how to remove plastic pipe stuck inside copper pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by libinius, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. libinius

    libinius New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New Jersey
    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!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    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. libinius

    libinius New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New Jersey
    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. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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.
  5. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    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. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    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. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,626
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pvc

    A "nipple/pipe extractor" is the ONLY thing I use to remove them.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That is a new one to me, When did the rules change ?
  10. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Gary is correct. PVC can not be used inside the home. You may be confusing it with CPVC.

    John
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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: Dec 26, 2011
  12. bpetey

    bpetey New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    CA
    I have the same idea as BobL 43
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    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.
  14. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    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?:p
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    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"
  16. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    My wife is no J. A. P. she works hard and earns her keep. Good Looking too, what a find! I'll keep her.
  17. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You can heat the copper with a butane large lighter to soften the plastic, Then turn it out with the $3.49 sprinkler riser extractor or a tapered file that fits inside.
  18. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Actually, that would be a good thing as long as the rest of us know about the sale.
  19. eferrini

    eferrini New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Montana
    I'm not a plumber and I'm sure this isn't a better solution than cutting and sweating. But if this pipe isn't buried behind a wall, one option available is cutting this off and simply attaching a sharkbite to establish the new connection.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,626
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The plastic piece will unscrew VERY easily, once you find something to "jam" tightly into it.
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