I have an old Rainbird Sprinkler head on a galvanized pipe. Both the
are 50 years old. Cannot determine model number. Sprinkler still works
but may have weak springs.
My question is about removing the sprinkler head from the galvanized
pipe. Does the rainbird unscrew counter clockwise or clockwise?
I've been spraying chainsaw penetrating oil in the copper galvanized
joint for days and it won't loosen.
What else can I do to remove that sprinkler without damaging the
rainbird or pipe and threads? Is there a better penetrating product?
Chainsaw penetrating oil is not a product I have ever heard of.
Chainsaws use oil to lubricate the chain but this oil is not intended
for any other purpose. Ordinary penetrating oil, available at any
auto parts store, is what you want. If you are patient enough and
soak the assembly over several days yu may have a shot. Sometime a
propane torch is use to heat up a joint. This may allow you to get it
After 50 years both pipe and sprinker have given sufficient service.
Do not be afraid to damage either. Nothing else may be possible after
50 years. Both pipe and sprinkler may need replacement after such a
Another strategy would be to cut the pipe below the sprinkler. Use a
low clearance pipe cutter. Cut new threads in place then add a
coupler and another length of threaded pipe to reach the desired
height. Yu may require another pipe wrench to hold the pipe while you
It does requires a special tool to thread steel pipe. It has a long
handle so a bit of digging will be needed to give room to operate the
tool. Maybe you can rent that tool. I don't know since I own one I
never checked on rentals. In any case, it is possible to thread the
steel in place since I have done it.
It actually will probably be far more _corroded_ on the outside than in
although the inside may have quite a lot of sediment and stuff built up...
It really isn't any more "brittle" than when new, but as I commented
when this thread was first posted, OP had best be prepared to go back
quite some distance (like maybe the whole thing) if he breaks into it.
Minor quibbles, but...
Haven't seen much old galvanized pipe in fresh water service have you? The
zinc might look fine but the iron inside will be severely rusted. The
corroded iron is much more brittle than the original pipe.
Only about all of ours on the place...which entails quite a lot when
consider the house, all the yard spigots, the feedlot for 4-500 head,
the old farrowing house, ... :)
There damn well ain't no zinc left after 50-80 years (which is about
what the oldest is.
You didn't say the corrosion products were more brittle and I wouldn't
even count them as being "pipe" -- I was speaking of the remaining pipe
And, at least for our water which is very hard but not acidic, the
insides of the pipe typically are _much_ less pitted than the outside.
Actually, on retrospect I suppose I could see how one could infer your
intent after knowing it...
But, what I intended to add was that what I was referring to was that
galvanized or black iron pipe is really pretty ductile. Cast iron is
What normally causes a failure in old galvanized/black when attempting
to loosen old joints isn't a brittle cracking but either crushing it or
simply twisting it off. But the ease with which this happens isn't
really owing to brittleness, it's simply the reduced wall thickness
owing to the corrosion leaving much less material and therefore, strength.
It's really all a fairly minor point...
1. Beat on it with a hammer to loosen up the rust. Note: "beat" is
relative..."vigorous & frequent tapping" might be a better
description. Like you would do with a chipping hammer.
2. Alternate heating and cooling (torch and ice) might help break it
This post looks very similar to your post of June 20.
fyi sprinkler pipe threads are all right hand threads
If this post is for real.......50 years is very good service for a
rainbird sprinkler & a galv sprinkler system.
My neighbors system is galv & about 60 years old....at this point any
attempts to repair results in a break near by.
Time for a new system or to at least start replacing parts towards
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