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n0c7 08-27-2008 12:11 PM

How to reuse a ABS fitting guide
Figured it was my time to recontribute to the forum. Recently I had a ABS fitting that was leaky. The joint was flush with concrete so it was either find a way to reuse it or rent a jack hammer.

First, this is what I had to work with. Notice the position of the joint:

This pipe was for my sump pump. First step was to make sure the sump was as close to empty as possible(don't do this on a rainy day) and have a backup pump near just in case. I have a check valve installed so make sure you open it up and get all the water out of the line. I made my initial cut about 6" above, and then cut the fitting as flush as possible with the elbow. From there, I took a small saw and made two cuts 1/4" apart very very carefully without cutting into the existing fitting. The reason for the 1/4" space is that you need to remove some material so that the rest of the plastic will curl and give you room to work with. I used a heatgun to help melt the glue and warm the plastic. Use a flathead screwdriver and a hammer to start to pry the plastic, keep moving around the diameter of the fitting as the left over piece starts to separate. Once it begins to separate the rest comes pretty easy applying heat slowly. Be very careful as if you break the fitting your SOL. If you use too much heat from the heat gun you'll weaken and melt the fitting. If all goes well, in about 45 minutes you'll be left with this:

Now, clean out the existing fitting. I used some 200grit sandpaper to clean out the old glue and shopvac'd it out. Get a new piece of ABS pipe and cut to length. I used a fernco style no-hub adapter to reconnect the second cut. Slide the new connector on the pipe first or else you won't be able to get it on once you've pushed the new ABS pipe into the old fitting. Do a test fit to see how things fit. Once you've determined you've got a reasonable fitment, get ABS cement, put a decent coat around the new pipe and the old fitting. Push the pipe into the fitting as far as it will go, give it a turn and hold it steady for adleast a minute. Luckily I still had a snug fit, but since this was going into a finished wall I was very generous with the cement. Take a breather, let things cure a bit, then reconnect the adapter snugly.

I waited a day and then tested. No leaks. Good luck. Reusing ABS fittings is possible, just takes steady hand/eye coordination, patience, etc. I've heard that there are some drill tools available to drill out the old plastic, but I could not find one locally and I've read that they tend to leave the fitting a bit of a looser fit.

Many thanks to the guys here at diychatroom and over at

47_47 08-27-2008 02:10 PM

Good tips and glad it worked for you, n0c7. Hope I'll never have to do this.

jogr 08-27-2008 04:46 PM

No primer with ABS? Everthings PVC here and "purple" primer is required.

n0c7 08-27-2008 05:26 PM


Originally Posted by jogr (Post 152363)
No primer with ABS? Everthings PVC here and "purple" primer is required.

I had that debate, I thought it was needed. Not one box store here sells ABS primer, only purple PVC primer. Was told by numerous sources that it was not necessary with ABS and that using purple PVC primer on ABS was a no-no. If I could find it I would have used it and I welcome any tips from any other "seasoned" DIY plumbers. ;)

n0c7 08-27-2008 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by 47_47 (Post 152326)
Good tips and glad it worked for you, n0c7. Hope I'll never have to do this.

Yup, especially when that pipe is in your walk-in closet that is completely finished. :mad:

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