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Steam pipe won't come apart

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charliechicago
charliechicago Member Posts: 130
Hello to all,
As you can see from the picture I have a steam pipe (two pipe radiator) 3/4 inch that I can't separate. I'm afraid to break the pipe if I put too much pressure on it. I'm also hesitant to use an angle grinder on the elbow or something similar because of the sparks and the small area to work with. Am I being too hesitant?
Any suggestions?
Thanks, Michael.



Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    Well... yes. Too hesitant. But -- you are almost certainly going to break something, unless you get really lucky. I rather agree that an angle grinder -- or worse, a torch! -- in that setting is a rather poor idea, and it doesn't look like you have enough room to put a really big pipe wrench on either the fitting or the pipe.

    Sometimes you can break those fittings with a couple of hammers.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Diablo heavy metal sawzall blades. Will cut through fittings with no sparks.
    STEVEusaPAethicalpaulGrallert
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    Nothing like a Sawzall. Just try not to cut into the pipe threads (if you want to keep the pipe) while you're at it -- split the fitting the rest of the way with a cold chisel.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    If you saw the 45 in half in such a manner that you do not hit the pipe threads, then longitudinal cuts on the lower remains of the 45 elbow could be the place to open with chisel and hammer.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,111
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    The least damaging all around is a grinder w a metal cut off wheel , slice into the cast fitting avoiding the pipe threads . I use a really small chisel I call it a diamond cutter stick it in the slice and a wack or two w a small lump hammer and It will split usually right in half . It s the easiest way with out really disturbing or shocking all the piping . It s by far the best method and I ve used it for many years . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,785
    edited May 2020
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    Use two Lugs until you hear the ring tone change ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    If you can get two hammers in there I would crack the fitting. If you can't @Jughne's method is the best. I usually go for the angle grinder but if sparks are an issue use a sawzall cut part way through and then split the fitting
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 393
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    I used hte two hammer trick on a 1-1/4” fitting a few weeks ago. Works like a charm. Two small sledges, one as an anvil behind it, and the other hit it ON THE CASTING SEAM. I find;t even have to hit it all that hard.

  • Tim_D
    Tim_D Member Posts: 128
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    Just back the 45 with a 5lb mall and hit it with another one on the opposite side. It will crack and you will preserve the threads on the piping.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    Didn't we do this already with a 2" cap?
    SuperTech
  • jerryb46
    jerryb46 Member Posts: 59
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    sparking can cause a smoldering of the wood anytime i worked in a tight place there was a LARGE SPRAY bottle of water whiched i wet area down and had a back up fire extinguser close at hand
  • charliechicago
    charliechicago Member Posts: 130
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    Thanks to everyone who responded. There were some good suggestions. What ended up happening in the is that a friend of mine suggested that I try to spray the pipes with something to loosen them up. He suggested I go to an auto supply store, which I did. I sprayed it and left it for a day. I didn't expect it to work, and didn't even bring my hand truck to wheel out the rad (its a local job). But the stuff actually worked and I was able to undo the pipes.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,256
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    What is this magic stuff? I'm always surprised both when penetrant works and when it doesn't.

    Thanks to everyone who responded. There were some good suggestions. What ended up happening in the is that a friend of mine suggested that I try to spray the pipes with something to loosen them up. He suggested I go to an auto supply store, which I did. I sprayed it and left it for a day. I didn't expect it to work, and didn't even bring my hand truck to wheel out the rad (its a local job). But the stuff actually worked and I was able to undo the pipes.

    GrallertCLamb
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Someone suggested aerokroil to me as a miracle product. The wheel on my snowblower is still frozen on the shaft after a month or so...