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Threading a damage pipe in place with the Harbor Freight Ratcheting pipe threader

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branimal
branimal Member Posts: 210
I've been relocating steam pipe valve locations as part of a remodel of my property. I cut and remove the old fittings out with a grinder followed with a hammer and chisel.

I've successfully moved 3 valves. But the last one I got a little too comfortable and nicked the threads pretty good. At least half the thickness of the pipe. I read some threads here about people coming up with temporary solutions. I'd prefer to get it done and never have to worry about this again.

The nicked riser is 1 1/4". I can create enough room in the joist bay to swing the HF ratcheting pipe threader.

My plan is cut a 1 1/4" hole in a piece of 2"x8" scrap and brace it up horizontally against the two joist bays. Then have a friend hold the pipe with a wrench below the damaged section. This is my half-**** idea of a replicating a bench vise.

Then cut the damaged threads out, level the cut portion out with a grinding disc, and then thread it.

Does this plan have a snowballs chance in hell?

Plan B - cutting my tenant's ceiling open and hoping there's a pipe coupling there. Remove the pipe and have it rethreaded on my vise or bring it to a shop to have it threaded.

The damaged pipe is on the 3rd floor. I don't see a coupling on the 2nd floor or the 1st floor (tenant's apartment). My assumption is this pipe is not greater than 10' long. So the installers hid the couplings b/w the floor and ceiling.

Problem with Plan B is my tenant is a real finicky guy. I'd rather not disturb him.

Here's the tool and a some pics of valve relocations. Successful and screw up.

https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-2-in-ratcheting-pipe-threader-set-62353.html



Comments

  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
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    It sounds like a solid plan.
    They also have those chain strap wrenches which may give your friend a batter grab on the pipe.
    branimal
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,696
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    I'd look into a real threader, even just a ratchet handle and a quality 1¼" die. It may be more than the Harbor Freight tool, but you might get a good deal on Craig's List etc. I got the HF kit, but not even the first cut was any good. Use good threading oil, too.
    branimal
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    Try the harbor freight on a scrap pipe first don't know about the quality. Other than that use plenty of cutting oil.

    You can probably rent a Ridgid die and handle at a rental center if need be, your plan should work
    branimal
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,397
    edited January 2019
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    If you didn't cut all the way through the threads, try using lamp wick followed by some good Teflon paste.

    Also, make sure the horizontal pipe is pitched back towards the boiler.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    branimal
  • apraetor
    apraetor Member Posts: 16
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    @Ironman Can you explain the use of lamp wick?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,397
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    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    branimal
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,397
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    Another way is to take Teflon tape, tear about 18" off, pull it tight and roll it lengthwise into a string and use that for wicking. Then Teflon paste on top of that.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    CanuckerbranimalSTEVEusaPA
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    Use "Expando" on the threads can be purchased at many plumbing supply houses. Works well.
    SeanBeansbranimal
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    Agreed. With low pressure steam if a fitting will thread on you can probably get it not to leak.

    I have had a few ugly ones I have hacked over the years and it worked ok...worth a try
    Intplm.branimal
  • apraetor
    apraetor Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2019
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    Thanks, for some reason I was picturing it being used to repair a burr, I misunderstood. I used almost that same procedure (saw, chisel) to separate two sections of 4" cast iron sewer and replace one with PVC. I even coupled the joint with oakum and liquid metal, instead of lamp wick and blue block. Though the leak was from rust which I chiseled loose.

    So blue block is boiler-safe? For some reason I had it in my head it was no good for modern boilers.
    branimal
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Went to HF and played around with the threader. The engagement on the ratchet mechanism is quite loose and there's no way I'd be able to swing it inside a 16" joist bay to make threads on a pipe that's not on a vise.

  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Ironman said:

    If you didn't cut all the way through the threads, try using lamp wick followed by some good Teflon paste.

    Also, make sure the horizontal pipe is pitched back towards the boiler.

    Great call Ironman. I'll see if my plumbing supply house has wick and some of that blue block stuff. Sounds like that'll be a rock solid seal. I should be able to keep the boiler off for 14 hours after application.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    You can also try using a product called "X-Pando".
    I spelled it wrong last time. I never have had a problem with it. Look it up. It hasn't failed me.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    Hate to recommend this cause it is a hack but you could turn the pipe die with a pipe wrench which would chew it up but it's been done before
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,521
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    Intplm. said:

    You can also try using a product called "X-Pando".
    I spelled it wrong last time. I never have had a problem with it. Look it up. It hasn't failed me.

    Just realize that it's forever. No sawzall/chisel will get it out the next time. One and Done.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    GroundUp
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Can I use thread in place of lamp wick or is the Teflon tape rolled up into a string preferable?

    This will be followed up with blue block.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,949
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    Hate to recommend this cause it is a hack but you could turn the pipe die with a pipe wrench which would chew it up but it's been done before

    Did that once.................

    I think I still have the lump on my head from Dad! o:)
    delta T
  • branimal
    branimal Member Posts: 210
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    Ironman said:

    If you didn't cut all the way through the threads, try using lamp wick followed by some good Teflon paste.

    Also, make sure the horizontal pipe is pitched back towards the boiler.

    Rolled up the teflon tape into a string as per the video you shared. Followed that up with some blue block and the pipe is holding. Thanks for getting me out of that jam.

    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,397
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    Glad it worked for you.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    branimal