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Old 09-03-2017, 07:32 PM   #1
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Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


I want to remove and replace this 1/2" female pipe thread hose bibb, which is connected to what seems to be a 1/2" male pipe thread nipple that's hidden in the exterior wall. The house has copper plumbing, so my best guess is that inside that wall there is a copper 1/2" female pipe thread fitting, into which the builder screwed this iron nipple.

What worries me is that I have no way to get a wrench on the nipple, so when I attempt to unscrew the hose bibb, it would seem that I am just as likely to loosen the other end of the nipple, at the joint that's hidden in the wall. I might try heating the hose bibb with a torch, but I'm not going to feel comfortable really heating it like crazy, out of fear of burning the house down.

Other than opening up the wall and redoing this whole thing the right way, what's the best way to approach this? How much risk is there that I'll end up with a leak inside the wall?

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Old 09-03-2017, 08:33 PM   #2
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


First, I would try cleaning up all around the threads with metal brush, get as much of the paint and sediment off as you can, then blast the threads with some pb blaster. Let it soak for awhile, and give a few taps all around the hose bib.

Then carefully hold threaded piece with channel lock pliers and unscrew hose bib with another wrench. ccw. Try tighten first then untighten. Try to break all the sediment and paint loose. You might get lucky.

If no luck, if there is access from inside or crawlspace whatever, just go to the nearest union and replace that piece of pipe with another one. ezpz123z.

Post some pics from the inside. Thank you.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


If you can't unscrew it without the pipe unscrewing inside the wall, you may just have to unscrew it and pull it out of the wall. Next, remove the pipe from the bibb, wrap it good with teflon tape and reinstall into the fitting in the wall. Install the new bibb with teflon on the pipe and screw it on.

You other option is to cut off the bibb close to where the wrench area is then notch the bibb parallel with the pipe but don't cut into the pipe threads. Take a screw driver and give it a good twist to break it open. It'll then unscrew easily.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Thanks jmon, good ideas. There's nothing to show from inside, just a finished wall (that I really don't want to bust open).
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Once we see some inside pics, will go from there. There are many easy options like sharkbty fittings etc., for easy replacement. No soldering required. So no chance of burning ur house down.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:45 PM   #6
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Ok, I understand.

Well, try that first option, you may be able to get a channel lock on those threads to hold it. Always use two wrenches.

Hope everything works out for you mc and ur able to get it off. Let us know how you made out. thank you.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
Once we see some inside pics, will go from there. There are many easy options like sharkbty fittings etc., for easy replacement. No soldering required. So no chance of burning ur house down.
The only way that I can show any inside pics is to bust open the drywall on the inside of the wall ... and if I conclude that that's where this project is headed, then I'm going to bag the whole thing. No way that Mrs. 510 would sign off on that.

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Originally Posted by KHouse75 View Post
If you can't unscrew it without the pipe unscrewing inside the wall, you may just have to unscrew it and pull it out of the wall. Next, remove the pipe from the bibb, wrap it good with teflon tape and reinstall into the fitting in the wall. Install the new bibb with teflon on the pipe and screw it on.

You other option is to cut off the bibb close to where the wrench area is then notch the bibb parallel with the pipe but don't cut into the pipe threads. Take a screw driver and give it a good twist to break it open. It'll then unscrew easily.
KHouse75, interested idea about just cutting/cracking/removing the old bibb; I'm going to give that one some thought. I have thought about your first point on reinstalling the nipple, but it worries me that I wouldn't be able to get a wrench on it to tighten, and wouldn't be able to inspect for leaks.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


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The only way that I can show any inside pics is to bust open the drywall on the inside of the wall ... and if I conclude that that's where this project is headed, then I'm going to bag the whole thing. No way that Mrs. 510 would sign off on that.
Ok, I understand.

Well, try that first option, you may be able to get a channel lock on those threads to hold it. Always use two wrenches.

Hope everything works out for you mc and ur able to get it off. Let us know how you made out. thank you.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:03 PM   #9
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Why do you want to remove it, is it leaking? You may be able to rebuild it. See if you can find a brand name, or take stem out and take it with you to match it up at a hardware, plumbing supply, or big box store.

Are you in a cold climate? If so, a frostproof sillcock would be better, imo.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


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Why do you want to remove it, is it leaking?
No, I want to remove it because it is in a terribly inconvenient location. I intend to replace the bibb with a 90 degree sharkbite fitting, then run 1/2" copper along the side of the house for about 8 feet, then put a new bibb there where I can actually get to it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #11
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Quote:
I want to remove and replace this 1/2" female pipe thread hose bibb, which is connected to what seems to be a 1/2" male pipe thread nipple that's hidden in the exterior wall.
Ayuh,.... Put a pipe wrench on the bib, 'n turn it out,....

If the nipple comes with it, so be it,...
Install a new nipple with the new hose bib,....

If the nipple snaps off,....
Use a spiral extractor to remove the piece left in the fittin' in the wall, 'n again, install a new nipple with the new hose bib,....
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


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Ayuh,.... Put a pipe wrench on the bib, 'n turn it out,....

If the nipple comes with it, so be it,...
Install a new nipple with the new hose bib,....
I wouldn't be able to twist directly on the new nipple to tighten it; I'd have to rely on the torque that's delivered from the new bibb (elbow, actually, but same difference) ... it tightens on the new nipple, which then tightens into the hidden female fitting. Makes sense, but I worry that this wouldn't get the hidden end tight enough. 'Course, it's not like I have a lot of experience with pipe thread; you sayin' I should be comfortable that this wouldn't leak in the wall?
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


I've done it that way many times with no leaks. You have to remember that when you try to remove the old bibb, you are going to disturb the joint in the wall which gives you a higher chance of it leaking. If it was me, I'd feel much more comfortable removing the pipe and reapplying dope or teflon tape.

These are tapered threads so the further in the pipe goes the tighter it gets. Turning the bibb will tighten both joints.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:00 PM   #14
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


Thanks all ... also just discovered the existence of the internal pipe wrench, which seems perfectly suited for this situation ... though you're all convincing me that I probably don't actually need it.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Remove hose bibb w/o loosening hidden nipple?


The chain hardware stores carry these. Home Depot has a set of three for different size pipes for around $10. I used one once for removing a pipe for a pot filler that wasn't accessible after the slate tiles were installed. Worked just fine.
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