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  • Any plumbers on here?

    I can deal with a drive screw, but this end cap is not coming loose. This is a cast iron sewer pipe in this 50's era house. It has a cast iron piece leaded into the larger opening in the pipe, and a close look reveals that the cap is brass- this piece being about 4 inches in diameter. I'm distorting it by putting pressure on the wrench, so it doesn't appear that I'll be able to unscrew it. I sprayed penetrating oil on it yesterday, and I hammered all around it today to help break the threads loose. I got the wrench on it and used my floor jack to put the pressure on- and I left it under pressure for awhile. Hammered all around it again with the wrench tight, but it doesn't budge.

    What's my next step?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I also got the whole area hot with boiling water, but I think the brass probably expands as much as the cast iron. No luck there. I'm about to drill out the cap-
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

    Comment


    • #3
      You may as well.

      When you put one back, slather it with never-seez or grease.
      2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you talking about a clean out cap? Brass with a square hub in the center? Those are threaded in, treat it like any rusted stuck threaded connection. The pipe fittings are packed with oakum and then lead but the cleanouts are threaded.

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        • #5
          If I can leave a clean surface on the brass, I can clamp a seal plate to it. I'm guessing I'll be ok if I leave about 1/4 inch of brass ring to seal against.

          I don't know how much pressure comes from the washing machine pump, but the hose is plumbed in so there will be some pressure there.

          I may as well pump the jack some more, as it won't matter now if I break something. If it does break loose, that will be great. If it just breaks, well I'll probably get covered in holy matter.
          Last edited by darryl; 01-20-2021, 09:39 PM.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

          Comment


          • #6
            Brass won't rust, but if it is screwed into an iron fitting, that can, of course. They seem to mostly not come out unless loosened up on a regular basis, which they basically never are.

            Mine are on the stack, so never pressure other than a head of water if there is a backup, not clear where yours is, sounds like maybe on a branch going to the stack. Still should not be pressure unless there us a clog.

            I think you ought to use the blue wrench on the brass plug before getting out the drill. Get it HOT. And try turning it when hot, as well as after it has cooled.
            Last edited by J Tiers; 01-20-2021, 10:23 PM. Reason: Added blue wrench
            2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think a plumber would just use a hammer and chisel to break it out. The cleanout covers are thin and a ball peen would crush it in with just a few whacks. Then chisel the threads from the side to break them out. Use a hack saw to cut down to the threads in a few places if necessary. Install a new pvc cover with plenty of teflon tape. Why does it have to come out? Is your sewer plugged?

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's the deal now- I drilled it and hammered it out, leaving the threaded part in. There is no way I'm getting that out. So I filed around the opening to clean it up and shoved in a snake. I get almost 15 feet in and I hit something it won't go past. It's hard, I can tell that. Possibly a junction, but no amount of turning the snake gets me past that point. When I pull it out, the last foot is covered in black goo, like grease. Some small fibers are coming back with it, and I can tell I'm in water for the last 4 ft or so. It's hot water, so I'm into the water that I flushed to try and help it out. What I can't tell is whether the water table is that high, but I expected the hot water to drain because it always did drain, albeit slowly. If the pipe along the street is full, and I'm hitting that depth, then that hot water is just sitting there. It would really suck if I have a low spot between my pipe and the street.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                Comment


                • #9
                  You do not need a plumber on the board. You need a plumber in your town or city.
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

                  And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                  You will find that it has discrete steps.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by darryl View Post
                    I get almost 15 feet in and I hit something it won't go past. It's hard, I can tell that. Possibly a junction, but no amount of turning the snake gets me past that point.
                    Did someone flush something they shouldn't? Child's toy? An adult toy?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      An adult toy, ha ha. Come to think of it, perhaps the previous owner lost his watch down the toilet. I know when I bought the place from him, he came back to look for it- and didn't find it. It's hard to tell, but it does seem like I'm hitting a plastic thing- just from the sound. But probably I'm just hearing the snake smacking against the pipe.

                      I'm pulling up fibers that are stuck to the very tip of the coily wire on the end of the snake. I think it's likely that I have a root growing in there. I've probably dislodged enough stuff that this will flow again, but I think I'm going to have to dig.

                      Several years back I had the city come and poke a camera up the pipe from the street. Their thing was 30 ft long, and they didn't see anything. I'm in about 15 ft where I hit the snag, and I've guessed the total length of the pipe at 50 feet. I'm hitting something they didn't quite see-
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You're hitting an obstruction in an otherwise straight length of soil pipe? How far out into the yard would 15' take you? How far below ground level does your lateral exit the house? Any large trees in the vicinity of your soil pipe route? Why are you not using a snake with a root cutter?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You should be easily able to hammer out the remaining threaded ring after carefully cutting it from inside with a hacksaw or sawzall, I've done this many times with 1-2" steel. 100 year old steam radiator valves don't unscrew! For your clog, if you really want to see it 10M boroscopes are dirt cheap now, I recently got one for ~$55. Hooks up to your phone via wifi. Didn't find a clog, found a 5' long x 1/4" wide crack in a 4" cast iron riser!
                          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ok, well- the pipe exits the basement wall 4 ft below ground, goes out about 3 ft into the yard, then turns downwards and towards the street. I can see the turn through the hole I cut in the brass plug. Of course I can't see farther into it from there. so tomorrow I'll go on the street where the sewer cover is and sight a line towards where I think my pipe comes out. That way I'll get an idea of where I'd have to dig.

                            I jammed around with the snake for quite a while, and one time I got in a bit further, but still came to a deadlock. Now it drains about as fast as a dead snail trying out for the quadraplegic olympics. In other words, it's royally plugged now.

                            I do have trees on either side of where the pipe hits the sewer main. Chances are good there are roots, and as I said this is a 50's house and this is an original pipe. The roots could be everywhere, and one of the trees is a big cedar. One thing I don't understand is the black goo- it's just like black wheel bearing grease. It smells like iron, and ----. There may be the potential for a cedar root to rot the iron pipe- I don't know.

                            Why I'm not using a root cutter snake is because I don't have one. I will try to talk to the city tomorrow and see how far their obligation goes.

                            The brass problem is well solved. I filed the surface once I had the center knocked out, and I've sandwiched a rubber gasket to that face. It doesn't leak. When I'm finished with the job, I'll use some goop to seal the rubber just for extra insurance.

                            There are two things I know for sure. After messing with this for hours, I need a beer. And secondly, I can't use my toilet-
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wish I was there, I have a couple of backhoes and I love to dig!

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