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 How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: RichRock (FL)

Hello all!
I'm having trouble removing the clean out cap (see first 2 pics), which is sunken a bit below grade in concrete. I tied a 10" crescent wrench and a pair of channel lock "pipe pliers" but it hasn't budged. FWIW: the last 2 pics are the other 2 clean outs that I have (one pvc), which are 2" & 3" deep in concrete, respectively. Ideally, if possible, I'd like to get one tool that can remove all three...Any ideas?

Main clean out having trouble with, outside a bit below grade in concrete.



Laundry room inside house; 2" deep in concrete


PVC outside next pool 3" deep in concrete

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: packy (MA)

most of us (dare i speak for others here?) spend a minute or two trying to loosen them and after that we just destroy them and replace them. i have seen too many that would not co-operate..
sawzall, hammer and chisel or whatever will work.
replace with plastic and lather up the threads with good quality lithium grease.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

The one in the laundry room won't unscrew, it'll need to be cut and chiseled out, the one outside also has a low probability of unscrewing. The PVC plug will unscrew, you may need to fashion a deep socket to fit the square and it'll come right out.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: hj (AZ)

"Drifting" the plug with a heavy hammer and a sharp chisel will remove the two top ones. The recessed one needs a piece of square tubing that fits over the square head.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: RichRock (FL)

Hammer and chisel seem to be a common theme :thumb: but how would use them, exactly, to destroy...And what is "Drifting"?

While "destroying", how careful would you be about not also destroying the top of the drain line and/or it's threads that the caps are screwed into?

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: hj (AZ)

Drifting is holding the chisel at a low angle against the thread and hitting it with the hammer to rotate the plug. The combination of vibration and force will usually get it moving.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: packy (MA)

sort of what my wife does to me (minus the hammer and chisel) when she wants to wake me up from a nap.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: RichRock (FL)

Still can't get this to budge even after soaking edges with WD-40 several days...Hopefully, Packy's wife has better luck waking him up from a nap. ;-) Let's talk about "drifting" with a chisel. These are the chisels that I have. Which would you use for "drifting"? And what is the goal...to pop it off or twist it off??


How do you place a chisel to "drift"?
FWIW: This is the smaller of the 2 old chisels.





Edited 1 times.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

How about drilling a hole in that stubborn cleanout cap, then using a sawzall or dremel or whatever to cut it out? As you are cutting and get near the outer edge stop. Once you get the majority of the center part of the cap removed the outer edge can be tapped with a screwdriver and hammer to bend it toward the center. Forget about trying to save the cap.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: RichRock (FL)

Interesting...I called a few local plumbing supply stores, looking for a wrench. The first place, actually told me to "cave it in with a hammer and use a sawzall, to cut it out". He pointed me to this [youtu.be] video, which I'd appreciate feedback on. Although, I don't know, if my brass clean out plug is hollow, this got interesting, to me @5:45. FWIW, I'm searching for tapered 3" lead clean-out plugs, if anyone knows where I can get them.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

Since you can get replacement caps made of pvc that will fit & work fine for just a few bucks it isn't worth spending a lot of time trying to remove it kindly. Just get manly with it.

When you were looking on youtube did you see this one? It is a drum trap instead of a cleanout but the idea is similar on one way to get the cap off.

[www.youtube.com]


Are you wanting to remove all of the cleanouts because of a drain problem you are having?



Edited 4 times.

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 Got it! Thanks to all. :thumb:
Author: RichRock (FL)

Got it! Thanks to all and thanks @stuckinlodi for the video link. I drilled 1/4" holes along 2 sides of the square nut, Used small chisel to bend one corner upward and ripped it out with channel lock piers. Used a sawzall to cut "pizza slices" from each of the 4 corners of the square opening toward the outer edges of cap; stopping short of the drain pipe threads, so not to damage them, Broke pieces with channel locks, until all came out. I do have cheap pvc cap to replace it but if anyone can tell me where I can get 3" lead tapered (not threaded) caps, I'd appreciate it.

I don't want to remove all of the cleanouts, but I do want to know how to, if needed. I had to remove this cleanout because it comes from my first floor guest bathroom toilet, which is backed up...I first put a 6' auger down the toilet, to no avail so I plan on using a 50'-100' powered auger down the toilet and this cleanout, to try to unclog.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: How do I remove clean out caps?
Author: stuckinlodi (MO)

That's how you get those stubborn caps off,,, and you need to grunt a few times in the process, just in case anyone is watching. Gotta sell it like you own it! 8^)

Did you check the plbg sponsor and see the cleanout caps they have? Look down the page to the reusable expansion covers, they might work for what you want.

[www.plumbingsupply.com]



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