.  Thankfully, it was fairly easy to reach with no framing in the way as long as I could get through the ceiling.

Lead is an interesting character.  They pretty much custom fit these old traps on site by soldering them.  I wanted to cut out as much of it as possible, so I cut it close to the 2" cast iron hub leaving enough that I could join the new pipe on to it.  I used the reciprical saw with an abrasive blade that I also use for cast iron.

Once the old trap was cut out, I assembled a new 2" trap that would join to the 1 1/2" tub drain that was still in good shape.  I connected it to the old pipes using a 2" neoprene Fernco coupler.

Now with all of that back together, it's time to think about that light fixture again...  and a little drywall repair...


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