How Do You Separate a Rusted Galvanized Pipe?

Separate rusted galvanized pipe by heating with a torch, applying a plumber's candle, tapping with a hammer and turning with pipe wrenches. If necessary, place a length of pipe over the handle of the pipe wrench to increase torque.

  1. Heat the joint with a torch

    Use a propane torch to heat the joint. The expansion and contraction helps to break through the rust.

  2. Apply a plumber's candle

    While the joint is still hot enough to melt wax, rub a plumber's candle around the intersection of the two pipes. As the joint cools, it draws the wax into the joint, providing lubrication to reduce friction from the rust.

  3. Tap the joint with a hammer

    Hit the joint with a hammer to help loosen the rust.

  4. Turn the pipe with a pipe wrench

    Attach a pipe wrench to each of the two pipes that have rusted together. Hold the pipe stationary, and turn the fitting counterclockwise to loosen it. If the pipe refuses to budge, use a larger pipe wrench or apply more leverage by placing a length of pipe over the handle of the wrench. If the joint does not loosen, heat the joint and apply more wax. Continue the process until the joint breaks free.