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3" sewer line Clean out.

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  • 3" sewer line Clean out.

    What would be the best way to remove a frozen threaded clean out port for a 4" sewer line ? I tryed WD-40 and a pipe wrench but no luck moving it. Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    wizzy, i assume that the plug is a brass one scred into a cast iron ibco. (iron body clean out)
    i have a special set of sockets to access both raised head and flush plugs. these apply alot of force through the 3/4'' drive wrench. sometimes these plugs have never been removed since they were installed many years prior. in this case i use a holesaw to drill through the plug allowing a sawzall blade to cut to the threads of the ibco. at this point the plug can be pryed out.
    even an abs plug wil get stuck in a cast iron ibco. these are easy to break out with a hammer.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Another way, crude but effective, and providing that the pipe is in good condition, requires only a good cold chisel and a ball peen hammer. Like Rick I am assuming this is a brass plug in a cast iron clean out. Keep a large plastic bucket or trash can to catch any backed up water and sewerage.

      Just above the raised nut, or recessed indent, apply the sharp chisel at a 45 degree angle facing counterclock wise. Using a good heavy ball peen hammer drive the chisel hard until it either penetrates the plug or actually loosens the plug itself. If the plug is penetrated continue to widen the hole and remove the entire inside portion of the plug. Now you can easily place the chisel on the top of the plugs threads and with two or three sharp taps of the hammer the brass threads will come right down out of the iron threads and there will be zero damge to the clean out. This will allow for an easy replacement of the new plug. The entire process will take about 3 to 5 minutes.

      Apply teflon tape and a quality thread compound when you install the new plug. Do not see how tight you can make the new plug. hand snug and one full turn with a wrench should do it. You can always snug it a little more if needed when you water test it.
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


      • #4
        I agree with rick and plumber, I use a 3 pound sledgehammer and a flat cold chisel to poke a hole in the cleanout. Then i use an old pair of channellocks to pry or chew the brass out up to the threads to make a one to two inch wide notch. Then i use the chisel to tap in on the outside of the now weakened thread area, freeing it and puching it in until it breaks. It usually pops right out after that. The c/o and pipe would need to be in good shape before attempting this or you could be in trouble.
        Secondly, If you have enough room and the threads are sticking out far enough you can take a sawzall and cut the entire cap off through the threads, you'll be left with a threaded ring that will easily pop out with a hammer and a screwdriver.
        Thirdly, out of curiosity, why are you attempting to remove the c/o?
        Sometimes a 24" Pipe Wrench will get it out where you can't get enough leverage on a 14", however, 24" pipe wrenches are $50.


        • #5
          I'm a not a professional, but I was wondering: Could it help to heat the fitting with a torch before putting the pipe wrench on it?


          • #6
            Only if you like large leaks and perhaps booms.


            • #7
              The torch trick is a waste of gas, time, and it's dangerous. I've never tried that because I don't beleive it works 100% of the time. A lot of times you would be applying fire to a painted pipe in a basement, which can be flammable, not to mention setting off your smoke detectors if they are near by, and the risk of setting other things on fire. When i hit that brass with a three pound sledge, it usually gives up after three or four blows, especially if i use the pointy end of the hammer. Sorry to dis the torch trick, I've heard it several times from old plumbers, but its just too risky.


              • #8
                A lot of times a steel pipe wrench with a couple of quick but sharp taps of a sledge hammer is all you need to loosen the threads. If not then I would bust the center of the plug out and pop the threads out of the fitting.

                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!