What about this Ole Plumbing

What about this Ole Plumbing

Often times homeowners, after much contemplation decide to remodel or upgrade portions of their home. That said, this usually consists of adding floor and wall tiles, a new vanity or pedestal sink and of course a fresh coat of paint and some wall paper.

In an effort to make the home more presentable and to stay within a budget the average homeowner sometimes forgets to check what’s behind the walls or for that fact what’s under the floor. In this article our main focus is on plumbing pipes, whether they be drainage or supply pipes.

In the photos is the condition of the pipes after a routine bathroom upgrade. After discovering a leak in the toilet water closet I immediately went over to the water supply valve located in the bathroom to shut of the water. What happened next was totally unexpected.

While turning the water supply valve off the pipe hidden behind the wall snapped and within less than a ½ of a second there was water gushing out of the pipe with the full force of a garden hose dumping water into the tiled bathroom. I hurriedly ran down to the utility room and shut the water off at the main. When I returned to the bathroom there was one inch of water on the floor that needed to be cleaned up ASAP.

As you can see in the photo the end result of the broken off pipes. What happened was the plumber used a threaded connection instead a stronger soldered connection. The house was over sixty years old and the potential was there.

After replacing the wall tiles and setting the toilet back in place I felt that everything was taken care of. I was proud of myself for a job well done. But not so fast. As I went down to the utility room to shut the water main off I noticed water on the floor. Low and behold, the toilet was leaking. After further analysis I was able to determine that the source of the leak was another broken pipe that connected to the bottom of the toilet, an ole fashion “lead bend” connected to a verticle caste iron drain.

Where the crack/or hole came from on the lead drainage pipe I’ll never know but one thing is for sure when remodeling older homes… prepare for the unexpected!

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