As I was trying to break loose the galvanized pipe from a Tee joint, the pipe snapped at the joint. I applied PB blaster to the rusted connection and let it set for about 30-45 minutes before attempting to loosen it. Is there a way to remove the joint without cutting off any of the remaining pipes?


  • Are you talking about a threaded stub inside the socket that's facing away from the camera?
    – isherwood
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:38
  • Yes. It snapped right at the end of the joint.
    – wellington
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:46
  • Generally the answer is a bigger wrench or a "cheater" extension ( like a piece of pipe slid over the wrench handle to make it muck longer.) You will need balancing torque on the mating pipe component. Also try turning it the "wrong" way to break it loose. Jun 19 '18 at 20:47
  • I used an extension to get more torque on it, but failed to add enough balancing torque while try to break it loose. As it is now, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I try working back from one of the other joints I risk busting those which could turn into a job. Or I thought I could cut the Tee diagonally to separate the connection and hopefully remove the remaining pieces with a wrench. That was until Isherwood recommendation.
    – wellington
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:52
  • Is this a threaded plastic pipe that broke or a piece of plastic, bigger is not better with plastic pipe. Sometimes heat on the T will do the job, I use mapp gas torches all the time for both galvanized and removing old pvc that has broken.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 19 '18 at 21:00

You may have another convenient option. Since a part of the piping is already PVC with glued fittings you could remove the iron pipe and fittings back to other joints and then replace this problematic TEE and adjacent iron piping with PVC pipe and PVC fittings. You would then adapt back to the iron pipe at those other joints.

The glued PVC fittings are low cost and really easy to work with.

  • This is exactly what I ended up doing and only cost me a few bucks in PVC. Much easier than trying to salvage the rusty galvanized pipes.
    – wellington
    Jun 20 '18 at 18:12

I'd borrow or buy an "inside pipe wrench", then heat the T fitting with a torch for a bit to expand it and give it a crank.

  • Do you think that will work given how rusted the joints are?
    – wellington
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:44
  • I think you can. I think you can. I think you can.
    – isherwood
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:50
  • This is probably the best option. If you cut the fitting you can probably get it off but then how will you get the new one on? Jun 19 '18 at 20:50
  • Lol that line of thinking is how I got into this mess.
    – wellington
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:53
  • @PlatinumGoose That’s a good point...me thinking ahead.
    – wellington
    Jun 19 '18 at 20:54

If you're careful while you work you can make two cuts in the broken off section until just above the threads on the fitting. That will allow you to knock out a section with a cold chisel. Depending on how bad your luck is running you may need to repeat the process once or twice before you can get the entire piece loose. Clearly the key to success is patience to avoid damaging the fitting.

If you do heat it to loosen things up, keep in mind that it's going to take a while with a propane torch. That's quite a lot of mass and it may be a matter of literal minutes before it pops. You can't go wrong with a shield to protect the stuff behind it either.

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