I need to remove an old pipe and need ideas as to how to remove it.
The 50-year-old 2-inch diameter threaded galvanized pipe that
horizontally protrudes about a half inch from the cabinet under the
kitchen sink is leaking where it meets the 10-year-old plastic pipes that
drain the kitchen sinks and garbage disposal unit.
The threads are all screwed up so I want to replace the nipple.
I can only see the last 1/2 inch of that threaded nipple but it appears
to go through the 3/4" thick kitchen cabinet into the wall about two
inches (or so) and into a T fitting where the vertical up pipe goes to a
vent on the roof while the vertical down pipe goes to the crawlspace
The problem is how best to remove the four-inch long (I assume) nipple
when only 1/2" of it sticks out of the cabinet attached to the wall.
One option, of course, is to rip out the cabinet, but, that's a LOT of
work to replace a two-dollar four-inch-ling two-inch-wide nipple!
Is there an easier way to get the 50-year-old nipple out?
Rock and a hard place. The normal techniques for breaking a big
nipple lose won't work too well when they're that far in the wall.
You don't have to remove the whole cabinet, you could cut an access
panel out of the back of the cabinet, open up the wall then remove the
nipple, and patch up the hole. Cut out the back of the cabinet neatly
and you can re-use the piece to patch it. It's in the back of the
cabinet under a sink so the aesthetics are not a big deal.
On Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:20:02 -0800, RicodJour wrote:
I thought about that but unless I cut a two-foot square section, how does
cutting around the nipple give me access for the pipe wrench?
It's hard to explain but I now have only 1/2 inch (or less) of threads
sticking horizontally out of the cabinet.
If I cut the cabinet 3/4" back, say, with a five-inch square - then the
only pipe wrench I can fit on the two-inch-diameter nipple is one that is
five inches long. That won't give me much leverage.
My pipe wrenches are about two feet long. So, I'd have to cut a two-foot
square hole in the cabinet around the pipe to give me the kind of access
you're suggesting. Right?
I do want your help so I hope I didn't misunderstand what you said.
To repeat, I had thought about cutting just a hole in the cabinet but
that hole needs to be as wide as my pipe wrench is long, right? For it do
to any good?
Or do I misunderstand the solution?
You wouldn't be using a wrench to take it out, so the access hole is a
lot smaller. My subsequent post explained the approach. You cut a
few relief cuts on the inside of the nipple running the long way,
being vary careful not to cut into the fitting threads, and then use a
chisel to cave in the nipple towards the interior.
Other people brought up a fix using a Fernco type rubber coupling with
the hose clamps, but with 1/2" of pipe exposed it'd only be on the
threads. You could clean up the threads, use some epoxy or silicone
to fill them in, then use the hose clamp, but it's still a kludge
repair. With only 1/2" of thread exposed, it won't be the best
connection. It might leak, it might not.
Can you cut two slots with a Dremel tool or a hack saw on opposite
sides of the exposed pipe? You could then insert a piece of steel
across the slots and use a pipe wrench or crescent wrench to remove the
On Wed, 26 Jan 2011 20:05:19 -0800, hr(bob) firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I wouldn't cut the galvanized 2-inch-wide nipple and the 2-inch-wide
plastic pipes that are "supposed" to screw onto the nipple are just sort
of "pushed" on right now (with a LOT of pipe dope sealing it for now!).
It's a temporary fix.
So I'll look around for the right kind of two-inch flexible hose that
might fit over the two-inch nipple so that I can connect the rest of the
plastic pipe to the other end of that two-inch flexible hose.
That's one method anyway.
On Fri, 28 Jan 2011 11:26:42 -0800, mkirsch1 wrote:
Well. I sure hope so. Because It's all epoxied in now!
For better or for worse, what I did was remove all the plastic pipe to
the kitchen sinks and garbage disposal and buy all new plastic pipe.
I then cleaned up the half-inch of corroded thread on the nipple that was
sticking out of the cabinet horizontally with a wire brush.
It was difficult to keep dry but I splashed alcohol and then ether on the
pipe (which was a mistake from the standpoint of fumes - but that's what
With the corroded nipple as dry as could be, I epoxied it and the plastic
and screwed/pushed the plastic on (it screwed but really I was pushing it
on more than screwing it on).
As extra insurance, I covered the entire outside of the joint with pipe
dope where the plastic met the threads.
So far ... it's sealed.
I will find out when/if I have to remove it how easily it is to break the
bond between 2-part epoxy and plastic and galvanized steel. :)
Thanks for all your wonderful advice!
They make internal pipe wrenches, but successfully removing a 50 year
old galvanized nipple under a sink with one is another matter. My way
of looking at it is that you can mess about working your way up to
cutting into the cabinet, spend a lot of time working in a cramped
space where you can't get your weight on the wrench, someone will
mention heat and then there's the risk of fire), the odds of busting
open some knuckles, etc. I'd just bite the bullet and open up the
cabinet, cut off the nipple to the point where you can get a
reciprocating blade inside and see what you're doing (leave about 1"
exposed), and carefully cut two or three slots on the inside of the
nipple stub without cutting into the T's thread, and then use a cold
chisel to knock the pieces towards the center of the nipple.
On Wed, 26 Jan 2011 21:09:14 -0600, Dean Hoffman wrote:
You know, I had never thought of that. Since it's a no-pressure drain,
and, since it's under the kitchen sink, maybe the fact I wouldn't be
proud of the looks of it wouldn't matter.
But then do I just clamp the other side of the hose to the typical black
plastic drain fittings?
On Thu, 27 Jan 2011 04:13:10 +0000 (UTC), Harold Lathom
I'm not familiar with the various clamp-on fittings available, but as
others have said, they're available, and they'll work.
Personality, I'd pull the cabinet and get a wrench on the nipple.
If you do that, and use a steady pressure on your wrench, it should
come out with no damage to the T.
Don't go jerking on it.
But you don't know until you do it.
If the original plumber didn't turn the nipple in far enough, there
may not be many usable threads left in the T.
Maybe the vertical pipes in the T have rusted enough to break.
Then you end up going into the wall, and maybe beyond.
Still, since I'm a glutton for punishment I'd pull the cabinet/sink.
If you go the clamp on route and only have 1/2" sticking out,
you might want to use a deep hole saw a bit wider than the nipple
and cut out the cabinet back around the nipple.
Then you can slide the new fitting beyond the 1/2" showing.
Go a little big with the hole saw size. Easier to fill a gap than
file the entire hole to make it big enough for the fitting.
If it's a rigid fitting the nipple outside and fitting inside could be
doped with epoxy and allowed to set.
That's a "permanent" method.
But I'd use the hole first so I could slide a flexible rubber fitting
well past the threads, then hose clamp at the threads.
If it needed dope I'd use a non-hardening dope.
Makes it easily removable.
Auto radiator hose should work.
But maybe they make plumbing fittings for this kind of deal.
A new close nipple glued or clamped at the other end restores
your original connection, albeit flexible.
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