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farrington135 07-13-2007 12:28 PM

iron pipe fittings
 
Hello all. I'm replacing the stop valves in my downstairs bath. Both are attached to iron pipes that go into the basement. Although I have done lots of plumbing work with copper and compression fittings, I have never work with galvanized IP. I'm a little bit concerned with getting the valves off the nipples but what I'm even more concerned with is the elbow below the floor that the hot water nipple is in. It's rusted on the outside and I think it needs to be replaced. As far as replacing IP fittings how tight should they be and what is best to use on the threads? Also what are the chances they end up in the same position as the fittings I'm replacing?? thanks

Mike Swearingen 07-13-2007 09:16 PM

farrington,
I've been an avid DIYer for more than 50 years, and one of the most frustrating things that I've ever worked with is old galvanized pipe (which is what my parents had way back when and what I "learned" on).
When working with old galvanized, you will always need two good pipe wrenches...one for backup to hold what you're trying to screw something out of or into without letting it move at all, and one to turn what you want to remove or screw on.
Depending upon the size of the pipe and the rusted "seize" of the fitting, if you can, sometimes it is helpful for heat it with a torch if you can do it safely. If you can't heat it, then sometimes it helps to soak it in a solvent overnight, such as WD-40. You can use cheater pipes on the wrenches if necessary (pipe large enough to slip over the end of the pipe wrench handles to give you more leverage).
Use 2-3 flat wraps of teflon tape on the male threads wrapped clockwise only as the threaded end faces you, to reconnect the new fittings.
It usually is best to back off from the worst of the rusted fittings to get to a fitting in a better condition, to start replacing old galvanized sections of pipe.
Good Luck!
Mike


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