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dumbmick
stuck sewer trap

Just prior to leaving the house, the sewer pipe has a threaded cover with a square bolt in the middle of it. I'm trying to remove that cover and can't for the life of me get it to budge. Any suggestions? I tried spraying PB Blaster, but no help. I'm using a large pipe wrench with a 1 foot pipe as leverage.
Thanks,
Tom

rdesigns
Re: stuck sewer trap

The "square bolt" that you're seeing--is it formed as part of the plug itself? (Most cleanout plugs are built this way.)

The plug with its integral "bolt" is probably brass, right?

They are made of brass intentionally because brass is softer than the cast iron that the plug screws into. Because the brass is relatively soft, you can safely destroy the brass plug, if needed, without hurting the cast iron female threads. The plug itself will be quite thin--almost like a wafer.

Using a hammer and chisel (not a wood chisel, but what's commonly called a cold chisel), carefully pound out the brass plug, starting in the MIDDLE of the plug, not the edges where you might damage the female threads. After first pounding out the middle, you'll be able to collapse the outer part (the threaded part) inward, and remove it completely.

Replace the plug with an ABS or PVC plug, which will be much easier to remove next time.

dumbmick
Re: stuck sewer trap

Fair enough. Not to be a wise guy, but if the plug is made of soft brass, why isn't it crumbling under the ridiculous force i'm putting on the wrench?
thanks,
tom

JLMCDANIEL
Re: stuck sewer trap

Try heating the pipe around the plug wit a propane torch then apply the PB Blaster. Heat usually will help it penetrate.
Jack

rdesigns
Re: stuck sewer trap
dumbmick wrote:

Fair enough. Not to be a wise guy, but if the plug is made of soft brass, why isn't it crumbling under the ridiculous force i'm putting on the wrench?
thanks,
tom

It's "soft" only in comparison to cast iron, and it can be hammered out. That was the point of using them for cleanout plugs in cast iron. Cast iron will shatter or crack when you hammer it. I have hammered out many brass plugs over the years.

Do you know brass when you see it? The surface will have blackened over the years, but the brass color should show thru where you've gouged it with your pipe wrench.

dumbmick
Re: stuck sewer trap

Thanks for all the suggestions. I got the cap off. Problem 2.
The cap is tapered. ??? It's diameter decreases from top to bottom and the female threaded portion of the cast iron sewer pipe is too large for a 3" male connector, and too small for a 4" male connector. Anyone ever see such a beast?
Thanks,
Tom

canuk
Re: stuck sewer trap

You probably need the 3 1/2 inch cap.

rdesigns
Re: stuck sewer trap
dumbmick wrote:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I got the cap off. Problem 2.
The cap is tapered. ??? It's diameter decreases from top to bottom and the female threaded portion of the cast iron sewer pipe is too large for a 3" male connector, and too small for a 4" male connector. Anyone ever see such a beast?
Thanks,
Tom

The tapered threads are standard, and it was common to use a 3-1/2" threaded plug in a 4" fitting. You will probably have to buy a brass replacement plug, rather than plastic, because 3-1/2" plastic plugs are not generally available.

kcb
Re: stuck sewer trap

Can you locate a 3 1/2 inch rubber compression plug? Will do the job also.

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