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Friday, May 19th 2017, 12:59am

Removing old steel pipe for New sprinkler head

I am trying to install some new sprinkler heads. But It looks like a few of them has steel pipe all the way up to the surface. So if I want to put in some in-ground pop up sprinkler head, I will need to remove the steel pipe. But I have so much trouble trying to remove it. See picture below. I ran out of ideas. How am I going to update my sprinkler heads if I can't remove this pipe?



Posts: 2,363

Location: USA


Friday, May 19th 2017, 4:39am

You need a #7 easy out/screw extractor and most likely a 17mm 12 point socket. I have a huge collection of easy outs and all the number 7's use a 17mm 12 point socket. You'll want a 1/2" drive socket. Maybe double check before you buy it. That pipe's in pretty good shape. It should come right out. I've unscrewed a numerous amount of galvanized nipples. Sometimes they split. Sometimes they break off. But from what I can see I think it'll just unscrew. Maybe spray some wd40 where it screws in and let it soak while you go shopping for the tools.
Good luck!
I came back to say if you use a breaker bar like a piece of pipe on the end of your socket wrench you'll be able to get enough force to turn it. I don't know how tall that cement is but maybe the pipe wrench would go on there because the screw extractor will give you 2 or 3 inches. You might mess up the extractor a bit but how many times are you going to use it.
Also if it starts to split or if i suspect it's going to split i'll put he pipe wrench at the top to help it not split.
You cold always chip a chunk of that cement off to make your pipe wrench fit.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (May 19th 2017, 4:51am)


New Member


Friday, May 19th 2017, 12:08pm

Removing Old Pipe For New Sprinkler Head

More than likely the system is pretty outdated. The friction losses of water going through old/aged pipe are going to be pretty bad. Does the system show leaks at different locations? Maybe it is time to sever and disconnect the old piping, and start out with a new zone/system using PVC piping as well as PVC interconnecting threaded fittings that will make connecting threaded connections a lot easier. Good luck.



Posts: 2,363

Location: USA


Friday, May 19th 2017, 12:59pm

You can't tell from here if you need a new sprinkler system or not. I'm currently maintaining galvanized systems well over 50 years old. It depends on the soil conditions as to how corroded your pipes are.
It looks like to me you're just trying to replace a nipple because the threads are messed up. Or maybe capping it off.


Saturday, May 20th 2017, 11:55pm

I just tried this from home depot,

It broke off on first try. I will try the other screw extractor you suggested.



Posts: 2,363

Location: USA


Sunday, May 21st 2017, 3:51am

Yep, the extractor you bought is basically a toy. You could break 100 of them before that pipe will budge.
I can promise you that you wont break the one I showed you.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,323

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 21st 2017, 9:34am

If it's a matter of wrench clearance, you can trade in the pipe wrench for some Knipex Cobra Pliers - they are of awesome quality (with a price to match) - the link is for the 12-inch pliers, and there are also 16-inch and 22-inch models, along with a few smaller sizes.

I'm curious, were the old heads simple brass sprays?

P.S. there is a less expensive version of those Knipex pliers that has a simpler adjustment for opening size - just as strong, they go by the name Alligator

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Wet_Boots" (May 21st 2017, 9:43am)


Thursday, June 15th 2017, 11:39pm

I just tried the #7 screw extractor. It worked perfectly. I just want to say thank you for all your help.



Posts: 2,363

Location: USA


Saturday, June 17th 2017, 5:36am

My pleasure. There are a few tricks that are learned through trial and error. Screw extractors are tools I can't live without.
Thanks for coming back and sharing how things turned out. We don't get enough of that.

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