Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Loosen The Fittings On Castiron Plumbing

Before PVC, cast iron was used for plumbing on many homes. Cast iron lasts for years but is susceptible to rust. When removing cast-iron pipes or making repairs, you might find that the fittings are difficult to loosen. This is due to rust melding inside the threads. Loosening the fittings on cast-iron plumbing requires patience and softening of the rust. It is not advisable to use heat when loosening the fittings. Too much heat can damage the pipe or the fitting. Make sure the main water supply is off to the house before you work on water supply plumbing or loosen any fittings. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Spray a penetrating lubricant around the cast-iron fitting where the fitting meets the pipe. Usually there are some exposed threads on the pipe. Spray the threads that are nearest to the fitting. This allows the lubricant to seep into the threads under the fitting.

2. Allow the lubricant to set for 10 minutes. This gives the lubricant time to soften the rust.

3. Place a pipe wrench over the fitting with the handle pointing away from you. The position of the pipe wrench handle should give you ample room to apply pressure when you turn the fitting.

4. Grab the pipe wrench handle with both hands and turn the fitting counterclockwise. This might require some force until the fitting begins to loosen.

5. Apply more lubricant if the fitting still does not move. Allow the lubricant to set for 20 minutes. Tap around the circumference of the fitting with a hammer. Sometimes this breaks loose stubborn rust. Place the pipe wrench on the fitting and turn the fitting counterclockwise to loosen it from the pipe.

Tags: pipe wrench, turn fitting, Allow lubricant, Allow lubricant minutes, fitting counterclockwise, fitting with, lubricant minutes