Any advice on unthreading old Brass pipe? The brass pipe is in the back with the spigot attached.

old Brass pipe

  • 1
    Need more info on why this is an issue, just spray it with penetrating oil and use a pipe wrench. – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 25 '16 at 1:24
  • So far nothing. I'm new to diy plumbing and expecting it to be difficult. – Chris Mar 25 '16 at 4:26

Try it

Before you assume it's not going to turn, give it a try. You might find that even though the pipe looks like it's in rough shape, it unthreads without too much trouble.

  1. Put a pipe wrench on top of the pipe with the jaws open down, and the handle to the left.
  2. Tighten the jaws down on the pipe.
  3. Try to rotate the pipe in an anticlockwise direction.

Pipe wrench loosen

Give it a tap

If the pipe won't turn, tapping might break it loose. However, you'll want to be gentle, so you don't break anything. You're not looking to apply extra rotational force, you're looking to knock crud loose from the threads.

  1. Apply gentle anticlockwise pressure to the wrench on the pipe.
  2. Gently tap the handle of the wrench and/or pipe with a hammer.

Two wrenches

If the pipe still doesn't budge, try putting a second pipe wrench in the opposite direction on the outlet of the tee. Then push the handles of the wrenches together.

  1. Put a second pipe wrench on the bottom of the tee outlet, with the jaws open up and the handle about 45° below the first wrench.
  2. Holding the second wrench stationary, push the first wrench handle towards the second.

Two Pipe Wrenches

The second wrench reduces the amount to torque transferred to the fitting, and gives you a bit of extra leverage.

Gunk buster and lube

If the pipe is still being stubborn. Soak the joint in penetrating oil, and allow it to soak in for a bit. Then repeat the steps above.

Heat it up

If the pipe is still not moving after repeating the steps above a few times, It's time for more drastic measures.

  1. Wipe down the joint to remove any excess penetrating oil.
  2. Heat the joint with a torch.
  3. Using a pipe wrench as described above, try to rotate the pipe anticlockwise.

Cut it out

At this point you'll be at your wits end, so it's time to get destructive.

  1. Use a pipe cutter to cut the pipe off close to the tee.
  2. Using a mini hacksaw, carefully make a few cuts into the interior of the pipe.
  3. Using a wrench, try to break the pipe nub up in to pieces.

Mini hacksaw

Be careful when making the cuts, as you don't want to cut into the threads of the fitting. Usually you can break or deform the pipe nub enough, so that it can be removed from the fitting.

  • Right before "cut it out" should be try an 'enforcer': short lengths of pipe stuck on the end of each of your wrenches, giving you more leverage. Two guys helps, too; one on each wrench. – Mazura Mar 26 '16 at 4:38
  • As long as you've built up a little muscle, the two wrench method should work well every time. I prefer vise grips, they can be tightened down a little smaller than the pipe diameter to really clamp on. – TFK Mar 26 '16 at 13:37

Lube it a bunch of times & let it soak for an hour between each lube. Then, heat it up with a torch or candle & go easy with a Pipe or Monkey Wrench. Hopefully it won't snap. But, if it does then you'll still be able to get that with an Internal Pipe Wrench bit.


  • 1
    Heat and penetrating oil usually work for me – Ed Beal Mar 25 '16 at 1:56

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