56°F
weather icon Clear

Corroded pipe may complicate repairs

Q: We were moving into our home and as I was hooking up the washing machine I found I couldn’t turn one of the hose faucets on. I tried to repair it, but I decided to replace the faucet instead. It seems like it is frozen because it won’t budge. The faucet sticks out of the wall on a copper pipe. How can I remove it?

A: Seemingly easy tasks can sometimes turn into a real pain, especially when a 30-minute job turns into a three-hour one. It can make you swear off home repair forever.

Changing a washing machine bib shouldn’t be very difficult, but getting one off of a corroded pipe can be challenging. The first thing to do is turn off the water to the house.

The washer bib either will have threads, being a “screw-on” at the end of the pipe, or a compression fitting. If yours has a compression fitting, use a pipe wrench to hold the bib and use another wrench (preferably a big one) to unscrew the nut that holds it to the pipe. It’s best if you hold the wrenches so that they oppose each other as you apply force. In this way, you can use two hands and just squeeze them together like you would a pair of gardening shears.

For a screw-on bib, you can use the same technique, but instead of holding the compression nut, you must hold the fitting on the pipe still so that it can’t twist and rupture. If you still can’t budge it, use bigger wrenches. The longer the wrench, the more force you can place on the faucet bib, but it’s also easier to damage something. In other words, the pipe may twist and this project could ruin your weekend.

Compression fittings will usually unscrew. This problem is more common with a screw-on faucet bib, so it’s time to grab a hacksaw and show it who’s the boss.

On the top of the faucet bib is a packing nut, while underneath that is the top of the bib. Unscrew these so that you are left with just the body of the valve. Use the hacksaw and cut vertically through the top of the valve as far down as you can go, but not so far that you start cutting through the threads of the pipe fitting. After you have reached that depth, use a large standard screwdriver and stick it in the groove you just cut. Give it a twist and the valve should split into two pieces.

After you have removed the old valve, use a wire brush and clean the threads of the fitting. Wrap the threads with Teflon tape and you can screw on the new valve and washing machine hose. Turn the water back on, check for leaks and finish your weekend with a load of whites.

Michael D. Klimek is a licensed contractor and president of Pro Handyman Corp. Questions may be sent by e-mail to: questions@pro-handyman.com. Or, mail to: P.O. Box 96761, Las Vegas, NV 89193. His Web address is: www.pro-handyman.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Designers focus on creating healthy homes

Architects and interior designers are realizing the importance of designing spaces with people’s well-being in mind.

Uncarpeted floors are great but still need area rug

Tile or hardwood floors are beautiful and practical, but you must have area rugs to make them more usable and comfortable.

Screen or mesh will keep dog from fitting through gate

Screening or mesh will prevent your pet from escaping through your gate. It is available at a home center for less than $20, and you can choose from a few different colors. If you have an extra-large gate, you might have to buy a few pieces.

Select desert plants for privacy hedge

My Saturday, four-week class, “Fix Your Landscape” will start Oct. 26 in North Las Vegas. This weekly landscaping class will show you design tricks that save water and electricity, plant selections that work, planting methods that are successful and how to fix problems, and irrigation installation and how to water.

Dos and don’ts in eclectic design

Regardless of whether you’re averse to trying your hand at eclectic design or are daring enough to throw wrenches into design threads throughout spaces in your house, designers shed light on some dos and don’ts when it comes to eclectic design choices.

Choices of art usually reflect your personal style

There are also many forms of visual art. It’s no wonder that people get so confused when trying to find art pieces for their homes. Usually, if you have a certain style in your home, your choices of art will reflect that.

Four Hands turns to millennials for design

Four Hands, a leading designer and global importer of lifestyle home furnishings, has discovered that its global consumer market is more millennial than baby boomer.