Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Rusted solid pipe nipple
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Tom the Plumber
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

I would plan on cutting the drywall. This would be the best time to just bite the bullet and replace the entire shower valve. Next thing you know after replacing that nipple, the shower arm will begin to leak. Do it right and suck it up. You won't regret it. I hope I helped. I see way to many of this same exact problem.

kenackr
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

@ Deadshort: Appreciate your humor, same here. ;)

@ Tom: Thanks for the reply. I left the nipple alone except for one more squirt of penetrant after I wrote the post.

I already purchased and installed all new parts for the mixing valve, including the ball, springs, seals , cover plate and valve body cover, so I could turn the water back on in the house. The valve body showed no corrosion, so I felt all new guts would cure it's problem. To be honest, I didn't really think about the shower head fitting for the shower neck, and you may well be right about it.

The mixing valve is definitely repaired and no longer leaking thru to the tub spout, so for the moment, the leak problem is solved since that bathroom never gets used at this time.

The thought occurred to me this morning that because of the poor condition of the 1 piece fiberglass tub & shower enclosure (stains, deep scratches, etc), I'll have to replace the entire enclosure anyhow. That will require cutting it up in place to get it out and then I can open the wall from the inside to get at the piping without putting a hole in the adjoining room's wall. Since that project is not time critical and the leak is now fixed, I can afford to wait to do it right later. I agree it's better to do it all the right way instead of having to repair it more than once.

None of that occurred to me yesterday after fighting with it for 7 hours. I was so focused on completing the entire fix and didn't take the time to use my noggin to break the problem down to it's component parts.

Unfortunately, there are so many things in this house to fix that I'll probably be Methuselah's age by the time I'm done.:D

Thanks again,

Ken

Tom the Plumber
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

I'm glad you got it all fixed. I appreciate the reply as well! :)

rdesigns
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

An internal pipe wrench is what you need to reach inside the nipple to remove it without crushing it.

There are two types, and the one you want is the cam-type--it has a toothed cam on the shaft that you insert into the pipe. The cam rotates to grab the inside of the pipe in the same way that a pipe wrench grabs the outside.

The Home Depot here sells them in the plumbing tools section.

kenackr
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

Well, you learn something new every day! I had never heard of an internal pipe wrench. Thanks for pointing that out I'll definitely get one.

Here's another question related to this job. Since I have made the decision to cut the 1 piece tub/shower unit out would I be better off to use a sawzall or a jig saw? :confused:

rdesigns
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple
kenackr wrote:

Well, you learn something new every day! I had never heard of an internal pipe wrench. Thanks for pointing that out I'll definitely get one.

Here's another question related to this job. Since I have made the decision to cut the 1 piece tub/shower unit out would I be better off to use a sawzall or a jig saw? :confused:

Sawzall, no contest.

kenackr
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

Thanks, that was my first thought.

kenackr
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

For those who might enjoy a good chuckle here's a little status report.The nipple is finally out but so is the fitting that it is still threaded into and of course, the copper tube that ran from the mixing valve body to that fitting.

The copper tube was soldered into a another fitting on the mixing valve body. The joint came apart when the 6d box nails holding the fitting to the backing 2x came loose and let the fitting dance around as I manhandled it with an impact driver and the internal pipe wrench from Home Depot or was it the $30 sliding T handle to hold the socket that held the internal pipe wrench? Who knows?

Of course, none of that would have happened if there were some other restraint on either the shower head or the source Hot & Cold pipes. I have never seen a poorer job of shoddy workmanship when the house was built. There aren't ANY framing members at the head of the tub & shower enclosure at all, just the crappy flexible fiberglass enclosure nailed in the corners.

The good news is at least there was no insulation in the wall which T's into an exterior wall that would make me itchy. :rolleyes:
I think the homes in Haiti that fell down were built better than my house.

Oh yeah, it only took me 2 trips to Home depot to get the internal pipe wrench because some idiot stole the 1/2 inch nipple wrench out of the set. I didn't find out until I got home that the one they gave me in exchange had been previously used too.

I've made good progress since I fired up the old Sawzall and started cutting up the old enclosure and tub to see what I have to deal with. It looks like rebuilding the entire house from the inside out.

Oh well, it keeps me off the street and out of trouble (I think). :rolleyes: I think I'll start video taping all the rest of the plumbing work on the house so I can enter it at the Sundance film festival as "The lone plumbing stooge rides again!".

rdesigns
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

Ain't that the way it goes?

Seems like the hardest part of remodelling work is trying to find the real starting point--the deeper you look, the farther away it gets.

I have a little quote from Mark Twain hanging on my wall, a quote from "The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm" it says:

"When we were finishing our house, we found we had a little cash left over, on account of the plumber not knowing it."

kenackr
Re: Rusted solid pipe nipple

Amen to that! ;)

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