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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Hi Rick, got a bathroom drain pipe I need to unscrew. Its

Resolved Question:

Hi Rick, got a bathroom drain pipe I need to unscrew. It's a hex nut in the wall that has a welded on 1 1/4 pipe running out. I can't get a pipe wrench on it because it's in the wall and surrounded by other pipes and framing. What might you suggest to unscrew that hex nut?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help with your issue.

Rick :

Have you tried a pair of channel lock pliers?

Customer:

Hi Rick, I'll give that a shot. Here is an image I was trying to post earlier.

Customer:

http://d.pr/i/WIjz

Customer:

Don't know why i didn't try the channel locks.

Rick :

You're not likely to get that out with channel locks either but it's worth a shot

Rick :

Do you know how to solder copper?

Customer:

your right it is really stuck on there. any other ideas?

Rick :

Do you know how to solder?

Customer:

unfortunately not. Do you plumbers ever sawzaw from the inside out but that

Customer:

could hit the threads...

Rick :

Yes but that's too risky. If you slip up you'll have to tear the wall open to replace the tapped TY in the stack

Customer:

if there was a tool that went horizontally onto the hex nut I'd pay handsomely for it.

Rick :

That's a male adapter into a cast iron tapped fitting. If you had all the room in the world and a 2' pipe wrench maybe you could get it out

Customer:

perhaps that is what I need to do is pull back the cabinet, cut the sheet rock and put a pipe wrench on it if I can but trying to find an easier solution.

Rick :

You're only option short of soldering on a new adapter on the end of the copper stub out is to use a Fernco type clamp to make the transition to a new trap

Rick :

Better still would be a no hub type repair clamp that is made to transition from copper to PVC but they are very hard to find

Rick :

Fernco's are fairly common if not entirely code compliant in some locales

Customer:

the image is not latest. I actually cut the pipe away cause it was breaking up and corroded anyway.

Customer:

It's was really thin and don't think copper.

Rick :

What I see looks fairly typical

Rick :

They typically ran a piece of copper out of the wall then soldered a tubular brass trap into the copper. Very common for the tubular to rot out

Rick :

The copper seldom rots

Rick :

If you're saying the piece into the adapter is trashed then you have no alternative other than getting the adapter out whatever it takes

Customer:

Okay, so i'll have to tear up my wall and hopefully get a pipe wrench on it.

Rick :

If you can't get it off with a wrench then you'll have to cut the adapter out. Cut the pipe flush

Customer:

should I spray it with some kind of lubricant to loosen it?

Rick :

then insert a hacksaw/jabsaw into the fitting to slot it but stop short of cutting into the threads

Customer:

If I have to cut it, I'll have to call the plumber then and pay the $$.

Customer:

You mean cut the hex nut? and cave it in? That is one suggestion the guy at the plumbing store mentioned. I just have to have room of course.

Rick :

No lubricant will make any difference. But one trick is to put your wrench (no bigger than a 14" wrench) onto the fitting, put some tension on the wrench then bang down on the end of the handle of the wrench

Rick :

Yes that's what I mean. cut it and cave it in

Rick :

If you whack the end of the wrench handle with a hammer the shock often frees up the fitting

Customer:

Okay. I'll try that first and if doesn't work, I'll try to cut the hex nut.

Rick :

Good luck

Customer:

thanks and i'll let you know how it goes.

Rick :

You're welcome!

Customer:

Hi Rick, have an angle stop that doesn't shut completely off. Can I unscrew the handle (turning off the water of course) and somehow change a washer inside there or do i need to buy and new angle stop?

Rick :

Sometimes you can change the washer if you can find a flexible washer. Most of these stops only have a stud that the washer is pushed over. No screw holding it in place

Customer:

I'll check it and see if I can pull out a washer and then head to HD.

Rick :

ok

Customer:

Hi Rick, look like I'll try to cut the hex nut off. Just to be sure it's a male hex nut so i should cut behind it and try to keep the sawzaw flush as in this image: http://d.pr/i/C0ND

Rick :

If you can get the blade behind the hex then that's the way to go. If not just cut the pipe flush with the face of the hex then make your cuts inside the opening so you can collapse the fitting with a hammer and cold chisel. I wouldn't use a sawzall for the internal cuts since it's way to easy to cut too deep

Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.