The pipe coming out of my shower broke and there is still a piece of
the pipe in the fitting in the wall. It was a half inch pipe that
I tried an easy out to remove the broken pipe and that didn't work.
Someone suggested using an internal pipe wrench. So I bought a set of
those. The 1/2" fits loosely in the fitting and the 3/4" doesn't fit.
I'm assuming that I have to use the 1/2" wrench. But when I use it, it
just turns inside the fitting and doesn't seem to be catching the
So I wanted to know if there is a trick to using this tool. Any help
would be appreciated.
Hopefully the connection is not soldered in place! I use an easy out,
sorry I cant help you with an 'internal' pipe wrench. Did it come with
instructions? Why didn't the easy out work? Sometime you need to
lightly tap it into the pipe so it bites, then just apply a wrench.
Remeber, lefty loosey, righty tighty!
You got the one w/ a cam? You have to make the cam on the right side of
the pipe when inserting so that when you rotate it the cam is force
against the pipe wall. The other direction it will simply rotate.
This _is_ a galvanized or iron threaded pipe, right?
The easy out didn't work because the 1/2" was too loose.
I did get one with a cam. The directions only said to insert the
wrench and go counterclockwise. And yes it's a threaded pipe.
I tried what you said but it doesn't seem to be able to grip the pipe.
Is the broken piece supposed to come out in one piece or does this
break it up into little pieces.
Also it seems like there is at least an 1/8" or an inch or room inside
the pipe when I insert the internal wrench.
Any more ideas? Thanks for the help.
The wrench will grip the inside of the pipe and (hopefully) allow you to
turn it--the only difference is the "grabber" is inside instead of
outside the pipe.
I can't speculate further on why the tool doesn't work w/o being able to
see what's going on in your particular situation. I've used one on the
rare occasion and they are reasonably effective.
You didn't buy some really cheap thingy, I don't suppose? I suppose
it's also possible that it's sized for metric pipe or some such but that
would be a stretch at least in the US, it would seem...
That sounds about right -- the cam should flop out and grab when you
rotate in the opposite direction from which it will go back inside the
diameter of the main piece...
Not w/o being able to see/touch it...
Next step would be to just bite the bullet and break open the wall or
call a pro I guess...
So should the cam be inside the pipe when I start or it works it way
And should the broken section of pipe come out in one piece?
I'm trying to avoid opening up the wall because it's an old house and
it will be a mess.
You stick the whole thing inside the pipe, hopefully a fair ways (like
the length of the tool w/ the exception of enough to turn in order to
hopefully get away from the weak area near the break), and arrange the
cam so it is going against the pipe wall as you turn in the proper
direction. That motion of the offset pin of the cam against the wall
causes it to tighten against the inner wall as you apply further
I guess I can.
I put it in and it spins but it doesn't catch no matter what I try.
The broken section is probably only an inch long. This is why it's so
If it would catch then I'm sure the piece would come out.
That is the type that I bought. It just seems that I can't get it to
catch and get a grip. To me it just seems too loose a fit.
Is there supposed to be a size between 1/2" and 3/4"? I didn't see one
in the store, but I'm running out of ideas.
You may have to take care that the cam is twisted the
correct direction as you insert it to get it to engage
properly. Maybe twist it the tightening direction as you
insert it, then twist the loosening direction.
I'll take a WAG that the wrench is designed to work with standard iron
pipe, and that your piece of shower arm is thinner wall brass, with a
larger inside diameter so the internal wrench just can't open up enough
to do it's thing.
I can't see what you're doing, but if you get the cam piece inside that
pipe, why not try driving a couple of appropriate sized finishing nails
between the outside of the wrench and the inside of the pipe on the side
of the wrench opposite to where the cam will swing out.
That may take up the excess space and let the wrench get a grip.
It's like giving an enema to a dead man to try and resuscitate him, it
might not help, but it sure won't make him any worse.
Let us all know how it comes out, if it comes out. :-)
I have two of those tools I just looked Cheap Twain I always thought one was
for 3/4 " but the both fit 1/2" and one is a 1/16" bigger and grabs much
better. I'm sure your talking about the stub out for the shower head. If it
is the chrome 1/2" pipe you broke go buy one ( you need one anyway)and then
find a remover to fit that it should grab by hand a little.
You might try holding back pressure (clockwise) on the other part of the
wrench while turning the wrenching part counterclockwise to get the teeth to
grip. Be sure to turn the wrenching part clockwise before inserting to be
sure the wedging cam is properly positioned to tighten when you turn the
wrenching part counterclockwise. Look carefully as you turn it back and
forth before installing to be sure you understand how it wedges in the pipe.
If it is a good tool it should tighten securely, wedging tighter as you
apply more counterclockwise force.
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