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Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

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  • Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

    I'm curious what you guys prefer to use for tightening (threaded I'm talking about here) big Ball Valves, Unions, etc. The Key here is I'm thinking something to tighten them with that won't mar the squared edges. It's easy to use a Pipe Wrench but it leaves marks.

    I own a 12" Ridgid Spud Wrench and it just fits over an 1 1/2" Brass or steel Union (the Union connection nut not the actual part that you thread onto the pipes). The only issue is the lack of leverage you get with only 12" of length and the Ridgid Spud Wrench opened as far as it can go is just big enough for the Union nut on 1 1/2". But I repeatedy tighten various square surfaced valves, etc. for heating and what not. I'm sure though with the malleability of Brass, that it doesn't require he man strength or leverage, even with the larger pipe sizes, to get it to a point where it won't leak. But it'd be nice if I could find a tool that would make the job a little easier, especially for the odd larger sized valve, union, etc.
    Like I said, many might go to the pipe wrench. I'm one who would prefer not to if possible.

    The options out there that I know of are a large adjustable/crescent wrench, some of those Hex straight or offset wrenches, or does someone make a larger/longer spud wrench?

  • #2
    Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

    Ridgid does look in the catalog

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

      I was always told to be very careful of using pipe wrenches on hexes on ball valves and unions.
      Ball valves and unions are usually made of brass and are easy to squash if the jaws are not adjusted correctly.

      Simon

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

        ridgid makes a hex pipe wrech



        two different sizes. this is the offset one but also made in straight wrenches.

        hope this is what you a looking for.

        G3

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

          Here is a link to the wrenches that G3 refers to. - http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Hex-Wrench/EN/index.htm

          For large square (4 sides / not hex 6) there are companies that make up Construction wrenches which are single end very tuff open end wrenches. They are fixed sizes for a specific use. You can add a section of iron pipe over the handle and not bust the wrench.

          Please post more about what sizes and shapes you need to turn.


          While this is a kind of cuss word name on here, REED Manufacturing of Erie, PA has introduced a 18" version of the SPUD wrench. It opens to 4-5/8" and has smooth jaws. - It's their catalog RCORP item number 02114 ---

          Reed Manufacturing, Corp.
          800-666-3691 or 814-455-1697
          Last edited by Woussko; 11-28-2008, 05:27 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

            I have a 24" adjustable wrench, as well as a large colection of large wrenches from the tool trucks that cost to much$$$

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

              Woussko,

              Basically a larger spud would be the ticket, both with more length and larger capacity jaws. The company I work for does extremely high end Mechanical rooms (hydronic/geothermal), and something as small as marring the threads on a ball valve, Union nuts, or an isolating ball valve flange, or a hex adapter (Copper, Pex, Fusion, PVC/CPVC, or otherwise), means something. I also personally like having the right tool for the right job, and while there are some tricks you can do to reduce leaving marks on the threads with a pipe wrench, to me it's just not good enough anymore - I'd like to find a tool that can leave them in tact fully if possible. My 12" spud sometimes just isn't up to the task. Most pipe wizes are 1 1/4" to 2" for the stuff we do but we do encounter as much as 3"-4" in some cases.

              I have contacted Reed to confirm what you have said as well as what they posted about their smooth jawed wrenches (4 5/8" - 18" long - found their website). IF it is, they have a few suppliers locally that should be able to get one in and I'll go that route.

              Thanks,

              Scott

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

                Scott

                You might want to take a look at this .PDF file I just found on it. To me it looks like a beefed up Monkey wrench more than a SPUD wrench but I think you should get some use from it. http://www.reedmfgco.com/library/pdf...1211573388.pdf

                This is a section from the Martin Tool catalog in .PDF format. They make some pretty wild special use wrenches that you might be interested in.

                Dirtyhands ,,, This is for you too. ... Please look at both files.


                Scott, Would you ever need soft metal (brass) wrenches? Such are made for use where sparking would cause KABOOM around compressed gas. They are big $$$ but won't mar up things like a steel wrench can.
                Last edited by Woussko; 12-01-2008, 12:37 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

                  Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                  Scott

                  You might want to take a look at this .PDF file I just found on it. To me it looks like a beefed up Monkey wrench more than a SPUD wrench but I think you should get some use from it. http://www.reedmfgco.com/library/pdf...1211573388.pdf

                  This is a section from the Martin Tool catalog in .PDF format. They make some pretty wild special use wrenches that you might be interested in.

                  Dirtyhands ,,, This is for you too. ... Please look at both files.


                  Scott, Would you ever need soft metal (brass) wrenches? Such are made for use where sparking would cause KABOOM around compressed gas. They are big $$$ but won't mar up things like a steel wrench can.
                  Woussko, I wonder if that Reed wrench would work for larger sizes as the jaws are short. On a hex they might not have enough length to reach the flats. For a square nuts they would work though.

                  The composition of most non-sparking tools is Cu-Be (Copper-Beryllium). It is harder than copper or brass but has less chance of producing sparks (its not 100% spark-proof, no material is, except water....maybe).

                  Chronic Beryllium Disease is a type of lung cancer caused by inhalation of beryllium. Brush Wellman www.brushwellman.com is a primary US manufacturer of these type of alloys. You can visit their site for more information. Never try to 'fix' a Cu-Be tool. Welding or brazing on Cu-Be alloys is a serious risk (because you are at risk of inhaling the fumes in the vaporized metal). If they crack, don't try to fix them (some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties).

                  Non of this should scare you away from using non-sparking tools when their use is recommended, the risk from casual exposure is very low (that's based on research by people who test for this stuff all the time, not me). It's certainly much less of a risk than that of explosion from not using non-sparking tools.

                  Anyway, I'm getting WOT as I usually do.


                  Now back to your regularly scheduled program...
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

                    Bob D

                    Good point about the short jaws and hex head bolts or nuts.

                    For what it's worth I would really like to see a true SPUD wrench made in say 80% and also 125% true scale sizes of the current Ridgid one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

                      Originally posted by TozziWelding View Post
                      I have a 24" adjustable wrench, as well as a large colection of large wrenches from the tool trucks that cost to much$$$

                      But thats the right way , I used to do the same when I was fitting

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Turning Big Square/Hex Nuts/Unions/Ball Valves, etc.

                        Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
                        But thats the right way , I used to do the same when I was fitting
                        Don't go spreading rumors like that now

                        Comment

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