How To Use An Internal Pipe Wrench

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The pipe coming out of my shower broke and there is still a piece of the pipe in the fitting in the wall. It was a half inch pipe that broke.
I tried an easy out to remove the broken pipe and that didn't work. Someone suggested using an internal pipe wrench. So I bought a set of those. The 1/2" fits loosely in the fitting and the 3/4" doesn't fit.
I'm assuming that I have to use the 1/2" wrench. But when I use it, it just turns inside the fitting and doesn't seem to be catching the broken.
So I wanted to know if there is a trick to using this tool. Any help would be appreciated.
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Hopefully the connection is not soldered in place! I use an easy out, sorry I cant help you with an 'internal' pipe wrench. Did it come with instructions? Why didn't the easy out work? Sometime you need to lightly tap it into the pipe so it bites, then just apply a wrench. Remeber, lefty loosey, righty tighty!
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

You got the one w/ a cam? You have to make the cam on the right side of the pipe when inserting so that when you rotate it the cam is force against the pipe wall. The other direction it will simply rotate.
This _is_ a galvanized or iron threaded pipe, right?
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The easy out didn't work because the 1/2" was too loose.
I did get one with a cam. The directions only said to insert the wrench and go counterclockwise. And yes it's a threaded pipe.
I tried what you said but it doesn't seem to be able to grip the pipe. Is the broken piece supposed to come out in one piece or does this break it up into little pieces.
Also it seems like there is at least an 1/8" or an inch or room inside the pipe when I insert the internal wrench.
Any more ideas? Thanks for the help.
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

The wrench will grip the inside of the pipe and (hopefully) allow you to turn it--the only difference is the "grabber" is inside instead of outside the pipe.
I can't speculate further on why the tool doesn't work w/o being able to see what's going on in your particular situation. I've used one on the rare occasion and they are reasonably effective.
You didn't buy some really cheap thingy, I don't suppose? I suppose it's also possible that it's sized for metric pipe or some such but that would be a stretch at least in the US, it would seem...

That sounds about right -- the cam should flop out and grab when you rotate in the opposite direction from which it will go back inside the diameter of the main piece...

Not w/o being able to see/touch it...
Next step would be to just bite the bullet and break open the wall or call a pro I guess...
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So should the cam be inside the pipe when I start or it works it way in?
And should the broken section of pipe come out in one piece?
I'm trying to avoid opening up the wall because it's an old house and it will be a mess.
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CAM should be in the pipe when you start.
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

You stick the whole thing inside the pipe, hopefully a fair ways (like the length of the tool w/ the exception of enough to turn in order to hopefully get away from the weak area near the break), and arrange the cam so it is going against the pipe wall as you turn in the proper direction. That motion of the offset pin of the cam against the wall causes it to tighten against the inner wall as you apply further torque...
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If I put it in as far as it can go it would be past the broken pipe. I've been trying to get the cam in the section where the broken pipe is.
Should I put the wrench in as far as I can?
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

Oh, come on! You can't be this dense... :(
Put the bloody cam in the broken pipe and turn the damn thing....
I was obviously assuming the broken section was more than just an inch or so long.
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I guess I can.
I put it in and it spins but it doesn't catch no matter what I try. The broken section is probably only an inch long. This is why it's so frustrating.
If it would catch then I'm sure the piece would come out.
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what I try.

why it's so

Naybe the 3/4" tool is the right one, and you need to ream out the beginning of the hole to get it past the part compressed when the pipe was cut.
Bob
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When you put it in the pipe try shaking it turning it and see if it will catch, then hold pressure on it and go to wrench. Try not to lose the grip on pipe before you use the wrench. Is the cam nice and lose? Is this what type you bought http://www.grainger.com/industrial-supplies/Wrenches3ZG99.html
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That is the type that I bought. It just seems that I can't get it to catch and get a grip. To me it just seems too loose a fit.
Is there supposed to be a size between 1/2" and 3/4"? I didn't see one in the store, but I'm running out of ideas.
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

No, it's the cam action against the pipe wall when you turn that causes it to work. The cam pin is offset so that it will rotate in an eccentric manner when turned.
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wrote:

can't get it to

fit.
didn't see one

turn that causes

in an eccentric

You may have to take care that the cam is twisted the correct direction as you insert it to get it to engage properly. Maybe twist it the tightening direction as you insert it, then twist the loosening direction.
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@netzero.com wrote:

I'll take a WAG that the wrench is designed to work with standard iron pipe, and that your piece of shower arm is thinner wall brass, with a larger inside diameter so the internal wrench just can't open up enough to do it's thing.
I can't see what you're doing, but if you get the cam piece inside that pipe, why not try driving a couple of appropriate sized finishing nails between the outside of the wrench and the inside of the pipe on the side of the wrench opposite to where the cam will swing out.
That may take up the excess space and let the wrench get a grip.
It's like giving an enema to a dead man to try and resuscitate him, it might not help, but it sure won't make him any worse.
Let us all know how it comes out, if it comes out. :-)
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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I have two of those tools I just looked Cheap Twain I always thought one was for 3/4 " but the both fit 1/2" and one is a 1/16" bigger and grabs much better. I'm sure your talking about the stub out for the shower head. If it is the chrome 1/2" pipe you broke go buy one ( you need one anyway)and then find a remover to fit that it should grab by hand a little.
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It is a pretty thin pipe. I'm going to give it another try. The idea about using a nail to make up the space is a good idea. I'm going to try that.
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You might try holding back pressure (clockwise) on the other part of the wrench while turning the wrenching part counterclockwise to get the teeth to grip. Be sure to turn the wrenching part clockwise before inserting to be sure the wedging cam is properly positioned to tighten when you turn the wrenching part counterclockwise. Look carefully as you turn it back and forth before installing to be sure you understand how it wedges in the pipe. If it is a good tool it should tighten securely, wedging tighter as you apply more counterclockwise force. Do;n Young

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