My wife started to remove the showerhead pipe that goes to the wall and
when she started to turn the pipe it broke leaving part of the pipe
still in the wall and now I cant seem to find a way to remove that left
over pipe, so I cant put in another pipe until I remove the old one.
Can someone help me on removal of that piece still left in the wall?
There is a tool (various sizes) with a claw that works inside pipes. When
you turn the tool shaft the claw rotates gripping the inside of the pipe
allowing you to rotate it. About the same way a basin wrench works.
Chances are if it rotted through and broke off, you're not getting it out.
If you can get behind the wall all the better, cut a small hole from the
back, cut out the pipe and repair, then hang a mirror over it if you're not
up to patching the wall. If the backside is not accessible then your going
to have to do some repair. No easy way around this one.
BTDT. Before you take a hammer to the wall, try this- Buy one of those
one-ended hacksaws, and saw through the inside of the rotted-off section of
pipe. Yes, you will also be sawing through the threads on the inside of the
bronze casting. Once you cut the slit, use a skinny punch or drift and a
hammer, to get a corner of the metal of the rotted-off part turned up. Grab
that corner with narrow-nose vise-grips, or if your hands are strong, with
needle-nose pliers. If you lived a clean life and the gods are amused, you
may then be able to peel the thing out of there like an orange rind. You may
need to cut more than one slot to get it to collapse on itself. Now, when
you install the new nipple, use twice the normal amount of teflon tape- it
should seal the cracks enough to make it all not drip. It won't work in the
middle of a pipe run, but six inches from the shower head, water will take
the easier way out. Note that after a McGyver repair like this, showerheads
with shutoff valve or diverter valve, like for a hand-held shower, are not
It may not work, but you won't be any worse off than your are now. If you
end up having to open the wall, you will want to replace the bronze casting
anyway, just on principle.
Check the room adjacent to the plumbing. Shower/bath plumbing is usually
in a wall which serves as a back or side wall of a closet in the
adjacent room. If so, cut a hole in the closet wall to get to the
plumbing. You might be able to get a pipe wrench on the broken pipe.
Douse it with liquid wrench or WD-40 before you start. If successful,
you can either patch the closet wall up after you are done, or if not a
big hole, screw a piece of plywood over the hole so you can get to it
easier next time.
All good advice, start with the least destructive first. The inside pipe
wrench looks intersesting . I have never seen one before but I have a table
that the legs lock into place using the same type of mechanism, interesting.
I have taken these out using the nipple extractor as previously mentioned
and have also been able to get the pipe with needle nosed vice grip locking
pliers. Good luck.
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