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Easiest way to remove 1 1/2” skim tap 4-point square plug?

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Looking to install a 1 1/2” nipple with ball valve so I can start skimming this boiler. 

Special 4 point socket?

I prefer not to remove the sheet metal knock out around the plug to try and get a wrench on it. 


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Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    I think the minimum frustration would be to remove the jacket even though it’s a pain. 
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,271
    edited January 2022
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    1/2 inch drive 4 or 8 point socket, with an extension to get into the hole, and a breaker bar so you can wiggle the plug back and forth to break it loose. Or a 1/2 inch drive impact wrench. Measure the distance across the flats of the square, and order up a socket. 12 point socket might work. 12 point will not be marked with the size of the square across the flats, so just try a bunch of different 12 points (including metric), until you find one that fits.
    I DIY.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    edited January 2022
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    I'd use a 4-point ½" drive socket on a flex handle. Put a pipe hanger on one of the risers and secure it to the wall to keep the boiler from tipping, then you can stand on the flex handle until it gives.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    STEVEusaPA
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    I would spray it with PB Blaster or such several times and rap on it with a hammer some.
    You do not want to knock off the corners of the plug. 8 point socket fitting is critical.
    Then use a 1/2 or 3/4" impact wrench .
    The 18 volt 1/2" battery impact driver has done the job most of the time.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    edited January 2022
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    I've said it a thousand times, but maybe it'll get through eventually. Penetrating oil does absolutely nothing when the threads have been sealed with a pipe joint compound. I've also found impact to be ineffective in breaking sealed joints. Sheer brute force is what it takes.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    It seems that a large enough impact is sheer brute force.
    ethicalpaulPC7060
  • Bodycount
    Bodycount Member Posts: 39
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    It’s 16 degrees here in NJ Meadowlands as I write this. 

    This boiler is for my tenants.

    current train of thought is to spray the threads and rap the plug with a 3 pound baby sledge over the next few days, then attack on Tuesday. 

    Then pound this 12 point 1/2” drive 32mn socket on (since apparently nobody has a 4 point) and try to muscle it. 


    If not, I’m cutting the jacket open wide enough to get a straight wrench on it. 

    Wish me luck. 


  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 432
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    can you skim this boiler from some other location, rather than risk breaking something important during the heart of the heating season. Even if not the ideal location, skimming at a very slow rate from SOME location might be helpful until warmer weather comes.
    Long Beach Ed
  • Bodycount
    Bodycount Member Posts: 39
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    I don’t see any other skim options. 

    I cut out the knockout. Socket made has good contact. 

    Monday is the warmest upcoming day. 

    I’ll pop it out then. 

    Thanks for the input!


  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    4 ft pipe wrench and a gorilla. 
    Bodycountbucksnortkcopp
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,861
    edited January 2022
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    Bodycount said:

    It’s 16 degrees here in NJ Meadowlands as I write this. 


    This boiler is for my tenants.

    current train of thought is to spray the threads and rap the plug with a 3 pound baby sledge over the next few days, then attack on Tuesday. 

    Then pound this 12 point 1/2” drive 32mn socket on (since apparently nobody has a 4 point) and try to muscle it. 


    If not, I’m cutting the jacket open wide enough to get a straight wrench on it. 

    Wish me luck. 


    Why in the world did you cut all that metal away, the panel is removable.

    Leave it alone until the weather breaks. Break something now and you're in a world of hurt!
    Bodycountbucksnort
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
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    Skimming through the sight glass is slower but it works - eventually.

    https://youtu.be/lO2oR9JhF0M
    Zolof808
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    I tried your method on an old boiler to get a 1 1/4" plug out.
    The plug is still there but with only 2 and 1/2 corners left on it. :s
    BodycountethicalpaulPC7060
  • Bodycount
    Bodycount Member Posts: 39
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    The sheet metal around the plug is scored with a few spot welds. 

    An angle grinder with cutting wheel made easy work of it. 

    It will fit back in when done. 


  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    Definitely don't use an impact wrench on that socket. It will crack.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    bucksnort
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    JUGHNE said:

    It seems that a large enough impact is sheer brute force.

    Sure, if you have one, and a 4-point impact socket. Most people don't.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
    edited January 2022
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    You could buy the 4-8 point impact socket and rent an impact driver.
    Also the more points on the socket the more chances of slipping and rounding off the corners.
    bucksnort
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    JUGHNE said:

    You could buy the 4-8 point impact socket and rent an impact driver.
    Also the more points on the socket the more chances of slipping and rounding off the corners.

    Or you could stand on a flex handle.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Bodycount
    Bodycount Member Posts: 39
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    I’m going to try and locate the appropriate socket over the next two days. If not…
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    edited January 2022
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    If you have access to one, you will want to use a sliding t-handle breaker bar so you can apply the force in equal and opposite directions. If necessary, use cheater pipes for more leverage.


  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,861
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    4’ Pipe Wrench.
    PC7060
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    ratio
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @delcrossv they don't come nearly big enough
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Somewhere in the 34 MM range works for me. Need impact socket and gun. 
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    ratio
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 857
    edited January 2022
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    @STEAM DOCTOR
    Where do you get your 34mm 8-point impact sockets?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,627
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    Good Golly! I can buy a ¾" drive 6-½" 4-point 16" deep socket. In titanium.
    delcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    @delcrossv

    Wow . that's impressive. I wouldn't want to buy the 6 1/2" one.
    delcrossv
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    A drill bit and a sawzall is a lot cheaper.

    I would bet a 30" cheater pipe on an 18" wrench will take that out. It will bite on the plug a lot better than a huge 3' or 4' wrench
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed I don't think I even want to know what you'd need Beryllium sockets for. Or what they cost.
    😨
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,627
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    I shudder to think what "significantly more expensive" means.
    delcrossv
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,662
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    I'm guessing the beryllium sockets involve the nuclear industry. and they are something like beryllium copper, not just beryllium. Also, poisonous.
    delcrossv
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Gordo said:
    @STEAM DOCTOR Where do you get your 34mm 8-point impact sockets?
    I think Amazon. Not 100% sure. Got fed up with boiler plugs. Purchased Milwaukee 18v impact wrench and every impact socket, up to 50 MM. 12 point. Can remove plugs in 10 seconds or less. I can go up to 2.5" plugs. Not all plugs, of the same IPS size, have the same sized heads.  
    BodycountGordo
  • Bodycount
    Bodycount Member Posts: 39
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    I measured the flats with a caliper. 

    1 1/16”. 
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
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    Bodycount said:

    I measured the flats with a caliper. 


    1 1/16”. 
    1-1/16" 075-1062-04S-B 3/4" drive, impact socket, 1-1/16" AF, 4-point, standard length, black finish

    Per the link above. A 3/4 drive handle can be had for about $25 . Got mine on the clearance counter at the auto parts store.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    Bodycount
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    MikeAmann said:

    If you have access to one, you will want to use a sliding t-handle breaker bar so you can apply the force in equal and opposite directions. If necessary, use cheater pipes for more leverage.

    The trouble with these is you need an extension to get around the boiler controls, and with an extension you can't put your weight on the handle unless someone holds up the other end. A flex handle is just as strong and easier to use in this situation, unless you're planning to remove all the controls anyway.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    That's good news!
    Bodycount
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    tommay said:

    Just cut the square portion off with a grinder or sawzall. This will leave you with an opening you can get a sawzall blade into and just make a couple slices down to the thread.

    You've been lucky so far. They're not always hollow.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24