Recessed 1.5" Nipple Removal?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by thebigsee, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Southern California
    I'm replacing my bathtub and the drain line has a 50-year-old 1.5" galvanized nipple coming out of cast-iron that I need to remove. Problem is, the nipple is in a16" diameter pit and completely below the level of the foundation (I'm on a slab) and I can't get a good grab it with a pipe wrench.

    Any suggestions on how to get ahold of that pipe so I can twist it out?
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If all that galvanized pipe is underground, when you grab and twist it it may cause untold problems in places you can't see right now...I would be very careful...post a pic so we can see more...
  3. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Southern California
    The galvanized is not underground -- the cast iron is. All the underground lines are cast iron.

    The galvanized was not buried, but in a pit, with the cast-iron at the bottom. I'm not worried about the cast-iron stuff, I've already removed 2 identical nipples from sink trap areas and with good leverage and a couple doses of P'Blaster, they twisted off smoothly without incident. Problem is, I can't fit a wrench into the pit.

    I've seen a wrench called a Perfecto Right-Angle Wrench that would probably take care of it easily, but I don't want to spend $250 on a tool I'll use once in my life. Next step is I'll probably try this thing from Harbor Freight:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=97073

    I'll put my breaker bar on a socket extension and give it a big pull and see what happens. I'll update if success occurs!
  4. bpetey

    bpetey Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    CA
    The longer the extesion, the harder it will be to get out. the extension will flex/twist a little. Can you bust out a bit of concrete to get more room for a wrench?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  5. CountryBumkin

    CountryBumkin New Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    They make an internal wrench for removing pipe. I just bought one for around $20. It gets inserted into the pipe and a bolt is tightened that tightens internal fingers/blades against the inside wall of the fitting. You then turn a large hex on the outside of the tool to remove (or install) the fitting. Mine is for 1/2 inch brass pipe nipple but they make them for larger pipe too.

    Try this link: http://www.**************.com/Prod/...-Nipple-Extractor-1-2-capacity/59514/Cat/1022
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  6. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Cut it off and use a fernco to join up to it?
  7. dcelite

    dcelite Plumber

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    1) use an offset pipe wrench.
    2) Or... cut about a 1/2" section out of the threads inside the cast iron and will come out easily.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Are you sure it is screwed into the cast iron. Most of those connections were lead joints.
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