How do I Loosen a Stuck Threaded Brass Fitting?

Brass fittings, primary used on hot or cold water lines to connect one piece of pipe to another, become stuck due to corrosion or over-tightening. Sometimes loosening a stuck brass fitting is as easy as turning the locknut counterclockwise to tighten it further and then turning clockwise to loosen. Oftentimes, methods that are more complex are required in order to remove the fitting.

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Removing brass fittings can require some extra muscle.

Penetrating Oil

Step 1

Wipe the fitting with a clean, damp cloth to remove dirt and dust.

Step 2

Spray penetrating oil onto the locknut and fitting.

Step 3

Allow the penetrating oil to sit for five to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Wipe the excess penetrating oil away with a rag.

Step 5

Place an adjustable wrench over the locknut and turn in a counterclockwise direction to loosen and remove the brass fitting.

Hammering

Step 1

Brace the fitting against a secure surface such as the wall, floor or a piece of wood.

Step 2

Tap the fitting several times with a brass hammer to loosen any debris on the fitting threads.

Step 3

Fit an adjustable wrench over the locknut and turn in a counterclockwise direction to release the stuck fitting.

Heat

Step 1

Sweep the area surrounding the brass fitting clean of all dust, dirt and debris.

Step 2

Place fire-safe cloth on the floor or wall near the brass fitting to keep from burning the floor wall or starting a fire.

Step 3

Heat the locknut on the fitting with a heat gun or propane torch. Keep the heat source in constant motion, moving back and forth over the fitting. Do not allow the flame from the propane torch to remain in one area because you will permanently damage the fitting.

Step 4

Grip the locknut with an adjustable wrench and turn the locknut in a counterclockwise direction to loosen.