How to Remove Plastic Plumbing Fittings

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Use a hair dryer to heat the glue on plastic plumbing fittings.
Use a hair dryer to heat the glue on plastic plumbing fittings. (Image: Creative Crop/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Most modern plumbing is created with plastic plumbing parts. The fittings on a plastic pipe are attached using a cement-like glue. Sometimes the fittings may need to be removed in order to effect repairs or completely replace the plastic pipes. These fittings can be removed with the use of heat. Getting the right amount of heat is important because you want to loosen the glue without melting the plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Small piece of 2-inch by 4-inch wood
  • Hair dryer
  • 2 pairs of slip-joint pliers

Place a small piece of 2-inch by 4-inch board under the pipe by the fitting, if possible. This will help in heating the entire circumference of the pipe and fitting. It will also allow you to grasp the pipe more easily with pliers.

Heat the fitting and the pipe using a hair dryer on the hottest setting. Move the hair dryer over the area, holding it 3 or 4 inches away from the fitting and the pipe. Heat the pipe and fitting for five to six minutes.

Hold the pipe with one pair of slip-joint pliers and use another pair of slip-joint pliers to turn the fitting. As you turn the fitting, pull it away from the pipe. If the fitting does not pull off, heat the area with the hair dryer for another four to five minutes and try again. Repeat the process until the fitting is removed.

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