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PA_AL
02-04-2007, 02:44 PM
Help.
Tried to replace the pipe that feeds a shower head with a longer one. When unscrewing, the threaded end furthest from the shower head broke off (about 1/2 way down the threads). I'm at a loss as to ideas to get the remainder out. Any recommendations? Picture 1 is the pipe that broke at the end so you can see what I'm talking about. Picture 2 is the feed pipe with the brass inner circle being the portion of the extension that broke off.
I'd appreciate any recommendations.
Al

jadnashua
02-04-2007, 03:02 PM
There's a tool made for this - it's called a nipple extractor. You insert it into the broken part, and use a wrench to unscrew things. It has a cam that expands to hold and turn the fitting from the inside.

Sometimes you can take something small and pry the thing out of there - it is usually easier if you can take a hacksaw blade and cut through it from the inside. If you try that, make sure you don't go deep enough to mess up the threads of the fitting.

http://www.terrylove.com/images/pipe_extractor.jpg
This extractor has had the end sawed off so that it won't bottom out in the fitting.

Randyj
02-04-2007, 03:24 PM
I've also heard that tool called an "inside pipe wrench". Had the same problem recently on a shower. The tool worked on it. Same problem on a commercial water valve at the meter required the cutting of the pipe on the inside then digging it out in pieces.

BS
02-04-2007, 04:34 PM
I've had that problem a couple times with our shower for some unknown reason. I didn't buy any special tools (I'm a DIY'er) -- just used my long-nosed pliers. This might work for you: Pry up the broken end of the spiraling thread. Then grip it with the long-nosed pliers and twist the pliers to wrap the thread around the nose. This will peel the thread away from the inside of the fitting.

Let us know what works.

- Bernie

kordts
02-04-2007, 05:33 PM
You can chisel that out, or use an easy out. A nipple extractor, or internal wrench won't work here.

Randyj
02-04-2007, 07:57 PM
If the dog eared shower ell is not anchored you will pinch the pooch if you try to chisel it out... you don't want to knock that bad boy back in the wall then have to tear out the wall to find it.

harleysilo
02-05-2007, 04:48 AM
Update? :D

If the method you chose to use to attempt to extract the remaining piece fails, can you access the backside of that shower? Is there a closet or other type of internal wall you could open up to cut and replace the ell?

Plumb or Die
02-05-2007, 05:04 AM
The hacksaw ways the way to go. Cut through the broken piece in two places, about a 1/4" apart. Don't cut 100% of the way through and screw up the internal threads. 99%'s good. Use a 1/4" wide flat crewdriver to pry out the little piece between the two cuts.
Once that piece is out, the remaining bit of broken pipe can be gently pried out. I've done this many times, works like a charm. One cut won't do, you have to do two to weaken the rest of the pipe so you can pry it towards the inside of the fitting, and out.
Good Luck!

Cass
02-05-2007, 05:11 AM
If the shower arm threads are disintegrated enough a nipple extractor will ruin the female threads of the fitting.

plumber1
02-05-2007, 06:11 AM
Teflon tape would have let the shower arm come out much easier.

I go with the hacksaw way and pick it out. Extractors don't normally work.

Put the teflon tape on when installing.

PA_AL
02-05-2007, 06:39 PM
Wow...this website is great. Terriffic advice. I headed to the local Lowe's looking for a 'nipple extractor'...as embarassing as that may be to ask for. Found the internal wrench (cheap, just a couple of bucks). I also had a hacksaw blade just in case.

The wrench worked like a charm. Took a little muscle to get it going, then no problem. I made sure to use the teflon tape when putting in the new extension.

Thanks again for all the help. I'm just shocked at all the great advice so quickly.
Al

leejosepho
02-05-2007, 06:51 PM
...looking for a 'nipple extractor'...as embarassing as that may be to ask for...

When I was about 13 and I had just asked a plumber in my dad's RV factory to tell me how to tell the difference between male threads and female threads, he was too embarrassed (maybe for me?) to answer!

SteveW
02-05-2007, 07:28 PM
Wow...this website is great. Terriffic advice. I headed to the local Lowe's looking for a 'nipple extractor'...as embarassing as that may be to ask for. Found the internal wrench (cheap, just a couple of bucks). I also had a hacksaw blade just in case.

The wrench worked like a charm. Took a little muscle to get it going, then no problem. I made sure to use the teflon tape when putting in the new extension.

Thanks again for all the help. I'm just shocked at all the great advice so quickly.
Al

Always good to have a happy ending!

If you are like me, you'll keep coming and checking out the "new posts" (see that heading above) every day just to learn something, or see what the latest plumbing or electrical controversy is...

It is a great site, with wonderful folks chiming in on all manner of topics.

Randyj
02-05-2007, 11:18 PM
PA AL... glad it worked. I've done it several times with the extractor and am still spinning from the guys saying it won't work... I think it depends on how you hold your mouth when turning the wrench.:rolleyes:

gitngoin
02-22-2007, 10:07 AM
I have used a Dremal with a ball end bit and CAREFULLY cut two opposing grooves then colapse the piece to remove. Works real well.

AL_2007
02-22-2007, 10:41 AM
This happened to me sometime ago, but luckily it was a plastic pipe. I used a chisel which fitted the inside of the broken pipe in the thread and turned it round. Not sure if this would work with the copper pipe. You may have to cut two opposite ends like somebody suggested here. You can use a hack saw blade to do the cut. But this might ruin the fixed (female) thread as well.

hj
02-22-2007, 07:39 PM
When I was about 13 and I had just asked a plumber in my dad's RV factory to tell me how to tell the difference between male threads and female threads, he was too embarrassed (maybe for me?) to answer!

