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Old 03-15-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
Massi
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Default Clogged Bathroom Sink Pipes + Broken Nipple Threads

Hi all -

A few days ago I noticed my bathroom sink was clogged. I disassembled the entire piping all the way to the nipple. There was lots of black gunk all the way through - I cleaned that out.

However, when I got to the elbow that connected to the nipple, I couldn't find a way to get that off other than to clamp its open mouth with my wrench and just turn it counter clockwise.

That got the elbow off the nipple, but it took some of the nipple's threads with it too. You'll see from the photos (hopefully) that the threads on the nipple are rusty. The black gunk continues into the nipple and I've been told I need a plumber's snake to clear the rest of it out.

Also, some maintenance folks came in to look at it and mentioned something about the nipple having to be replaced (because it was old, or something of the sort). I am not sure if I need to do that or not.

Any suggestions on unclogging the nipple? Or whether or not it needs replacement? And what can I do to fix the broken thread problem?

Thank you in advance.



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Old 03-16-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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A snake would be the best method of cleaning the drainline out.

A rubber repair coupling to adapt from the galvanized steel to tubular trap is probably the easiest way out at this point.

Here's hoping that Mr. David comes by and offers his more expert opinion on this one.



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Old 03-16-2011, 01:57 AM   #3
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I'll give it a shot. Oh and Thanks for the recommendation.
That's a real tough one. I encounter this a lot of this but usually the trap arm is tubular brass or DWV copper with a solder threaded solder ring that is screwed into the cast iron tee. The steel thread have deteriorated and may have also destroyed any threads left in the santee. I would take a sawzall and cut through the inside of the pipe into the threads about a 1/4 inch apart and the peel out the old nipple. Then I use a 1-1/2" pipe tap and re-tap the threads in the santee. But with the steel nipple I think you are going to have to open the wall and replace the santee.
Sometimes there is no easy fix.
I'll go see if I have some pictures. I think I took some a while back.
Found them

The threads left in the santee that were under the brass solder ring are okay.
The brass threaded solder ring was only about 2 or 3 threads deep.
You will notice after I re-tapped it the other threads are pretty much gone.
Yours is a steel nipple. I have had some success re-tappin those but not much.
GOOD LUCK.

re-tap Santee.jpg   re-tap Santee (1).jpg   re-tap Santee (2).jpg   re-tap Santee (3).jpg   re-tap Santee (4).jpg  

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Old 03-16-2011, 02:34 AM   #4
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I jumped the gun on that. I was looking at the first pic and thought the nipple was broke off in the santee.
you can replace the nipple if you want.
You can unscrew it and screw in a brass or abs or pvs adapter.
If you cut a notch in it like I showed it will come out easier.
Just do it near the top .
That nipple does not look to far gone and the threads in the santee might be okay.

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Old 03-21-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Hi folks -

I'm still working on this since I'm still waiting on the snake. I applied some WD-40 on the boundary between the nipple and the santee, tried to twist the nipple out and failed. So I just applied more WD-40 this morning and will try again this evening.

I don't have a saw that can cut through metal so I'm left to trying to pry it out with the help of WD-40.

One question while I wait: I noticed that the nipple has an external diameter of roughly 1 7/8 " and an internal diameter of 1 3/4 ". The only nipples close to that size at Home Depot are 1 1/2" diameter and 2" diameter. I will bring the nipple with me when I buy a new one but I'm wondering why there is a disagreement in diameter size. Also, when I buy a new nipple, what material do you suggest I buy?

Thank you.

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Old 03-21-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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I would toss the "WD-40" and use "PB blaster", which is designed to penetrate and work better for you.

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #7
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Hi -

Checking back in. After coating the junction between the nipple and the elbow piece inside the wall (it's not a santee, it's a left-turning elbow) with WD-40 I tried using a pipe wrench to twist out the nipple. I didn't go far because, as I applied force, I wasn't getting a rotation and was afraid that I'd break some piping inside the walls.

I then tried placing my car's jack lift under part of the elbow that protrudes from the wall to hold it still while I tried using the pipe wrench in a downward direction. I was hoping that the jack would provide a counter force to my downward push, which would then allow for my efforts to then become rotational.

I stopped prematurely as I felt I was putting too much force on the pipe, on top of the fact that I am really doing things from theory. Here are photos of the junction and the nipple. Any advice short of calling a plumber?

Thanks, folks.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:30 AM   #8
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i agree w mr david. ask your friends if anyone has a sawzall with a metal cutting blade. if you get your hands on one you could also cut the pipe about 2 in from the san tee and adapt with a no hub coupling and a new pvc male trap adapter. this way may b easier for you but removing the nipple altogether is the best way.

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for your advice. I didn't want to tackle sawing off the nipple on my own since I'm a novice, so I called a plumber. He did exactly that and made everything else PVC.

I hope next time I can complete this job on my own. Thanks again for the help.



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