Broken threaded end of pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by PA_AL, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. PA_AL

    PA_AL New Member

    Messages:
    2
    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

    Attached Files:

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,258
    Location:
    New England
    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.

    [​IMG]
    This extractor has had the end sawed off so that it won't bottom out in the fitting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2009
  3. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
  4. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    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
  5. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    You can chisel that out, or use an easy out. A nipple extractor, or internal wrench won't work here.
  6. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
  7. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Georgia
    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?
  8. Plumb or Die

    Plumb or Die Plumbing Instructor

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Southern BC Canada
    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!
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If the shower arm threads are disintegrated enough a nipple extractor will ruin the female threads of the fitting.
  10. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    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.
  11. PA_AL

    PA_AL New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Problem resolved

    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
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    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!
  13. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    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.
  14. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    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:
  15. gitngoin

    gitngoin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    west coast
    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.
  16. AL_2007

    AL_2007 Geotechnical Engineer

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas
    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.
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,020
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    boy

    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.
  18. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    Well, I am glad that the nipple extractor worked.
  19. AL_2007

    AL_2007 Geotechnical Engineer

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas

    :D :D

    I wonder what jokes there are on Gender Changers :eek:
  20. coz

    coz New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    MA
    if this ever happens to anyone use a 1/2 npt pipe tap cleans the thin brass right out.... extractors ruin the threads....
Similar Threads: Broken threaded
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Broken threaded PVC May 10, 2006
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Broken toilet flange dilemna Jun 5, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Broken ABS pipe behind vanity May 24, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Help: broken water meter? Apr 16, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Clamp-on to Cast Iron, broken pipe. Mar 16, 2014

Share This Page