Or as the lady said when the hardware man asked if she wanted male or female pieces, "I want to put them together, not mate them." And a realtor who sold one of my homes told me one that that when she worked in her father's hardware store, one time, a man came in and asked for a 3/8 nipple, and she slapped him.

kordts
02-22-2007, 09:44 PM
Well, I am glad that the nipple extractor worked.

AL_2007
02-23-2007, 11:28 AM
When I was about 13 and I had just asked a plumber in my dad's RV factory to tell me how to tell the difference between male threads and female threads, he was too embarrassed (maybe for me?) to answer!

Or as the lady said when the hardware man asked if she wanted male or female pieces, "I want to put them together, not mate them." And a realtor who sold one of my homes told me one that that when she worked in her father's hardware store, one time, a man came in and asked for a 3/8 nipple, and she slapped him.


:D :D

I wonder what jokes there are on Gender Changers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_changer) :eek:

coz
02-27-2007, 06:09 PM
if this ever happens to anyone use a 1/2 npt pipe tap cleans the thin brass right out.... extractors ruin the threads....

Helaire
06-08-2008, 06:36 PM
The hacksaw ways the way to go. Cut through the broken piece in two places, about a 1/4" apart. Don't cut 100% of the way through and screw up the internal threads. 99%'s good. Use a 1/4" wide flat crewdriver to pry out the little piece between the two cuts.
Once that piece is out, the remaining bit of broken pipe can be gently pried out. I've done this many times, works like a charm. One cut won't do, you have to do two to weaken the rest of the pipe so you can pry it towards the inside of the fitting, and out.
Good Luck!

Yay!! I have been working on a 1/3" of broken off pipe threads for 2 months or so, now. Have purchased probably 5 different tools, and also tried to dissolve some of the mineral deposits by sticking the corner of a vinegar-soaked towel in the opening and leaving it there overnight several times. Internal wrenches just ground down and smoothed the surfaces so I couldn't get a grip on the inside of the pipe. So, I got a file that was triangular shaped around rather than round and started cutting a few grooves in the pipe to create something to grab. An "easy out" was too long---didn't have that much clearance behind the broken segment for it to grab. I tried an Reps pipe extractor and just couldn't get enough traction to turn it. Today, with your wonderful advice, I filed a parallel line 1/4" away from one of the grooves I had made earlier, hammered away with a small flathead screwdriver and finally got a small piece out, worked at it some more, until enough broke free that I could get under a segment of the broken out part with needlenose pliers, and simply unscrewed the rest as if it had never been stuck!!! Many, many thanks!! I see that I did grind down a little of the threads on the inside of the remaining pipe, but I bet that with a good bit of plumber's tape on the replacement pipe threads, it will be fine. I am very grateful for your wise advice, clearly born of a lot of experience.

Finally, I can install my rainwater shower head and enjoy a long awaited and much deserved luxury! :):D;):)
Thank you, thank you!

Sandpiper Plumbing
06-08-2008, 08:04 PM
I've removed probably over a hundred broken shower arms at this point in my career and I've never had to hacksaw a single one of them. I have a square easy-out that I tap into the remaining threads and just turn out the broken end. Sometimes I'll find a small tab hanging off the end of the broken threads and can unwind the remaining threads with a needlenose pliers like another member mentioned. Between those two methods, I've never had one not come out, and I've certainly never had to open the wall to repair one.

Redwood
06-08-2008, 08:16 PM
As long as we are going to ressurect a feb 2007 thread we might as well improve the answer.... I too do not play with hacksaw blades. unless I'm trying to get a piece started for the first method I list below.

I usually get them out through the existing hole in the wall or, make it slightly larger but still small enough that the escutchion will cover it then by catching a piece of the thread and break it inward then grab it with pliers or, small vise grips continue round and round carefully breaking it inward without breaking it off. Kinda like opening a sardine can... It ends up looking like a helicoil and it comes out. Hopefully this works for you, there are other more expensive methods if this doesn't work.

http://www.atlanticfasteners.com/graphics/new/HeliCoilthreadinserts.gif

On the siouxchief website http://www.siouxchief.com/Frm_MS.cfm click specialties, then tools... Scroll down to "Internal Nipple Wrench" That is another tool that may work.

Another way that I get them out is by using a #7 easy out with 1/2" cut off the end.

http://static.zoovy.com/img/usfreight/W180-H180-Bffffff/1218a6pcspiral.jpg

If you can get it using the first method you don't have to buy any tools.:D

Mikey
06-09-2008, 04:20 AM
When I was about 13 and I had just asked a plumber in my dad's RV factory to tell me how to tell the difference between male threads and female threads, he was too embarrassed (maybe for me?) to answer!
I had the similar experience with my dad when I was about 6. He just paused, and said the male goes into the female. I said OK, but hadn't a clue what he meant. Eventually the light dawned, but it's getting dimmer :(.

Herk
06-09-2008, 02:33 PM
I've taken out quite a number of these broken-off threads. I simply use a small bladed flat screwdriver and a hammer. The brass threads are so thin that you can pop the screwdriver beneath them and then pop out the entire set with needle-nosed pliers. The trick is to not damage the threads on the heavier brass drop ear ell. Of course, this depends upon the drop ear being secured well behind the wall.