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Replacing a rusted leaking 2 inch return pipe on an old peerless steam boiler circa 1983

Thomb Member Posts: 15
Hi I have an old peerless steam boiler from 1983 with a rusted leaking 2" return pipe. I am worried about damaging the cast iron end section where the 2" return pipe threads into the boiler I patched the leak for now. I am waiting for the end of the heating season. A plumber told me he would use a pipe snapper to crush the pipe any suggestions or should I try to break it loose with a pipe wrench and some leverage ?


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
    Very unlikely that the boiler will be damaged but I would not use a snapper. Cut the pipe off and wrench it out. 2' wrench with a cheater pipe.

    If it breaks off inside the boiler (could happen) cut a few slots inside the pipe with a sawzall or hacksaw blade go as deep as possible without cutting the threads. Cut the two slots 1/2" apart. Position the slots where you can get at the pipe with a hammer and chisel. Use a hammer and a cape chisel to pick the piece out. The rest of the pipe will collapse and come out. Not that difficult done all the time A small regular cold chisel will work
    ethicalpaulSuperTechSTEAM DOCTOR
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,858
    Is the Peerless a JOT?
    Sometimes heating the joint helps. A 4 ft wrench couldn't hurt either.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,378
    Not sure what the plumber meant by a "snapper"? Does he mean a soil pipe cutter? If so, that will be of no value on black iron pipe; it's made to cut cast iron pipe.

    Follow the advice above and you should be okay.

    35+ years is running on borrowed time for that boiler. You might wanna consider replacement and fix the return then.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,723
    Just as described above. Here's my adventure in this from earlier this winter. I cut it off, leaving a few inches in there, then put a 24" wrench on it (perhaps with helper pipe, can't recall).

    Photos are from this thread: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/168172/diy-false-main-repipe-diary#latest
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
    Good job @ethicalpaul

    Guess it really did need replacing
  • HydroNiCK
    HydroNiCK Member Posts: 182
    If you dont have a 3-4ft wrench and or its starting to rip the nipple...and you have access to a welder.....cut the pipe to about the same length as Paul did.
    Tack a hex bushing onto it. Use a impact wrench to unscrew it. You can heat it with a torch first using whatever removal method you want to try.. just be careful about burning insulation.
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,000
    All good ideas. Personally, I would saw off,leaving some pipe sticking out and cut and chisel. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.