Broke the shower pipe changing the head

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by ramzmusic, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. ramzmusic

    ramzmusic New Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    In trying to remove a 40 year old shower head I accidently broke the galvanized pipe all the way to the copper fitting. I tried to twist the pipe out of the copper fitting but it tore completely away all the way to the fitting behind the wall.

    My questions are, are the galvanized pipe threads on the inside or outside of the copper fitting? (I can't tell as it is behind the drywall) What can I use to loosen the fitting? Will I need an easy-out? Will I need to cut away the drywall to access the fitting?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Sometimes you can pry some of the broken pipe out of the fitting using an easy out.
    Sometimes if it's very thin metal left, you can pry it out with a screwdriver blade.

    Worst case, you will be going into the wall.
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    They do make an internal pipe wrench. It's basically a toothed cam that expands on the inside of the pipe with a shaft and you turn the end of the shaft with another wrench. Some may have a handle built in so you don't need a second wrench.
  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    use a hack saw blade

    you have broke off the brass shower arm in the copper socket...

    you need a hack saw blade or one of those tools that holds
    a hack saw balde

    you have to reach in withthe hack saw blade and saw through the remaining brass that was left in the socket...

    you saw through the brass in two spots till you get down to the fitting holding it in place.....

    then you get a sharp nail, punch, or screwdriver and
    pry out the old threads...
  6. helix3

    helix3 Sr. Systems Engineer, Biotech

    Feb 4, 2008
    Sr. Systems Engineer, Biotech
    I've had that happen, but had to go into the wall to fix it. Last person cross-threaded on the pipe so the fitting wasn't really salvagable. I cut a small rectangular hole in the wall to gain access. At that point it was easier to cut off the old fitting and solder on a new one. I placed a peice of smoke pipe behind it to keep from setting the house on fire while soldering. After that, I could have easily played 'drywall guy' and patched the hole, but this bathroom is scheduled for a major remodel later this winter. I had a thin piece of aluminum sheet and cut a nice rectangle to cover the hole I made in the wall and used a step drill bit to make the center hole the pipe will pass through. I little bit of caulking to hold the plate to the wall and around the edges for a clean look. A quick coat of paint and it looks just fine, almost unnoticeable.
  7. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Apr 28, 2008
    I teach guitar:You call that a job?
    Huntington Station, NY
    I've had that happen as well, but in an open wall, and with the tool they've pictured, it still did not work: I had to sweat the copper dog-earred L off and put on a new one.

    If you can access from behind, do yourself a favor and just bite the bullet, cut a hole, sweat it off (be careful with that torch in the wall!) and sweat on a new one.

  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    I have had a lot of success using a #7 EZ OUT with 1/2" cut off the end of it to keep it from bottoming out in the drop eared elbow.

  9. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Aug 17, 2008
    Hand copper part cleaned ready to go
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon b
    So as you can see, manipulation of a tool is in order, be it a specialized plumbing tool or the tried and true. Are you up to the task¿
Similar Threads: Broke shower
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog How to remove broken nipple from shower valve stem Jan 30, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Stripped Screw & Broken Extractor - Shower Faucet Jul 17, 2016
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower diverter broken! Need help identifying model. Danze "Parma" Jul 30, 2013
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Bottom of shower drain broke out? Nov 25, 2012
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower handle stem broken Oct 9, 2012

Share This Page