Replacing Galvanized Pipe :Using Male & Female Adaptors

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Mr. Rooter's Tip Of The Day: The type of threads needed will depend on whether you are discarding the fitting.

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Make two cuts: one several inches away from the threads and a second at the threads themselves.

“Repairing galvanized pipe,” according to Bob Beall, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, “is a simple homeowner plumbing repair: add taps to it just like any other pipe.” When replacing a union with a T-fitting, there is no need to cut the pipe, “but if there is no union or this is a leak-repair job”, according to Mr. Rooter, “cutting the pipe will be necessary.”

“Cutting galvanized pipe with a hacksaw can take a long time,” according to Beall, “but a reciprocating saw will reduce the job to a few minutes.”

Cut galvanized pipe results in ends without threads, and there’s no good way to splice in a replacement or a T. “To cut out a section of pipe, unscrew the resulting pieces from their respective fittings, and install a new section of non-galvanized pipe. When making changes to a galvanized pipe, it is necessary to have threads to work with.

“Although leaks sometimes occur in the wall of a galvanized fitting,” according to Mr. Rooter, the most referred plumber in Northeast Ohio and Southwest Pennsylvania, “they are more typical at the threads because the threads reduce the thickness of the pipe wall by more than half.” The type of threads needed for the replacement fitting depends on whether it becomes necessary to discard the fitting (because it leaks or it is being replaced with a different type), or keeping it. “Discarding the fitting leaves male threads on a pipe end that require a female adaptor,” says Beall. “Keeping the fitting leaves female threads requiring a male adaptor.”

According to Mr. Rooter, it will be necessary to make two cuts: one several inches away from the threads and a second at the threads themselves.

Mr. Rooter Tip Of The Day

Tip #1 Make two cuts: one several inches away from the threads and a second at the threads themselves.

Tip #2 Use two large pipe wrenches to remove the coupling from the pipe.

Tip #3 If the coupling is frozen (rusted on), heat it with a propane torch and then remove it. Clean up the threads with a wire brush and rag. Screw on and hand tighten a female tiffing appropriate to the replacement pipe. Tighten the fitting with a wrench.

Tip #4 Insert the replacement pipe fully into the fitting and tighten it.

Tip #5 Follow the same steps at the other endf of the new pipe, using a fitting with appropriate threads.

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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