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whats the trick?


preparing to skim my boiler this weekend.  planned to do it last weekend but ran into a very very stubborn plug that seems like it is well rusted in.  Boiler is 7 yrs old so i don't think its past the point of no return,  so does anyone have any tricks?    Is it just PB blast for a few days and yank on it with a big pipe wrench or hopefully someone has a better idea. 


  • Plug removal

    If you can find an open ended wrench to fit the flats on that plug, then you can tap with a hammer the wrench end while exerting pressure on it. Slipping a pipe over the wrench end will help with torque multiplication. Some frozen joints respond to an initial tightening up first, then unscrewing.

    If that fails, then it is time to drill out the plug in steps with a bigger bit each step. Don't lose heart the results of skimming will be worth the effort!--NBC
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    edited November 2012
    Removing Pipe Plugs

    Removing a plug in an old boiler isn't a fun job and so generally it is recommended that you get a pro to do this as they have the tools available.

      For a job like this I use an air impact wrench. You might check out a local rental yard and see if they have a large electric impact wrench and a socket that would fit your plug. They carry tools like that to work on trucks.   As NBC mentioned you can try a pipe wrench with a "cheater" (pipe handle extension)  I use cheaters from 18 " to 48 " . They aren't really good for the pipe wrench. The problem with using a pipe wrench and a cheater result if they are if not applied properly, the end of the plug will get torn up so take you time and adjust your wrench so that it is tight. If all else fails you can always drill the plug out but again you will need the tools to do the job. Good Luck and take your time and be patient!

    - Rod
  • mgmine
    mgmine Member Posts: 58

    When ever I encounter a stuck bolt I use heat from a torch. Propane will do but mapp gas is hotter. Heat the outside and not the plus itself. Once you get it hot tighten it and loosen it to break it free.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469

    don't hold much faith in heating the boiler up enough to break the threads free.There's no way to finesse it out.If you don't have an impact wrench, a big pipe wrench with a 3 or 4' pipe on it, as a cheater, is the way to go.Make sure there's no small children around, in case some colorful words slip out.
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Torching Cast Iron

    Steel bolts are one thing and cast iron boilers another. I'd be very cautious about applying a torch to cast iron and in general would frown on it. Uneven heat places a lot of stress on the casting.

    - Rod
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    edited November 2012
    Sorry about That!

    LOL- Puff - Sorry about!  I was trying to run answer too many threads at one time and got them mixed up.

    - Rod
  • puff_puff_hiss
    puff_puff_hiss Member Posts: 59
    great help but thats not my boiler


    you are the man to know on this site no doubt,  but unfortunately, that is not my "near boiler" piping that you sketched over there. 

    while i don't disagree that my near boiler piping might need work,  since I am pretty sure that my header drains back to my boiler instead of into the wet return, I hope i can trouble shoot without getting that far into it.

    here are some pics of my near boiler piping.
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