Sure could use some ideas....

Hi All,
I'm rehabbing a building that is 40-50 years old. While mowing the tall grass, I ran over a outside faucet and destroyed it. I dug up the line and intended to plug it. It was half inch galvanized pipe. It was originally assembled with some type of thread-sealing pipe dope that has long ago turned rock hard.
What I tried to remove the first connection, I put a cheater bar over a pipe wrench and tried to unscrew the damaged fitting. The pipe was weakened by corrosion and it just crushed. I went up the water line and broke several other fittings.
I'm now working under the house in a tough environment -- very little crawlspace, sloping ground and a few other things. I'm trying to remove a half inch reducer screwed into a three quarter galvanized T. It's the last fitting before I encounter serious expense doing some wholesale repiping.
So far, I've used a propane torch on the galvanized T while periodically dousing the reducer with water. I've also used about 5,000 gallons of penetrating oil. I don't have room for a cheater (good thing huh?) and so far I can't budge the reducer with two-foot pipe wrenches.
Any thoughts or ideas would be seriously appreciated.
Justin
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JustinW wrote:

. Can you just cap it off at some point where the pipe seems reasonably substantial and get- at-able. Even if you have to hacksaw off the pipe and then cut a thread on it onto which to screw a galvanised cap? Just an idea anyway.
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On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 12:55:37 -0700, terry wrote:

I did rent and use a portable manual pipe threader some time back. I wonder where I could find one of these...
Great idea -- thanks!
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JustinW wrote:

That would have been my first thought, but I would probably have just cut if off at the first elbow so could put the spigot back...but, anyway, that's over--
For up to inch pipe a manual threader isn't bad at all and imo something one should have, anyway. But, for simply one or two joints, a die and a handle is all you would have to have unless the quarters are so tight you must have the ratcheting handle. Would think you could do the minimal "get by with" for not much over a rental fee and have it for the future, besides.
Another comment/thought or two--heat is good, but need more than a propane torch to have much luck for really stuck pieces--an oxy/acetylene torch is best of course, although I've been told Mapp gas will work, I've not tried it (since I have a torch, not had the need). Of course, gotta' be careful w/ the flame around stuff so under the house isn't really good place to practice! :)
If you must get back to the tee for some reason, I'd seriously consider the same trick of cutting the tee out of the existing pipe and fitting a new section in. Could use a union if lacking space or can't turn the other end to make the final connection.
If it is a reducing bushing and not a reducing coupling, then the idea of splitting it isn't so feasible. There are also splitters for pipe fittings simliar to nut splitters if it is a real bear and need more repair in the future.
As for pipe dope, most, while they will harden w/ time don't actually sieze so maybe this wasn't really a pipe dope anyway. Or there wasn't enough to prevent the buildup of corrosion to the point the threads are actually rusted together throughout the joint. A good quality dope should be fine for reassembly imo.
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dpb wrote:

I have one of these and can reccomend: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 88858&cp&kw=pipe+threader
and the die: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 88866&cp60903&parentPagemily&searchId60903
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.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 88858&cp&kw=pipe+threader
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 88866&cp60903&parentPagemily&searchId60903
You could try one of these:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber8438
I can't comment on the quality of this as I've never used it but it would be rather inexpensive and probably work the few times you might use it. Cheers, cc
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JustinW wrote:

Heat would have been first choice too...
Next choice is to weaken the TEE so that it can be unscrewed from the pipe feeding into it.
Weaken it by hacksawing roughly in-line with the pipe entering the TEE. That would be at right angle to the pipe threads. You don't need to saw all the way *into* the pipe threads, just right up to them. Then, take a chisel and split the TEE open like a melon. Back the bottom of the TEE up with a brick, slab of iron, etc. You don't need to make a big opening in the split, just crack enough to make the threads let go.
When you reassemble some kind of fitting to the pipe end, use Loctite on the threads to fill in any damage to them. (alternately, follow the lengthy thread to come about pipe dope, Teflon tape, et al.)
Jim
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On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:45:56 -0500, JustinW broke out their crayolas and scribbled:

Get one of these, a compressor and pneumatic impact wrench. You may be able to rent the compressor & impact wrench at a local rental store. You need to hold pressure on the scocket while loosening. Don't get too aggressive at first. The vibration helps to loosen it.
http://www0.epinions.com/General_Tools_1_Internal_Pipe_Wrench_139D_Shop_Tools
One of the "big box" stores may have these in stock.
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JustinW wrote:

If you can get a sabre saw in there with a metal cutting blade in it, try cutting a slot on the INSIDE wall of that half inch reducer, and continue it across the outer end of the reducer up to the start of the tee, then try collapsing the reducer with a pair of vise grips and unscrewing it.
It won't hurt if you cut into the female threads on the 3/4" tee slightly, pipe dope on whatever you screw back into it will seal it up.
Been there, done just that,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Wow - I'm overwhelmed with excellent ideas. That cranky pipe does not stand a chance now. :-)
Thanks everyone!
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