Hot Topics: Pipe Threading Direction
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Original Post - Pipe Threading Direction
I was about to replace a leaking ball valve in my boiler system when I realized that I can't figure out how to remove it based on which way the threads on each connection turn. It's like a puzzle! I've attached images of the valve location (it's the one with the cloth wrapped around it). If anyone could advise on how to deal with the clockwise / counterclockwise issue I'm facing, I would really appreciate it.
P.S. The valve to be replaced on the left is for another time. I am also aware I need to still pipe the air intake to the boiler to the outside.
pugsl Forum Topic Moderator
Can't tell if there are any unions in pipes, but if there are you have to start there and work back. We need better pictures of pipes near the blue box and around copper pipes.
PJmax Group Moderator
There are no unions or break points. If the valve cannot be fixed in place, the black iron pipe needs to be cut to remove it. When it's replaced, a union can be installed. One cut will do it.
Is the valve leaking through when closed? Or are the threads leaking because it wasn't screwed to the pipes tightly enough? Or perhaps it's dripping at the handle? If the last, first try to tighten the packing nut—the thin brass nut under the handle. You will likely need to take the handle off to do so unless you have some really thin wrenches.
Okay, here are three more shots: behind the pvc pipe, behind the blue box, and another wide angle.
The piping was assembled from the boiler outward—very typical as unions add to the cost of piping.
PJmax Group Moderator
When you have a threaded system, you start from one point and work out. In your case, they started the piping at the boiler and worked away from it. Your valve is between two threaded points. Turning the valve one way will loosen one side, but tighten the other. There is no way to unscrew it.
You need to disassemble your piping working backwards, which would be an immense project. Or, make a cut in the pipe and turn the valve out. Cut at the red line. Push the valve and blue pipe down slightly to remove valve. Discard the blue and green pieces of pipe. Replace the blue and green pipes with the appropriate length nipples. Where the cut was will now be a union. You will have to install the new parts and then swing the valve back up to join the union.
I still want to know exactly where the valve(s) are leaking. I do not see any sign of leaking at the threaded ends.
Thanks everyone for the advice. I would have to say the valve is leaking at the packing nut. The area is so rusted at this point that it seems if I even try to turn the handle, it would just break off. So, I am definitely going to need to replace the valve.
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