Suggestions for tightening 2.5+" threaded pipe?


Old 02-27-14, 06:47 AM
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Suggestions for tightening 2.5+" threaded pipe?

Are there any special tools or tricks for tightening threaded pipe that's 2.5" to 6" in size? I'm a sprinkler contractor and usually deal with Victaulic grooved couplings when we get to those large diameter pipes. But sometimes, usually on repairs, it'd be preferable to unscrew and replace a threaded pipe rather than use a $500+ Roust-a-bout (plain end coupling).

Is the answer just a longer wrench? We do have a 48" cast iron Ridgid pipe wrench that we rarely carry on the truck, but that thing is heavy. Normally, the largest we use are 24" aluminum Ridgid wrenches, since we don't usually thread anything over 2". For 2" pipe, we usually will put both teflon paste on the threads as well as wrap teflon tape around them that 5-6 times.

But I'll see old sprinkler systems with threaded 6" or 8" pipe and I don't understand it. It can be difficult to get 2" pipe not to leak. How the hell did they thread 8" stuff back in the day?


Oh, I forgot to mention a customer mentioned to us recently another contractor was going to use a compound wrench ( to fix 4" pipe. Any one have an experience with it?
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Old 02-27-14, 12:36 PM
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The old timers used chain wrenches, called pipe tongs, back in the day. I've seen them with 60 inch handles and I suspect they came larger.

For threading they used a threader that clamped on the pipe and had a screw thread that advanced the cutter bits. I've only done a maximum of 3 inch but it definitely took some muscle to thread the bigger pipe.
Old 02-27-14, 08:15 PM
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I'm a fan of using the longest pipe wrench I have with a 2" diameter pipe, a few feet long or longer, on the back of it for extra leverage. If it doesn't budge, heat it with a torch. It should move then.
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