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I am repairing a tub overflow. The screws for the cover plate were very corroded and broke off. I am trying to remove the overflow fitting and pipe but it is stuck. The pipe is brass and slides into a brass tee and then has a gasket and compression nut holding it in. I have removed the nut and gasket but the pipe is still stuck in the fitting.

The overflow pipe and tub drain are connected to the tee with compression nuts. The tee connects to the P-trap with a soldered joint.

How can I remove a stuck brass pipe from a brass fitting?

I have tried some PB Blaster but that is probably the wrong chemical for brass corrosion.

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Heat both parts moderately and safely (ie, don't set the house on fire) concentrating on the Tee or outside part.

Then apply ice to the pipe (ie, the "inside part" of the joint.)

This is usually a more practical (and less frustrating) approach than trying to heat one and cool the other at the same time.

The idea in play is to expand the outer part and shrink the inner part to aid in separating them. It won't always work, but it's what I'd try first when simple disassembly fails.

Heat may also help to break up the corrosion more directly by driving water out of it.

  • Will heating the tee cause the soldered side to melt out? Oh and I should obviously disconnect the PVC fittings from the tee and not melt the bathtub too! – Freiheit May 14 '15 at 14:56
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    ...interpret "moderately" to suit local conditions. A hairdryer, ceramic disc heater or heat gun may suit your conditions better than a torch, at least for the first try. – Ecnerwal May 14 '15 at 15:04
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    Heat gun and a little foul language did it. – Freiheit May 18 '15 at 12:58

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