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How to Remove Rusted Pipe Fittings?

Pipe fittings are small, round metal pieces that connect pipes or tubing, allowing sections of pipes to be joined. They are widely used for carrying gas and water for many years until safer, easier plastic and fiberglass pipes became readily available. Pipe fittings oxidize over time, and the rust forms an almost "welded" chemical bond between the pieces of metal. Sometimes these fittings must be removed to repair a leaky pipe or replace a pipe. If the fittings have rusted, they are more difficult to remove. Separating rusted pipes and fittings is a common evil when working on older steel pipes. Because most pipes handle water or steam, there is a strong likelihood of rust formation. To remove a rusted fitting from an old steel pipe, you will need a few minutes of your time, the right tools and a few tips.

First of all, cut off the flow of water or steam (or whatever flows through the pipes you want to work on) and slide a pipe wrench onto the fitting and another onto the pipe. Place the wrenches so the handles are facing you and are separated at a 45-degree angle. Press the handles to loosen the fittings. Then slip a heavy metal pipe onto the handle of each wrench to gain more leverage when attempting to loosen the fitting from the pipe. Thirdly, spray oil onto the rusted fitting, and allow it to penetrate the rusted juncture for 15 minutes. Remove the fitting with the pipe wrenches. Use the leverage-extender pipes if necessary. In addtion, heat stubborn junctures for 15 to 30 seconds with a torch to soften the metal and allow easy removal.

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