Decades ago while hand-threading five stories of 1″ steel pipe, a gas company employee shared a great product with me. His fancy blue pipe dope to apply to pipe threads before screwing everything together. Back in those days, I used grey pipe dope, or more often, white dope with teflon. The blue stuff? An expensive specialty item.
That gas company guy said they used only the blue stuff. It was the best. Pipes never leaked. You did not have to tighten pipe like Hercules to get a good seal. After my gifted can was empty, I bought another. Two decades later I still buy the same pipe dope, Oatey MEGALOC. Sometimes an even stronger product, Oatey Block, for larger or irregular pipe as well as specialty applications. Made in the USA for professional plumbers worldwide.
MADE IN USA / HECHO EN EE.UU.
Even if you are not a professional, just a guy who knows a lot about pipes, do yourself a favor. Get an edge on every project. The upper hand on potential issues. Oatey MEGALOC and BLOCK, their Blue Wonders.
MEGALOC cleans up with water. BLOCK requires isopropyl alcohol.
A century after this opera & vaudeville theater opened, as spaces became repurposed, pipes tend to run in unpredictable directions. In this case, the offending pipe was not buried in a wall, but above a newer ceiling. A horizontal offset taking rainwater from the roof into the basement sewer, it was. Cracked along the top, one piece spewed water like a clam when thunderstorms and flash flooding occurred. How old was the pipe? A plumber had shoved a few risqué handbills into a dark corner for me to find sixty-five years later.
Getting another piece of cast iron service weight pipe 14′ above the floor into this area would be difficult; a second plumber, a helper, tools, lights, it was to be a festival of plumberly noises and smells. For now, a quick fix would protect the ceiling, walls, and floors from further damage.
I turned to the leader in plumbing materials, Oatey. Decades have I used their blue MEGALOC pipe dope after endorsement from the gas company. Oatey Plumbers Putty sets every kitchen sink within my hands. Had they a repair material for cast iron?
Sure enough, along with all the Oatey products I’ve used for years I found Fix It Sticks. Two part putty epoxy rolled together. I cut the stick in half, kneaded and rolled the epoxy into a consistent color, and began pressing the putty into the crack as the epoxy was heating up. Wow, I should first have read the instructions! It is ready to go 2~5 minutes after mixing!
The second half of the stick was all it took to complete temporary repairs. The epoxy will probably outlast the pipe, but being a concealed location, we’ll swap out the pipe in a couple of weeks when the weather is more cooperative. Perhaps another article on Charlotte cast iron pipe?