Screw through ABS pipe :-(

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by stern_howie, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. stern_howie

    stern_howie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hello,

    A Clogged toilet toilet (now clear) has brought me to a spot in the wall downstairs where upon removing a piece of drywall exposes a screw through the 3" ABS pipe.

    I picked up a 3" coupling but before I do any cutting etc. I am looking for any tips. Obviously fitting a coupling to pipes before they are installed is a lot easier than installing in to a pipe already in place.

    I don't think the pipe has got much play from side-to-side....I've put together ABS before so I am familiar with the adhesive etc. it's the cutting of the pipe to fit the coupling I am stuck on.

    thanks for any help.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    One possibility is to use a repair coupling...this is one that doesn't have a ridge in the middle of it. Then, cut it so you part is about 190-200 degrees or so - large enough to be able to snap over the pipe, but still have some clamping capability. Then, slobber it with glue and snap it in place.
  3. stern_howie

    stern_howie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    thanks jadnashua, here's the rub...I can't get the screw out of the existing pipe (and oh how I tried). It seems as though part of the blockage is caught on the screw inside. So I don't think your method will help....I think I need a cutting solution.
  4. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    I'd seriously consider using a banded no-hub coupling like the Pro-Flex:

    http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/shielded-couplings/proflex-couplings.

    Cut pipe at the screw , remove SS band from coupling, get neoprene into place on one side, fold back over itself and move other pipe into place; flip neoprene back onto second pipe; push together; reinstall SS band. Softsoap or dish detergent lube might make sliding onto pipe easier.
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have done it as Jadnashua described...

    Get soe pliers on that screw and pull as you turn it.
    There are no threads left to jack it out of the hole.

    Cut the ABS slip coupling as shown below...

    [​IMG]
  6. stern_howie

    stern_howie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    thank you for your replies. TedL, are you suggesting not using the stainless steel shield that comes with the pro flex?

    Redwood / Jadnashua regarding your method, I only saw the coupling with the ridge at Home Depot, I guess I'll have to look around a bit for one like that. Also in your photo Redwood, that looks like a PVC coupling...I'm assuming they make ABS no ridge ones? I'pulled/twisted on that screw but because there is something on it insided the pipe it won't come through. :-(
  7. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    I really thing the screw needs to come out. Otherwise it will be creating an obstruction.

    You might be able to get away with a section of hub cut from a regular coupling. This would make a much narrower patch, but might be okay.

    You will find the black ABS part if you look around. Try a real plumbing supply instead of HD.
  8. stern_howie

    stern_howie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    yeah I know gardner....I'm going to drill a small hole next to the screw and try and clear the obstruction off of it, hopefully I can then get it out. I'd already thought I might be able to cut down the ridged coupling and apply that.

    Will post back when done with the results.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Pull while turning...

    Yes the photo is of a pvc slip coupling but ABS is available too.
  10. boulder_deb

    boulder_deb New Member

    Messages:
    7
    oye - seems to be a trend today - mechanical fasteners thru plumbing. I sent a nail thru my copper - sure wish it was PVC. I'd feel a lot more qualified than I do with copper. :( Good luck to you.
  11. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    Absolutely not. That's why I wrote "Reinstall SS band" after everything else is in position. You must have just blown past it.
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have removed the screw and heated a butter knife or similar and melted the hole shut...I have yet to have a call back...

    Redwoods way will work well and so will a banded coupling coupling...I use the heated knife method when there is drywall hugging both sides of the PVC and the repair would leave a bulge in the drywall...
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    repair

    YOu do not need the coupling without a ridge. Just cut the coupling in half and use the piece which does not have a ridge. Cut that piece almost, but not exactly, in half and snap the larger of the two pieces around the pipe, and over the hole, after applying cement to both surfaces.
  14. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If getting the screw out is becoming that much of a challenge, drilling over the existing screw with a small hole saw would make quick work of removing it. The hole has to be fixed anyway. :)
  15. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    cacherchick, wouldn't want to leave a burred edge in pipe that would allow crap (no pun intended) to get caught up and cause blockages down the road. If he can get away with just a screw hole in the pipe that would be the best case scenario. I like your tenacity though! Git R Done!
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    hole

    It would have to be a VERY ragged edge to trap material falling down a vertical pipe, but after making the hole larger, just rub the inside to remove any burrs. But the screw will either unscrew or pull out with the proper amount of force.
  17. stern_howie

    stern_howie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks jadnashua & TedL I used your method for fixing the problem...I cut the ridged cupling above the ridge and used that to patch. Now this weekend I have to fix the drywall. I have that <ahem> covered.

    thanks again everyone.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    credit

    You gave the credit to one person who advised cutting the pipe and using a NoHub coupling, and another who suggested a repair coupling which you would probably have never found. It seems you used neither suggestion.
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