Keep trying to remove the trap arm, cut it, or give up?
January 17, 2013 4:21 PM Subscribe
60-year-old house, trap arm and drain/vent are galvanized, trap arm is rusty and I want to remove it. Or should I cut it, or hire someone to do it for me?
posted by davejay to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
After a leak, I'm replacing floor and some wall in a small bathroom, and the 60-year-old galvanized trap arm (well, the 4" pipe screwed into the drain/vent) is rusty inside (no surprise), with sink-end threads half-gone.
I have a new 4" galvanized piece ready to go, but I can't get the old one out. So far I've soaked it in penetrating lubricant and tried to wrench it off, but it won't budge in the slightest. The button board is already down, so I have good access to the drain/vent as well as the trap arm, although the incoming lines do limit wrenching room somewhat.
I've narrowed it down to four choices:
1. Keep soaking it and trying it over the next few days, with a longer wrench and a bar of pipe. Cost: $40 for the wrench, a little more for the pipe, and the frustration of having spent that money if I still can't get it off.
2. Try a torch and a plumber's candle, with those additional costs (as I have neither), and the same potential frustration.
3. Rent a sawzall with a metal-cutting blade and hack through the pipe, leaving an inch that I can attach a PVC adapter to. Beyond the rental cost, I'll still have an inch of rusty pipe that'll go bad someday, and I hate to make this a short-term solution.
4. Hire a plumber, who may do #1, #2 or #3 above -- I don't know which -- and will presumably charge me more than any other solution. If it gets the pipe out, and I wouldn't have been able to, then great, it's worth it...but if he's just going to cut it, that's an expensive price to pay for a short-term solution, and if there's a good chance I can get it off, I hate to pay the money.
So, my questions: have you ever gotten one of these off with heat and a plumber's candle, in a case where WD-40 didn't work? has lubricating for 24-48 hours ever gotten the pipe off when a few hours' worth of soaking didn't? Is cutting even an option, and if so, will a sawzall do it or do I need a pro?