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Thread: how to remove plastic pipe stuck inside copper pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member libinius's Avatar
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    Default how to remove plastic pipe stuck inside copper pipe

    Hi all, I have a pipe problem (see picture below). I had a plastic pipe that was screwed into a copper pipe, but the plastic pipe broke and now the plastic end piece (about a half-inch length of plastic pipe) is stuck inside the copper pipe. I don't have enough of a grip to screw the plastic piece out, nor was I successful with pliers. I tried to cut the pipe with an exacto knife a few times but I can't seem to cut it deep and straight enough.
    Any way I can get the plastic piece out? Maybe some solvent...

    The copper pipe is very long and I hope I don't have to learn how to cut and weld copper instead.
    Appreciate anybody's suggestions!
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    Last edited by libinius; 12-26-2011 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    I would find a chisel that would be narrow enough to not damage the threads, and hammer it into the end of the mess you have there.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member libinius's Avatar
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    dlarrivee, thanks but there's about half an inch in length of plastic pipe still twisted inside the copper pipe so I don't think a chisel would be very effective.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If you can't sweat copper, you have no business trying to repair copper plumbing. I don't know where or how you're going with the pipe after the PVC is removed without sweating. My advice is to get a torch, solder, flux, emery cloth, and some scraps of copper and learn to solder. It's not rocket science, but does have to be done correctly. BTW, PVC is not supposed to be used for water lines inside the house. The simple answer to the repair is to heat the joint and remove the adapter from the pipe, wipe the end of the pipe to remove the excess solder while it is still hot. Then sweat a new fitting on the pipe.

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libinius View Post
    dlarrivee, thanks but there's about half an inch in length of plastic pipe still twisted inside the copper pipe so I don't think a chisel would be very effective.
    I didn't mean chiseling it out.

    Hammer the chisel in place and turn it out with a wrench or pliers... Treat the chisel like the shank of a bit.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Make two cuts through the entire length of plastic about 1/2" apart. Pick out the 1/2" section and then collapse the remaining plastic and pull it out with needle nose pliers.

    John

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    In addition to all the other good answers here, I have one of these that "may" work well in removing that plastic pipe peice without damaging the threads in the fitting http://www.amazon.com/Orbit-Sprinkle.../dp/B000I1RQZ8
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Pvc

    A "nipple/pipe extractor" is the ONLY thing I use to remove them.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    BTW, PVC is not supposed to be used for water lines inside the house.
    That is a new one to me, When did the rules change ?
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  10. #10
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    That is a new one to me, When did the rules change ?
    Gary is correct. PVC can not be used inside the home. You may be confusing it with CPVC.

    John

  11. #11
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Ok, I considered that CPVC is still made with PVC, Thanks for correcting me.

    I do like your Idea John on how to remove the old pipe.

    PVC is easy to work with, and should not be very hard to remove.
    Last edited by DonL; 12-26-2011 at 05:26 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  12. #12

    Default

    I have the same idea as BobL 43
    Last edited by bpetey; 12-26-2011 at 06:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpetey View Post
    I have the same idea as BobL 43

    It would be nice to have a tool of that, If you have time to wait and order it.

    the "nipple/pipe extractor" would be nice, but Tools like that are something a Pro would have.
    Not very cost effective just for 1 time use.

    A good utility knife should cut PVC without damaging the threads.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    It would be nice to have a tool of that, If you have time to wait and order it.

    the "nipple/pipe extractor" would be nice, but Tools like that are something a Pro would have.
    Not very cost effective just for 1 time use.

    A good utility knife should cut PVC without damaging the threads.
    I bought mine many moons ago at the ACE harware store near me. When I used to have landscapers cut the grass for me, they fairly often used to break off the sprinkler head risers at the tees in the ground and deny it of course. It was just easier to buy this cheap tool and use it as it was designed for just this purpose. I would not consider it a Pro tool at all. If you have a sprinkler system, it is a very handy little cheap tool. Besides, we guys need all the tools we can round up before we croak, don't we?
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  15. #15
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL43 View Post
    Besides, we guys need all the tools we can round up before we croak, don't we?

    Very True, and make sure that your wife knows how too use them.

    That way they don't end up in the Garage Sale box marked , "All Junk 50 cents"
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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