Unable to break thread on toilet water supply valve


B

billsahiker

I must be getting weak in my old age because I cannot unscrew the
threaded fitting on the half inch valve where it is threaded onto the
copper water pipe(which comes up through the floor in my house). I put
a large crescent wrench on the flat part of the valve and a large pipe
wrench on the copper water pipe. It won't budge. Any suggestions
before I call a plumber? I tried tapping the fitting pretty hard. I
bought a quarter turn halve inch valve to replace the old because the
old one is leaking water out the handle. The metal in the old valve
is in bad shape so I would not want to try to replace the rubber
bushings and re-use it.

Bill
 
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R

RickH

I must be getting weak in my old age because I cannot unscrew the
threaded fitting on the half inch valve where it is threaded onto the
copper water pipe(which comes up through the floor in my house). I put
a large crescent wrench on the flat part of the valve and a large pipe
wrench on the copper water pipe. It won't budge. Any suggestions
before I call a plumber? I tried tapping the fitting pretty hard. I
bought a quarter turn halve inch valve to replace the old because the
old one is leaking water out the handle. The metal in the old valve
is in bad shape so I would not want to try to replace the rubber
bushings and re-use it.

Bill
Heat the threads a little with a propane torch then try again.
 
R

RickH

I must be getting weak in my old age because I cannot unscrew the
threaded fitting on the half inch valve where it is threaded onto the
copper water pipe(which comes up through the floor in my house). I put
a large crescent wrench on the flat part of the valve and a large pipe
wrench on the copper water pipe. It won't budge. Any suggestions
before I call a plumber? I tried tapping the fitting pretty hard. I
bought a quarter turn halve inch valve to replace the old because the
old one is leaking water out the handle. The metal in the old valve
is in bad shape so I would not want to try to replace the rubber
bushings and re-use it.

Bill
Oops, but watch out for melting the solder.
 
W

willshak

I must be getting weak in my old age because I cannot unscrew the
threaded fitting on the half inch valve where it is threaded onto the
copper water pipe(which comes up through the floor in my house). I put
a large crescent wrench on the flat part of the valve and a large pipe
wrench on the copper water pipe. It won't budge. Any suggestions
before I call a plumber? I tried tapping the fitting pretty hard. I
bought a quarter turn halve inch valve to replace the old because the
old one is leaking water out the handle. The metal in the old valve
is in bad shape so I would not want to try to replace the rubber
bushings and re-use it.

Bill
If you had to use a pipe wrench on the copper pipe, then it is not
screwed in, but soldered in, and no amount of turning will loosen it.
You'll have to cut the pipe below the valve and then unsolder the valve
from the top pipe before you can install a new valve, which may require
soldering or installation of pressure fittings. If you are not
comfortable with this, get a plumber.
 
B

billsahiker

I can see exposed threads on the copper pipe. Could it still be
soldered and not threaded?
 
W

willshak

I can see exposed threads on the copper pipe. Could it still be
soldered and not threaded?
Perhaps not on that end, but what about the top? Even if screwed in
there, there has to be a union fitting somewhere in the pipe above or
below the valve that unscrews apart so that the valve and pipe threads
can unscrew.
Look here for what the union looks like. If you don't have at least one
of these, cutting or unsoldering is the only answer.
http://pexsupply.com/categories.asp?cID=131&brandid=
The large nut in the center turns freely and unscrews the two ends. They
made be copper or brass, but they work the same way.
 
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M

mkirsch1

I can see exposed threads on the copper pipe. Could it still be
soldered and not threaded?
If it's threaded copper PIPE (like iron pipe, except made from
copper), and not the more common copper tubing (which is soldered),
then you can probably forget about ever getting that valve off. The
steel and copper and moisture created galvanic corrosion that has
permanently welded the two together.

Make sure you're seeing what you think you're seeing. Could this valve
be attached to the copper via a compression fitting? Then you'd need
to turn the nut one way and the valve the other.
 
W

willshak

I didn't answer the question fully. Yes, the screwed in part could be
soldered in but that would be a hack job and is not usually done by
plumbers with the right fittings. Solder fittings involve soldering
directly with the copper pipe and and a valve made to accept soldered
copper pipe. See any silver around the threads?
 
