02:40PM | 04/14/04
Member Since: 04/13/04
1 lifetime posts
Hello everyone,

I am currently trying to create a new drain line for my new washing machine. Unfortunately the only avenue for this to happen is to tap into an old 55 year old clean-out plug. The clean-out is located in the main drain section in the basement which is composed of 3" cast-iron pipe. It looks as if the actual clean-out is made of steel, not brass, and I have had a very hard time removing it. I have put a pipe wrench on the nut and it doesn't budge at all. Does anyone know any tactics for removing a clean-out plug that hasn't been removed in 50+ years? Thanks in advance for any advice.


08:38AM | 04/15/04
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
I had a similar problem last year with the cleanout plug on a drum trap. I tried all sorts of tricks to free the plug -- pipe wrench, bigger pipe wrench, Liquid Wrench, heat -- and nothing worked. The plug would not budge, and I didn't want to apply force and crack the cast iron.

I finally got the plug out as follows:

-- Drill four holes in the plug (to make the outline of a square).

-- Use a metal cutoff wheel (I used a RotoZip with the ZipMate attachment) to cut out the center square

-- CAREFULLY cut toward the outside of the plug to setup sections that can be tapped out (don't cut into the threads of the main pipe). I started the cuts with the RotoZip and then finished them by hand with a hacksaw blade.

-- Use a cold chisel or something similar to gently tap out the fragments of the plug.

This was the only way I could get mine out. And, since it was overhead, I had the added joy of black murky water dripping down onto my head ;-).

Once the plug is out, you can find a replacement plastic/PVC plug (sometimes hard to find, but they are available).

plumber Tom

07:25PM | 04/17/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
Illegal to run a drain into a C/O. It's there for a reason. For access to a blocked drain. What you want to try to do if possible is: Cut in a 3 x 2 wye fitting and install a standpipe for the washing machine. Install the standpipe at least 36" high.
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