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Trying to loosen / remove main vents---they won't budge.

RoddyRoddy Posts: 45Member
Novice here, and over the last 8-10 years have learned a lot from this site. Thank you all. Weil McLain residential boiler about 30-40 years old, and working fairly well in my 90 year old house----due to your input and training of this novice. A while back (years, now), I replaced the two single main vents mounted on my two returns with a candelabra of 3 Gorton no. 1's on the end of each of the two returns. I want to remove them to check them out, etc. I know I'm older now, and maybe not as strong, but for the life of me I can't seem to get either the vents themselves or any part of the candelabra to budge, to loosen at all. To complicate things, of course they're up between my basement ceiling joists with not a whole lot of room . I realize I may have tightened them a little too much on installation, but still... Any suggestions that I might try to get them loose?


  • You just might need to hire someone to do that job because it's tough to get up in that joist bay to get leveraged properly to wrench on those fittings. And after a few heating seasons, the threads on those vents don't want to let go.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

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  • BobCBobC Posts: 5,071Member
    edited October 2016
    An 18 inch wrench should be more than enough to loosen those. I had to fight with my old vent a number of years ago to get it free, what kind of joint compound did you use when they were installed? Some compounds get very hard over time.

    Try to get yourself up close to them so you nan use all of your strength to loosen them.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • FredFred Posts: 8,277Member
    Put a wrench on them and tap the end of the wrench with a hammer. They can be tough but they will come loose. When you put them (or new ones) back on, use two or three wraps of teflon tape on the threads. That will make taking them off next time a lot easier.
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 45Member
    It looks like a used Teflon tape for the original install.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,553Member
    at 63 I hate to admit I struggle to do things I used to do easily but it just takes more time, I usually find a way.

    It's hard to manipulate a larger than normal wrench when you need the added leverage/length.

    One trick is to use a smaller wrench and then use a light weight cheater pipe on the wrench handle.

    I use electrical EMT for cheater pipes. I haven't bent the emt yet it's pretty strong.

    I 1/2 " EMT on a 2 footer is much to big for your vents, but it's a lot easier to maneuver than @ 2 footer with a piece of 2" steel pipe, plus the EMT jams itself on to the handle so it wont slip off.

    Use Teflon tape with never seize on top of the teflon for the replacements.

    You might try getting a wrench on the vents and use a 2 x 4 to pry the wrench handle off the side of the floor joists.
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 45Member
    Thanks. The cheater pipe sounds like it'd be well worth the effort to try. So far, I haven't been successful with the other suggestions...maybe this one.
  • DRod_3DRod_3 Posts: 10Member
    The smaller wrench / cheater pipe combination did the trick. Thank you all.
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