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Old 01-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


I'm replacing my bathtub and the drain line has a 50-year-old 1.5" galvanized nipple coming out of cast-iron that I need to remove. Problem is, the nipple is in a pit and completely below the level of the foundation (I'm on a slab) and I can't grab it with a pipe wrench.

Any suggestions on how to get ahold of that pipe so I can twist it out?

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


that sucks! can you make the hole bigger?

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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that sucks! can you make the hole bigger?
I could, but really would like to avoid that! It's about 16" in diameter now, not enough to get a long enough wrench in to get some leverage.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


how long is pipe nipple? can you collapse the end of nipple enough to pry it out without hurting the fitting its threaded into?
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:19 AM   #5
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how long is pipe nipple? can you collapse the end of nipple enough to pry it out without hurting the fitting its threaded into?
It's about 6" long. I don't feel good about collapsing it, it would be a big headache if the cast iron threads were damaged.

I think I'll probably have to drill a hole through it or cut a groove at the top and insert something like an emergency shut-off bar to twist it from above. I have dosed it a few times with P'Blaster and that will make a big difference. It's just getting a good grip on it and having some leverage is the problem.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:22 AM   #6
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


if you can hit it with a big chisel where it threads in sometimes you can squeeze it in on itself to where it can be wiggled out depending on how rusty it is
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:34 AM   #7
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


I'd start dumping penetrating oil down around the threads every couple hours and tapping in it while Yeah I Know Digging to get at it. Whew!!

Hopefully when you are able to get at it it will give from the oil.

Good Luck
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:46 AM   #8
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


Ayuh,.... You need a wrench like This,....


If you have Oxy/ Ac torches,... Heat the pipe nipple Red hot,+ quench it with cold water,...
It'll break free,+ spin out quite easily....

Penetrating oil don't do much good, it can't penetrate any better than the water that's been in the pipe for the last 50 years...
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


The oil will work if it is put on the outside of the nipple where it goes into the cast. And if it is used often and with time to penetrate.

Everybody don't have tourches and it is very dangerous that much heat in the area of the house where the framing is and other combustable material.

I like that tool.

Last edited by SULTINI; 01-25-2010 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Last comment.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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The oil will work if it is put on the outside of the nipple where it goes into the cast. And if it is used often and with time to penetrate.

Everybody don't have tourches and it is very dangerous that much heat in the area of the house where the framing is and other combustable material.

I like that tool.
I could get my hands on a torch, but that's a last resort. I've used P'Blaster on identical nipples in cast iron and after a few treatments over a few days, they have twisted off without incident, given enough leverage.

That internal wrench looks good. Not cheap though at about $70. I found a cheapo chain wrench that works with a 1/2" socket rachet. If I put a 12" extension on my breaker bar, it might just do it. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:33 PM   #11
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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I found a cheapo chain wrench that works with a 1/2" socket rachet.
Ayuh,... I was lookin' for a crow's foot chain, or pipe wrench when I found the 1 pictured,....

I have Easy-outs quite Large, but nothin' That Large...
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #12
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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I could get my hands on a torch, but that's a last resort. I've used P'Blaster on identical nipples in cast iron and after a few treatments over a few days, they have twisted off without incident, given enough leverage.

That internal wrench looks good. Not cheap though at about $70. I found a cheapo chain wrench that works with a 1/2" socket rachet. If I put a 12" extension on my breaker bar, it might just do it. I'll keep you posted.
Please do I like to hear the ending and I always learn something.

Sounds like a plan with that wrench setup. Good Luck
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:48 PM   #13
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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Ayuh,... I was lookin' for a crow's foot chain, or pipe wrench when I found the 1 pictured,....

I have Easy-outs quite Large, but nothin' That Large...
Not really a quote but a question, enlighten me what is a Master General ReEngineer?? And is there a Degree with that title?? Thanks.

Last edited by SULTINI; 01-25-2010 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Asked a question
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #14
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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And is there a Degree with that title??
Ayuh,.... From the University of Life,...
Got a Doctorate in makin' everything I own,... Better...
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:14 AM   #15
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Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?


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Please do I like to hear the ending and I always learn something.

Sounds like a plan with that wrench setup. Good Luck
Here's what happened: I bought this (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=97073) and I actually got it to grip the pipe and I was turning it with my 1/2" ratchet and about 4 feet of pipe for leverage. It absolutely would NOT budge, despite being dosed with P'Blaster for 3 nights in a row. The nipple began to collapse in on itself, but I keep pulling, then the chain wrench snapped in 2 places -- that's what I get for buying a $5.99 wrench at Harbor Freight!

Tried my other wrenches, no luck. So I got out the reciprocating saw and followed the advice I'd read from other posts and cut the pipe lengthwise into slivers and then twisted them out. I was left with just the threads still in place, and I had my doubts, but I got an old screwdriver and began hammering an edge. It slowly started to push in and behold, I was actually able to twist the remaining bit of pipe out! To God be the glory!

All that took me about 2.5 hours this evening. The threads on the cast iron actually are in great shape, I couldn't believe it. But the trap itself was filled quite a bit with debris -- iron filings and even gravel, surprisingly! I guess over the past 50 years, things fell down there and couldn't be fished out.

I used a telescoping magnet to pull all the iron stuff out, and then vacuumed what I could out. Ironically, after all that work, I'm thinking I should just jackhammer out the floor a bit and remove the whole trap and put in an ABS one with a Fernco coupling! I think the trap is fine but it would only take a few hours and it would be brand-new.

Anyways, thanks for all the encouragement and advice -- with this chatroom, I feel like I can do just about anything now!

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