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digitalknoll 03-29-2010 08:28 AM

metal pipe thread repair?
hi gang,
when i tried to replace my shower head the stem broke off leaving some thread in the elbow fitting. my "jack of all trades" guy said he could fix it by using a hacksaw blade and slowly cutting the old pipe out. during my first shower i happened to look at the plate that covers the stem from the wall and i noticed water coming out of it. i pulled the plate away from the wall and there was a stream of water shooting from between the pipes at the bottom. i took the whole thing apart and noticed that the hacksaw blade went too deep and completely cut a channel through the threads in the elbow. my question is am i completely screwed? do i have to bust out the wall and replace the elbow and re-tile? or is there some kind of liquid metal
i can use to fill the gap and re-thead?

please let me know if i need to better explain.


Alan 03-29-2010 09:21 AM

He should have used an ez-out. It's hard to tell if that will ever seal without looking at it. Do you have access to the back wall behind the valve? :huh:

digitalknoll 03-29-2010 09:26 AM

yeah, i tried two different ez-outs and neither would catch the old pipe. the 1/2" which should have worked was too small. and i couldn't use a tapered style cause the fitting was an elbow and its was too long. his solution made sense at the time, now i know better. i do not have access behind the wall because there is a block wall behind it.


Alan 03-29-2010 02:08 PM

You can try pipe dope in addition to teflon tape. Tape the threads first, and then put pipe dope on top of them. No guarantees that it will hold for very long, or even at all, but it's worth a shot.

Is this guy a friend of yours or something? I'd be pretty pissed if I had to tear my shower apart, because he screwed the pooch.

digitalknoll 03-29-2010 02:13 PM

no friend
this guy actually had his apprentice do the slice and dice on me. i'm having my uncle over this week to take a look at the damage. he says the same thing, that this dude might have really :censored: me over. i'm calling the pipe cutter tonight to let him know what his guy did, and see if we can get to a resolution. i just bought this house two weeks ago and it was in perfect working order. now i have some :censored: nut ruin it.

Alan 03-29-2010 03:09 PM

Did he slice through all of the threads or just a couple of them?

If there are still some good threads, you might be able to get it to seal...

plumberinlaw 03-29-2010 03:21 PM

if all else fails, one time repair is JB weld next time your going to have to open the wall and replace all the bad parts

digitalknoll 03-29-2010 03:23 PM

sliced threads
he got all of them, but only on the bottom of the fixture (6 o clock). It's a channel about a 1/16" wide on the bottom of the fixture. basically thats just what he did, saw slowly at the bottom until the old stuff was thin enough to get out. he just went too far into the good pipe. i'm thinking if i can find some kind of sealer that can fill that channel i should be alright.

plumberinlaw 03-29-2010 03:35 PM

Hey! give it a try. Water only flows while you are showering it's not under pressure all the time. to bad they were to cheap to buy an internal pipe wrench

DangerMouse 03-29-2010 05:02 PM

Being as it's at 6:00 plumberinlaw's idea of JB Weld (I'd use 5 minute quickset) seems to be worth a try. Mix the 2 parts and set down a GOOD SIZED blob along the broken/sawn area. Immediately screw in the new piece just till it starts to feel snug, wait 5 minutes and unscrew just a hair to keep it from sealing too hard, wait 5 more then gently unscrew it. The next day, repair with tape and/or dope as you normally would.

I've had good success with it, though not with plumbing. Isn't there a waterproof epoxy that would work better than JB? Marine epoxy?
All you need to do is fill in the groove, "remold/rethread", and make the tape set right again.


Daniel Holzman 03-29-2010 06:24 PM

I had a similar problem with a broken copper female fitting out of my boiler. Very difficult to rethread, I ended up using epoxy metal filler. The repair has lasted ten years without any trouble. I got the filler at a big box store, it was similar to Oatey epoxy putty except that it was specifically designed as a metal filler.

digitalknoll 03-30-2010 07:31 AM

ok, so there is an actual metal filler. thats good to hear. this problem is in the master bath, but i have another that i am using in the mean time. so i actually have time to work this out and find the best method. i think i'm gonna look for the metal filler that daniel mentioned. thank you all so much for all the advice and help. its great to see that there are still people out there that have time to help. :thumbsup:


DangerMouse 03-30-2010 07:47 AM

JB Weld IS an epoxy metal filler. It's even slightly magnetic! I was simply concerned about it getting and staying wet. There's also gas tank leak epoxy filler (automotive store) that might work better in this case.


Alan 03-30-2010 09:02 AM

The good news is that it will never be under much pressure at all. The end of the pipe is always wide open through the showerhead. :thumbsup:

DangerMouse 03-30-2010 09:06 AM

.....and the bad news is....? (or doesn't he want to know? lol)


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