How to remove pvc water pipe fittings?


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Old 10-12-08, 08:10 AM
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How to remove pvc water pipe fittings?

I am trying to replace a faucet in my shower. The water feed lines & fittings (and shower pipe) are all pvc (tub feed line is galvanized). I've been cranking on one of the pvc fittings but am getting nowhere. How can I remove the fitting without potentially ruining the pvc pipe it's attached to?

Thanks!

 

Last edited by pneumaticat; 10-12-08 at 08:24 AM. Reason: adding photo
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Old 10-12-08, 09:14 AM
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You need to cut the lines first, someplace where you can get a coupling on to replace the piping.
 
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Old 10-12-08, 07:44 PM
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Thank you, that worked. However, now I have another problem. The threaded ends of the new fittings are slowly seeping where they join the new faucet (both hot and cold, about the same). It's not much; I have to go away and do something and when I come back after about 5 minutes, I can feel moisture on my finger when I put it on the connection. Is there some way to solve this without sawing the whole thing off again? I can foresee eventually having very short pipes, since the only way to pressure test it is to glue the whole thing together. I used teflon tape on the threaded connections already, and tightened them as tight as I could pull the wrench without cracking the fittings (I did this to the faucet before putting it into the wall and gluing the pipes to it).

Thank you!
 
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Old 10-13-08, 04:56 PM
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You probably DID crack the fittings. Or, the hex part of the male threaded adapter fitting bottomed out before the fitting ever really got tight with the threads. From what I remember, it was possible that one suppliers batch was not exactly to the thousandth of an inch as another supplier, even though it should have been. I can even remember some couplings on pipes wanted to try to squirt back off even after holding them for 5 minutes, while other ones had slop. That type of thing.

You have to start over, unfortunately. No quick miracles here. When water is under pressure, you aren't going to be able to use any of that stop leak in a spray can they advertize on TV. They also advertise that epoxy putty stick stuff you kneed and apply. But anything topical, with water lines buried in walls, is a recipe for disaster.

I know what you mean about the testing business and you running out of pipe. That was always my fear too, when I used to do more of that kind of work once, with PVC fittings. it is a one-shot deal, unfortunately. You rely on your previous experience, and hope.

The only thing I can think of that could work in testing the fitting first is to leave the coupling out and use a Dresser type coupling temporarily, which is a rubber o-ringed compression coupling. The things is though, you need a few inches on each side of where the pipes meet to fit one of these couplings in. And if you can't make the vertical pipe move downward a couple inches, then you would have to slide the coupling all the way on one pipe first. And maybe you do not have that much room before running into the next fitting? But since I am on this explanation - if you used such a temporary testing method, keep in mind that under high water pressure, the pipes could pull out on such a coupling. You would need to have someone else turn on the water for you as you watch your threaded fittings and the compression couplings, so you can yell to someone to quickly turn the water off if the pipes start sliding out of the compression coupling.

Either it is that way or simply redo it, and be extra careful and really think how it feels as you are tightening the fitting in. I believe I used to only use teflon tape. I had pretty good luck not having leaks, but I shared your grief on those really rare occassions, and it is enough to make you curse or cry. Nothing like having one drip show up every half hour or something. Just often enough to know you have to fix it.

I was doing this stuff quite a bit 25 years ago, and maybe there are some more time tested techniques now?
 
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Old 10-13-08, 05:06 PM
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I just thought of another way to help you out. There are fittings called Sharkbite fittings, sold at HD stores, and maybe others. Those fittings are a push on fitting and can be easily removed if needed.
You could cut the pipe, rework your male adapters, re-pipe using Sharkbite fittings, and turn the water on. If there is a leak, you can remove the fittings to make a repair.
 
 

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