Capping a live lead service line with Philmac UTC?

never frozen lead, only copper.
i've never frozen any pipe under mains pressure either.
but i've wiped joints under terraced houses with common lead water supply, and no controlling shut-off - we asked utility for a street shut down - hack sawed the lead, and wiped on a stub of copper.
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Bob, no kerb stop...the service line is 135 years old. The water meter (and the first internal shutoff valve) are in my cellar, *downstream* from the leak, so they won't do jack to stop the flow. There are no other isolators.

The cost to replace the lead service line is prohibitive because it would need to be dug up all the way to the street main. The street would have to be closed and torn up, with policemen posted at my expense. The municipal water mains are 160 years old and don't even have corporation stops where the supplies branch off, so they would need to shut off water for the whole street to disconnect the lead service line.

Existing lead service lines are grandfathered in, not illegal here.

Health risks can be minimized by being conscientious about using filters and draining the line every morning before use, even if the utility is failing to control corrosiveness of the water (my utility seems to be doing OK with this for now). Everyone in my household has been tested for blood lead levels twice a year, with no detectable lead.

I actually live less than a mile from Newark NJ, one of the cities with a lead crisis (though on a different water system). Newark is replacing all lead supply lines free of cost there, but sadly that is not happening in my city. Perhaps in a few years my water system will change its mind, which is why I want to see if my line can hold up just a bit longer.
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fair enough.
Please tell us what happened next?
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You can cut the lead with a set of ratcheted plastic pipe cutters... Nice sharp blade though.
Seen the Water Lads do it live here, as long as you can get your coupling ready, with a section of HDPE pipe attached to the other end, with a valve on it if required, (make sure valve is fully open), running to a suitable point to discharge the water. Once ready, cut your live service, and then fit the coupling over the end, the pressure/flow will now travel through the plastic pipe, giving you chance to make the joint onto the lead. Once that joint is made, either shut down the valve, or compress the pipe to stop the flow, and deal with the open end.
That's How I'd do it if live but I'd want to see the setup first and measure flow and pressure :eek::confused:
Thanks Hugh, that was precisely my plan, with a ball valve attached to PEX attached to the Philmac coupling.

I was going to practice first by cutting a copper portion of the service line downstream from the shutoff valve and trying the procedure on that section. It should have similar flow and pressure as the lead part of the line, but I'd be able to shut it off in case the procedure didn't work.

But it's probably worthwhile to try Andy's idea first. For a $200 rental I get a chance at perhaps avoiding the risk of turning my cellar into an underground swimming pool.
Andy, I'm handy with the grinder but afraid to get so close with an electric tool if this thing starts gushing. Also, couldn't the grinder heat the pipe and melt the ice plug if it's too close?

At the moment I'm evaluating my options for performing the work. The clamp and epoxy patch have completely stanched the leak for now, so it's bought me some time, I just don't know how much. As soon as I see a single drop of water out of that patch, I'll probably move on cutting the pipe.

Thanks all for your advice!
Thing is anon32 i assumed you are a DIY'er and was advising you as an DIY'er and the idea was to keep everything risk free and basic.

1. snatching the pipe could go south in seconds esp if the cut end is distorted.
2. using a (corded?) grinder, and possibly receiving a surprisingly powerful blast of water in an already wet floored basement could send you south too.
3. hack saw cutting will not distort the pipe. i doubt that you have plastic pipe cutters. would you even have a thin metal cutting blade for a cordless tool?
4. dont know how the clock ticks with plumbers near you but it might be best to simply call one in for the sake of no aggravation and a few dollars more than the hire costs?
All the plumbers I talked to said they think the water flow would be too strong to put a fitting in.

dont know how the clock ticks with plumbers near you but it might be best to simply call one in for the sake of no aggravation and a few dollars more than the hire costs?

Have to admit, I'd have to go with the concern of the plumber's who've been and seen it :unsure:

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