How to Transition Lead Pipe to PVC
Older houses sometimes have sewer lines made out of cast iron, clay or lead. Today, code dictates that sewer lines be made of either ABS plastic or PVC. Though PVC pipe is joined together with PVC couplings, primer and PVC cement, joining a PVC sewer pipe to an existing lead pipe requires the installation of a flexible rubber coupling between the two. Cutting lead pipe and installing the rubber coupling is a moderately easy process, though safety issues should be followed throughout the job.
Mark the lead sewer pipe with a pencil at a place where as much of the lead pipe as possible will be removed. Cut through the lead pipe with a hacksaw or reciprocating saw. Make the cut straight, and remove burrs with a utility knife.
Apply soapy water around the end of the lead pipe, and push a flexible rubber coupling half way onto the end of the pipe. Wipe soapy water around the end of a new PVC sewer pipe, and push it into the other end of the rubber coupling. Half of the coupling should now cover the end of the lead pipe, and the other half should cover the end of the PVC pipe.
Tighten the metal hose clamps surrounding each end of the rubber coupling, using a screwdriver.
- Make sure that both the new PVC pipe and the flexible rubber coupling are the same diameter as the existing lead pipe.
- If the new pipe is of a different diameter, flexible "reducer" couplings are available that connect two different diameter pipes together.
Steve Sloane started working as a freelance writer in 2007. He has written articles for various websites, using more than a decade of DIY experience to cover mostly construction-related topics. He also writes movie reviews for Inland SoCal. Sloane holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and film theory from the University of California, Riverside.