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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default stuck sewer trap

    Just prior to leaving the house, the sewer pipe has a threaded cover with a square bolt in the middle of it. I'm trying to remove that cover and can't for the life of me get it to budge. Any suggestions? I tried spraying PB Blaster, but no help. I'm using a large pipe wrench with a 1 foot pipe as leverage.
    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    The "square bolt" that you're seeing--is it formed as part of the plug itself? (Most cleanout plugs are built this way.)

    The plug with its integral "bolt" is probably brass, right?

    They are made of brass intentionally because brass is softer than the cast iron that the plug screws into. Because the brass is relatively soft, you can safely destroy the brass plug, if needed, without hurting the cast iron female threads. The plug itself will be quite thin--almost like a wafer.

    Using a hammer and chisel (not a wood chisel, but what's commonly called a cold chisel), carefully pound out the brass plug, starting in the MIDDLE of the plug, not the edges where you might damage the female threads. After first pounding out the middle, you'll be able to collapse the outer part (the threaded part) inward, and remove it completely.

    Replace the plug with an ABS or PVC plug, which will be much easier to remove next time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Fair enough. Not to be a wise guy, but if the plug is made of soft brass, why isn't it crumbling under the ridiculous force i'm putting on the wrench?
    thanks,
    tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Try heating the pipe around the plug wit a propane torch then apply the PB Blaster. Heat usually will help it penetrate.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Quote Originally Posted by dumbmick View Post
    Fair enough. Not to be a wise guy, but if the plug is made of soft brass, why isn't it crumbling under the ridiculous force i'm putting on the wrench?
    thanks,
    tom
    It's "soft" only in comparison to cast iron, and it can be hammered out. That was the point of using them for cleanout plugs in cast iron. Cast iron will shatter or crack when you hammer it. I have hammered out many brass plugs over the years.

    Do you know brass when you see it? The surface will have blackened over the years, but the brass color should show thru where you've gouged it with your pipe wrench.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I got the cap off. Problem 2.
    The cap is tapered. ??? It's diameter decreases from top to bottom and the female threaded portion of the cast iron sewer pipe is too large for a 3" male connector, and too small for a 4" male connector. Anyone ever see such a beast?
    Thanks,
    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    You probably need the 3 1/2 inch cap.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Quote Originally Posted by dumbmick View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I got the cap off. Problem 2.
    The cap is tapered. ??? It's diameter decreases from top to bottom and the female threaded portion of the cast iron sewer pipe is too large for a 3" male connector, and too small for a 4" male connector. Anyone ever see such a beast?
    Thanks,
    Tom
    The tapered threads are standard, and it was common to use a 3-1/2" threaded plug in a 4" fitting. You will probably have to buy a brass replacement plug, rather than plastic, because 3-1/2" plastic plugs are not generally available.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: stuck sewer trap

    Can you locate a 3 1/2 inch rubber compression plug? Will do the job also.

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