B

billsahiker

The copper pipe is definintely threaded and I see no evidence of
solder. The uniion is not copper -silver colored so some sort of
alloy. Someone else suggested the threads are corroded, which makes
sense to me. Having been around boats alot I know about galvanic
corrosion. In this case, the alloy would have corrorded and seized the
joint. I am starting to think I need a plumber.

Bill
 
D

dpb

I have never seen threaded copper. Are you sure?
Not except compression fitting for tubing.

Sweat fitting could be a threaded adapter, perhaps is what he's seeing.
W/O pitchter, just guessing...

--
 
B

billsahiker

I take that back. It oxidezed green, but upon scratching it, it
appears to be steel. The exposed threads are badly corroded. At first
I thought the corrosion was old pipe joint compound, but upon picking
at it, it seems more like corrosion.

Bill
 
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V

valvejob

The copper pipe is definintely threaded and I see no evidence of
solder. The uniion is not copper -silver colored so some sort of
alloy. Someone else suggested the threads are corroded, which makes
sense to me. Having been around boats alot I know about galvanic
corrosion. In this case, the alloy would have corrorded and seized the
joint. I am starting to think I need a plumber.

Bill
Yes, you need someone, either yourself or a plumber, to cut off the
joint and put on a new copper threaded joint as shown below in this
thread.

Do not twist off and ruin the pipe!
 
J

Jeff Wisnia

Stormin said:
I have met several very fine men who are excellent citizens,
father, etc. But who mix up right and left. Is it possible in
this case?

I'll assume that the pipe is close to the floor, and that you
will put the wrenches above the pipe.

The pipe wrench on the tubing from the wall applies turning force
this way

------------>>

The crescent wrench on the valve applies turning force that way

<<--------------

Now that I'm over 40, I'm having to buy bigger wrenches to
accomplish the same job. So, you may need longer wrenches to get
more force into the fitting.
Or a BFH appropriately applied to the end of the wrench handle. <G>

Jeff
 
J

Jeff Wisnia

I take that back. It oxidezed green, but upon scratching it, it
appears to be steel. The exposed threads are badly corroded. At first
I thought the corrosion was old pipe joint compound, but upon picking
at it, it seems more like corrosion.

Bill
If you have patience, a Dremel, and some abrasive slitting wheels for it
you could try carefully slicing one or both sides of the female threaded
part of the valve to the point where application of a large screwdriver
in the slot you make may spring it open enough to break the corrosion bond.

Even if you slice a litlle bit of a line up the side of the male pipe
threads, chances are good that a new valve will seal to it if you use
teflon tape AND joint compound when screwing it on.

If the threads on the pipe turn out to be mostly rotted off when you get
the valve off then the depth of the doo-doo you're in will have
increased significantly.

Good Luck. Let us know how you make out.

Jeff
 
T

terry

Now that I'm over 40, I'm having to buy bigger wrenches to
accomplish the same job. So, you may need longer wrenches to get
more force into the fitting.
Thanks for those words Chris.
I am 73 approaching 74 and in last few years have found I have to use
a little more brains than brute force to accomplish tasks! Also I
depend more on wheelbarrow, and hand truck etc. Sometimes just a
matter of planning work.
Anyway; back to stacking firewood for the winter.
 
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N

NickySantoro

I must be getting weak in my old age because I cannot unscrew the
threaded fitting on the half inch valve where it is threaded onto the
copper water pipe(which comes up through the floor in my house). I put
a large crescent wrench on the flat part of the valve and a large pipe
wrench on the copper water pipe. It won't budge. Any suggestions
before I call a plumber? I tried tapping the fitting pretty hard. I
bought a quarter turn halve inch valve to replace the old because the
old one is leaking water out the handle. The metal in the old valve
is in bad shape so I would not want to try to replace the rubber
bushings and re-use it.

Bill
First guess is someone used a heavy dose of pipe dope. Heat the
fitting while keeping a wet rag on the pipe. Remove the torch and hit
it with some penetrating oil. Reheat as above then try again while the
fitting is still hot.
 

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