Help!!


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Old 02-28-10, 12:12 PM
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Question Help!!

I was changing the drain valve on my hot water heater and it broke off at the opening, it was plastic. How do I remove the rest of the pipe from the opening without damaging the threads to put the new one in.
 
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Old 02-28-10, 02:11 PM
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Did you get it yet?

I have always managed to bust plastic male pipe threads out of female metal recepticles. To help it along, you can carefully cut into some of the plastic thickness with a small hacksaw blade and then use a small flatblade screwdriver and hammer and cave it in toward your cut - and you will see it will readily break away from the metal threads. Use both teflon tape(first) and teflon dope, ontop the tape, on the new valve's threads, and you should be good to go.

If you somehow damge the female metal threads some in the process, rechase the threads first by just tightening in a 3/4" male pipe thread nipple. Also, regarding the screwdriver, if you have an old thinner one to waste, you can sharpen it some, with a file, grinder, or even on a concrete floor/slab - or try a 1/4 inch chisel. If you had an easy out you could try that but it might just spinout more of the plastic making it harder to cleanly bust out. I've never had a hard time just rapping/collapsing plastic pipe threads out, though.
 
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Old 02-28-10, 04:26 PM
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Thanks

Thanks, I'll give it a try, a friend of mine tried to use nipple extractor and had no success, I think it was the wrong size, I also think the original installer must of glued it into place. I'll try your idea tomorrow. I would hate to have to replace a good water heater just for this. Thanks again
 
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Old 03-01-10, 06:57 AM
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If you are able to cut two grooves on opposite sides of the broken off fitting with a hacksaw, you can use a wood chisel that fits tight enough into the grooves and screw it out by hand. If you don't have an old chisel that fits right you may be able to fashion something out of wood or metal that fits nicely into the fitting and locks into the grooves. It helps to have a bunch of "donor" old tools and stuff laying around and tools to do the fitting work. Even the end of a broomstick cut to the right profile on a chopsaw would work (make it look like a large wooden screw extractor). Make sure you do the cutting work before you cut off the end of the broomstick (save those fingers!) or just use the whole broom if you have the clearance.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 09:03 AM
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Chances are though - old brittle pipe dope is what's got it. I have seen that hard stuff that has oozed out during installation. You hit it and it flies like shrapnel. That is why the plastic valve snapped off on him to begin with, I'd imagine.

Your groove idea is very worthy for many applications though, I must say. Always good, whether it works in this case or not, for everyone to remember.

I have confidence he will get it out there, one way or another. Since it is plastic, it should be easy. One could probably even burn it out, in certain plastic- in- metal situations. But with the water heater there could be consequences doing that, like wrecking the glass lining, for one thing, perhaps.
 
 

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