Latest Discussions : Plumbing

gtillotson

11:43AM | 02/17/03
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
I am trying to remove an old plug (seems to be 3.25", not 3" or 4" like the standard ones) on a cast iron drain system. What are the tricks for getting these loose? Here is what I've tried:

-- Tapping around the plug with a nail set
-- Heating with propane torch and twisting
-- Applying WD-40 to threads

I can get a pipe wrench around the plug(outer threads are protruding enough to get a good grip), but it won't move. I don't want to start whacking on the pipe wrench because I don't want to disturb the old pipes.

What else can I try? I need to get this plug off so that I can clean the pipes under a tub.

joed

04:04AM | 02/18/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If you can find a replacement plug just smash it out with a hammer. They usually breake easily. Find the replacement first.

devilpup

08:25AM | 03/01/03
Member Since: 02/28/03
3 lifetime posts
I am having the exact same problem. If you get an answer could you send my a reply.

devilpup@wideopenwest.com

Thank you

gtillotson

12:57PM | 03/01/03
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
I am still working on mine. The problem for me is that my plug is 3-3/8" for the outer dimension, and I haven't found a replacement yet. I wouldn't mind breaking it out if I had a replacement, so until them I'm being careful.

I found a good discussion on this topic at DIY (http://www.diynet.com/DIY/post/1,2021,3_175033,FF.html. Hope this helps.

Mark K

02:30PM | 03/15/03
Member Since: 08/12/02
3 lifetime posts
gtillotson, your a life saver, i had a problem with a plug on a cast iron main 4 inch drain and I did what DIY suggested, by drilling some holes, and using a jigsaw with a metal blade...lots of work but I finally got the damn thing out...thanks to you my new laundry room is still on schedule..=)

gtillotson

05:20AM | 03/18/03
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
I finally got around to removing mine, and here is what I did: I drilled four holes, one at each corner of the plug "nut". I let the water drain out, then I cut out the nut using a metal cut-off wheel (Rotozip).

After this, I used the cut-off wheel to slice away portions of the cap until I could get near the inner ring. I then cut slots right up to the edge of the cast iron pipe.

From there I used a hacksaw to cut vertically from the inside out to the edge of the threads. You can feel and hear when you start grazing the cast iron, so cutting by hand this way is safe. Once I'd cut through the plug in about four places, I tapped the chunks out with a cold chisel.

I don't have a replacement plug yet for the odd 3-3/8" cleanout, but I'll go hunting today. I was amazed at the amount of crud in there -- a big plug of junk and sediment lining the walls of the cleanout.

devilpup

07:20AM | 03/21/03
Member Since: 02/28/03
3 lifetime posts
Well, it took a 65 year old little man to show me. "It's all about leverage, Kid," he told me. Try using an extention on your pipe wrench. I used a 4 ft. galvanized fence post. All it took was a couple of bumps, and it was ready to move.

gtillotson

10:03AM | 03/21/03
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
This is good to hear. I was thinking of this, but drum trap was in a tight spot and I was concerned that too much torque would damage the connecting pipes. Next time I'll remember to look for a fence post.

KCAMPB8580

12:44PM | 10/15/12
Member Since: 10/15/12
1 lifetime posts
I tried some of the others, including heat and rust removor oils, with no result, but this one using leverage worked. I have been living in this house for 28 years and it had never been off, I don't know how long before then.

BV001154

08:33PM | 05/27/13
I just smacked around the perimeter of the cap with a hammer and a large pipe wrench removed mine no problem.

BV003375

07:45PM | 02/26/14
A friend of mine Scott showed me the trick that worked on a cap that had not been removed in 50 + years. After trying to loosen the cap he then tried tightening the cap an it moved in the tightening direction about an inch after which he turned it in the loosening direction. Thanks Scott

BV003829

09:08PM | 04/07/14
@ BV001154 thanks!
from a woman: this plug/cleanout/cap in my house probably has not been removed since the house was built in 1938. i couldn't get it unscrewed. it had been painted over and blah, blah, blah . . .
because of your post i got a heavy duty short sledge type hammer. i gave it some hard bangs. not only on the side of the pipe on the end where the cap is but also on the head of the cap. i then tried to unscrew. still too hard. i could not. so i got my feet centered firmly on the ladder and had the pipe wrench vertical like a gym bar with both hands firmly gripping. i slightly bent my knees and lost contact with my feet and the ladder. all my 130 lbs. was hanging from the pipe wrench. the cap unscrewed!

BV004125

10:50PM | 04/30/14
Hammer the top until it begins to collapses while leaving a hole in the center. If you are careful after collapsing it, the center will not fall into the drain line. If it does, make sure you reach in and grab it.
OK, now you have a hole. Take a sawzaw and cut a 1/4 of the pie out. Careful not to cut into the threads to deep on the other side. Remove the pie with channel locks and a chisel. Using the chisel and a hammer, crush the remainder of the cap inward to release the threads. At this point you should almost be able to spin it out by hand.
I am a plumber and do this weekly, it takes me about 20min. Replacements can be found at a hareware store or your local plumbing supply house. Expansion plugs aren't bad either.

Third Grade Teacher

08:43PM | 05/08/14
Member Since: 05/08/14
1 lifetime posts
Another woman here! (a teacher) I had a tree planted on our playground so the kids would have some shade at PE. I need to give it a deep watering once a week, there are two PVC pipes from the root ball to about 12 inches above the soil surface. There's a PVC cap on the end of each pipe, no glue, no threads, which I need to get off about once a week. Someone keeps tapping down the caps and I can't get them off. Any ideas would be really helpful. Thank you.

BV013829

12:48PM | 05/07/17
I used a 2ft Crescent wrench on the protruding square that's for putting the wrench on. It just ripped the square off, and made a hole in the plug. I broke the rest of the plug out with a hammer and chisel.

Now I hope to find a replacement.


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