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I have purchased a gas log kit to convert our wood-burning fireplace to a ceramic-log/gas fireplace. The fireplace currently has the following gas starter pipe in place:

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Using a pipe wrench, I have tried to loosen both sides of the starter pipe, to the left and right of the splitter. It isn't budging. And I'm worried about knocking something loose underneath the brickwork (crawlspace).

My original plan was to remove the starter pipe and splitter, and then connect the new gas log set to the threaded gas line. But I can't seem to get anything to budge--and am also now questioning my overall plan in general.

Open to any advice, please! Thanks!!

5

I had the same problem when converting mine. The pipes have been subjected to repeated extreme heat and cooling cycles and will be difficult to unthread.

Your best bet is to soak with penetrating oil (slide some cardboard under prior to spraying so you don't soak the bricks). Soak repeatedly and tap the pipes frequently to help the oil penetrate into the threads. Always use two pipe wrenches, one to "back up" the fitting to reduce stresses on the rest of the assembly. You may also find that heating the fitting with a small propane torch will expand it a bit, facilitating removal (keep a water spray bottle handy in case the residual penetrating oil flames up, and never spray oil while the lit torch is near).

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just cut the vertical stub pipe off with a pipe cutter or sawzall, file flat and smooth and then re-thread it with a pipe die head for whatever size pipe it is.

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