Water heater connections


Old 11-03-16, 10:30 AM
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Water heater connections

Just bought a house that has a reasonably new gas water heater plumbed with PEX pipe. No problem, I need to replace the first 18" with copper... or I thought it wouldn't be an issue.

It seems the female -> PEX couplers that were installed were tightened by someone with superhuman strength. I cut the PEX and now I can not get the fitting to budge at all from the water heater. I've used a 12" pipe wrench and the hot will not budge. I was able to unscrew the cold nipple - which turned out to be the whole dip tube.

So what do I do now? I can replace the dip tube (that looks like this). But the hot side I can't do anything with. I've considered a hacksaw or sawzall, but I think it'll be a pain to get through the brass (?) PEX connection and will likely damage the threads. Other option is a bigger wrench, but I don't want to break anything - and I'm not sure how to get enough leverage on the tank.

Any suggestions? This is a new one for me!

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Old 11-03-16, 11:37 AM
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Get a bigger wrench or put a pipe over the handle of your 12" wrench. It helps if the heater is full to hold it in place so you can have both hands free to pull on the wrench. If that doesn't work then I'd try hitting it with a torch then use the long wrench on it.
Old 11-03-16, 12:31 PM
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A 12 inch wrench is pretty small to use on 3/4 inch pipe threads. I agree, get a larger wrench. An 18 inch is not too big.
Old 11-06-16, 05:32 PM
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Thank you both! Some heat from a torch did the trick. The new 18" pipe wrench didn't hurt either.

Much appreciated!

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