(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: how to unthread black iron fitting

  1. #1

    Default how to unthread black iron fitting

    Hi, what is the typical method for unscrewing a black iron pipe from a fitting? the pipe is 1" threaded coming out of a 1.5"-1" reducer hung from the ceiling in my basement. Will just two pipe wrenches and some heat work or do I need a special tool?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,207
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Two pipe wrenches should be fine. If that's not enough, sometimes heating the female fitting helps.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    A couple of other things you might try if two pipe wrenches won't crack it loose are some PB Blaster on the fitting, and/or cheater handles on the wrenches. FWIW, PB Blaster is an excellent penetrating oil. Many folks try WD-40, but that is not a penetrating oil. It has its place, that this isn't one of them. I'd be careful with heat if the fitting is close to the ceiling.

  4. #4

    Default

    thanks!

    Is liquid wrench similar to PB? I've already got some lying around if so. The fitting is probably about6-8" below the open floor joist.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,428

    Default

    Go ahead and try the Liquid Wrench. Just be very careful if you then try to heat it, as the oil will smoke and burn. Often, all you need is a bigger wrench.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    Yes, I think Liquid Wrench is a comparable product, PB Blaster may be a tad better, but I've never seen result of a test between the two.

  7. #7

    Default

    If I were to tackle this job this weekend would heating it up tonight and then after it cools down apply the LW work out? Wondering the time needed to penetrate the joint. Is there any value in heating it up days before I try and unscrew it?

    On a side note, I am getting ready to reroute some baseboard and notice the original copper fittings have some nice long bends in the 90's. Is it still possible to locate this type of fitting? I'm big into aquariums and we always try and design systems with minimal bends that limit flow. I'm assuming the same applies to heating systems. I contemplated going pex, but from some things I've read the ID isn't 3/4 and that seams to bother me if I'm creating restrictions within my loop.

    Oh, sorry, one last thing. Does it make a difference what copper tube I use for hydronic system? red or blue? It seems the walls of the slantfin tube are so thin that the red would be enough but maybe I'm missing something.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,659

    Default

    Unless you heat it when you want to remove the pipe, so it is still hot and expanded, it will do little if anything to make it easier to take apart. Long radius elbows are something an air conditioning supply company would have. "Red" type M copper was developed for heating systems. Any other grade is "overkill".
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,207
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Heat only works if you quickly heat the female portion to expand it. Once the inner portion or pipe reaches the same temperature and expands; you're right where you started.

    You can also use bigger wrenches. It's why plumbers have big arms.

    Last edited by Terry; 09-27-2012 at 09:58 AM.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    355

    Default

    Us engineers have big muscles too -- inside our heads

  11. #11
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,207
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Us engineers have big muscles too -- inside our heads
    Yes.......................What do you mean by that?

  12. #12

    Default

    ummmm.....yeah. What he said.

    Thanks guys, the combo of liquid wrench and cheater bars worked great.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    Isn't leverage a wonderful thing! As a kid on the farm, I always knew when a couple of 1-12" x 6' galvanized pipes were. This was way before PVC, so we used lots of 2" galvanized pipes in our irrigation system. Even smaller pipes could be difficult. 'Course in those days I weighed in at 130 lbs, so I didn't have a lot of beef to back me up and I needed all the help I could get sometimes. Glad we could help and that it worked out well for you.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,659

    Default

    quote; Us engineers have big muscles too -- inside our heads

    The problem is that they seldom get used or excercised.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

Similar Threads

  1. Black Iron Pipe
    By Soto in forum Boiler Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-13-2010, 08:28 AM
  2. How do I unthread pipe from a fitting?
    By awardmont in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-28-2010, 05:57 AM
  3. cast iron fitting installed in cast iron soil pipe
    By web_surfer in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-10-2009, 06:20 AM
  4. Black iron
    By Riosman in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-09-2007, 10:56 AM
  5. Black Iron & Copper Together
    By emerrill1@comcast.net in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-24-2005, 10:41 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •