Remove Brass Fitting from Iron Pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tev9999, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. tev9999

    tev9999 New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Hello. I've been lurking here for awhile, working on a complete bathroom renovation. I'm taking a double sink bathroom down to a single (for accessibility). I have the following in the wall behind where the vanity will go.

    IMG_20120213_214632.jpg

    I cannot budge the brass fitting on the left which ran to the old sink. Have not tried the one on the right yet. I only need one connection, and the one on the left works best for the new vanity layout. The pipe above is the vent to the roof, and the one below goes straight down to the soil stack.

    What is the best way to disassemble this thing without breaking the (freshly painted) wall in the other room? Tried WD-40 with no luck. Torch to the female iron fitting the next step?

    Thanks.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1. That is the wrong fitting in the first place.
    2. You will create a worse situation unless you remove that "cross" and install a sanitary tee.
    3, You need a bigger wrench.
    4. The elbow on the right is probably too "big" to rotate without damaging the wall on the backside.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Use some heat. The line your discontinuing,I would not cap in the wall. I would turn it out of the wall with a 90 ell and install a cleanout.

    Goodluck and if any more questions just ask.
  4. tev9999

    tev9999 New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Thanks. Replacing the cross does not sound like fun. It has been trouble free for 40+ years. What problems could leaving it cause?

    I'll attempt to remove the pipe on the right coming out of the elbow - it would interfere with the vanity drawers anyway. Can I then just put the appropriate size plug into the elbow? It should be far enough back to not interfere.
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I agree it has worked for years and will continue until the rest of the pipe goes bad. Sure plug it......use some heat and it MIGHT come right out.

    Goodluck,let us know how it goes.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,310
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You should also realize the WD 40 is not a penetrating oil. PB Blaster is a great penetrating oil, but I' not sure that is the answer to you problem. Best heed HJ's advice.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would be inclined to sawzall it out using a metal 618 blade and then installing a santee with mission couplings.

    The cross is the wrong fitting, if you ever plan on snaking that line in the future.
  8. tev9999

    tev9999 New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    A sawzall I can manage. Would I just cut above and below the cross and put in PVC with Fernco couplers? Would the vent pipe be supported in the attic or do I have to worry about it dropping and taking the roof with it?

    In reality, what is the probability that a drain line feed by a single sink that has never had to be snaked in 40+ years, dropping vertically 2 or 3 feet before opening into a 4" soil pipe will need to be snaked in the next 40 years?
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Did I say Fernco?

    I didn't say Fernco.
    The Fernco at the hardware store is an illegal fitting that shifts and deforms. No plumber would use one, nor would any inspector pass the job if one was used.

    You can use Mission, with the stainless shielding, or ProFlex with the shielding.

    And golly, of course we worry about the future, we're plumbers.
    I change oil in my car too. Ya know............just in case.

    I'm sure a "handyman" would look at this much differently. I know they do because I wind up fixing their mistakes.
    Of course I make money off their mistakes too, so I shouldn't feel too bad about it.

    [​IMG]
    ProFlex with the metal backing to prevent shifting of the pipes.

    The vent may not be supported. You can look on the roof and see how your vent is done. Sometimes the pipe is through the roof, inside a lead flashing. Many times the pipe will drop downward if it's not supported. Sometimes I just run plastic from the tee up. There is less weight to worry about that way. Pipe is pennies per foot.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  10. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    None of the fittings in that galvanized system would be considered correct by todays standards. IMO its lasted 40 years and it will continue to work until the pipe fails. Dropping that cross with a cable is 1st yr stuff.
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Again,
    you can use the old cross fitting and plug one end of it in the wall, or bring it out, but why leave it in the wall at this point?
    It's such a simple job where the wall open to make it easier for whoever owns the home in the next forty years.

    Of course, you can also just leave it like Hackney would too. I'm not a big fan of leaving fittings in the wall like that if you are converting to a single lav. hj, who is two decades older then me wouldn't leave it either.

    I guess hj and I, the old guys would have loved to replace the cross with a santee. It would make a slick way of doing it. And we love working with pipe and fittings.
    Hackney on the other hand, likes it the way it is. I guess that's the way it is with the younger ones.
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    You dont think other fittings are in that system? If the cross was the last fitting and the rest was pvc then I would say ,"sure change the cross". But its not,there are more fittings under the floor. He could clean that cross out good when he gets the nipples out and it would be good. Getting a cable to drop down the cross wouldn't be a big deal unless it was just time to replace it all.

    My first choice was for him to turn the other side of the cross out of the wall with a 90 and install a cleanout.

    Sanitary crosses are perfectly legal where I pipe it up for this application.
  13. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I like to overbuild and underpay. The minimum requirements are for minimal people.
    I would cut out the cross and put in a sani-tee with a cleanout underneath it.
  14. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I would replace it all but the vent and if they had any money I'd replace that too.

    I'd also like to remind you the plumbing code is minimum requirements and I agree they are minimal people.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  15. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Given that the cost of scrap metal is currently as high as it is, recycling that stuff would pay for what you need in PVC.
  16. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I tell ya metal theft is a big problem down here. People are ripping metal off of vaccant buildings and stealing A>C units while people are home. One guy notice his A.>C wasn't working and went out and it had been stolen while he was inside watching the football game. Thats brutal.
  17. tev9999

    tev9999 New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Heat solved my problem and I got both fittings out. I left the elbow on the right and will cap it flush with the wall. I was not planning on closing up the wall since there will be a full vanity in front of it anyway.

    This upgrade is for my mother to make the bathroom more accessible. The one sink is gone so she can maneuver better with a walker. Tub to larger shower. Since time and money are tight, replacing that cross is probably priority # 2105 with the number of things do get done in her house before she is out of physical therapy rehab.

    Thanks for the advice, and I'll probably be back for more.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; None of the fittings in that galvanized system would be considered correct by todays standards

    On the contrary, EVERY fitting is "correct by today's standards", it is just that few plumbers know how to install a Durham system any more. A saw and can of glue is a lot easier than pipe cutters, reamers, threaders and big wrenches. steel is selling for about five cents a pound so it might not make much of a dent in the cost of the replacement.
  19. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    It would fail here......long sweep fittings must be used.
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