I really need to remove, without damaging, my old brass impact rainbird
sprinklers from the 3/4 inch pipes they are mounted on. Using plumbing
wrenches and penetrating oil has not loosen them so far. These
sprinklers have been attached for the 50 years I owned this house.
What other methods or materials can I use to loosen either the
sprinkler, or the coupler it is attached to?
Their probably calicified on good. Try an electric heat gun to grow
the female threaded part.
If that doesn't work, try soaking the threads in vinegar or some other
mild acid for a day or five using plastic and banding (and maybe tape)
to hold the acid in place.
Then repeat the heat gunning and wrenching.
How long are your wrenches?
Is the pipe still in the ground, or have you been able to spin that
If the pipe/Rainbird is out, do the following:
Get a friend to help, and a hammer.
Have your friend hold the pipe with one of the wrenches (pipe
wrenches, not channel lock or other type) about 4 inches from
the Rainbird (if pipe is long enough), and preload (counter clockwise
from top of Rainbird) with the other pipe wrench, making sure that
your friends wrench is held firmly on the ground and that your
wrench is approximately at the 4 to 5 o'clock position with steady
downward pressure. Put all of your weight on your pipe wrench and
have your friend smack the pipe with the hammer. This should jar
the fitting loose. If the Rainbird slightly rotates, then sticks,
have your friend keep smacking the pipe till the Rainbird spins
on its own.
Note: Make sure that your pipe wrenches have long handles, or you
have 3 foot lengths of pipe handy to slip over the wrenches if the
above does not work. If you have a sturdy pipe vise, or bench vise,
you may not need the use of a friend. ;)
If still in the ground you will need to dig out enough space to allow
at least one pipe wrench with a 3 foot cheater pipe over it. This
time you will need the friend. Do the same as above
Just try to get the pipe spun out of whatever fitting it is attached
to, using the cheater pipe with all your strength. If that won't
budge it, get some strong men over to take care of the problem. :)
Try a few cycles of tighten, loosen.
Set up the wrench on the pipe with a good heavy block to stop it from moving at
all, with the wrench near the sprinkler. Apply maximum loosening pressure on the
wrench on the sprinkler, then hit it in the same direction with a hammer to
apply impact force.
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