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Old 03-13-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Hey all, i have a question that is... slight odd

I came across an old fire hydrant recently. (legally, i assure you.) There is two, three feet of cast iron pipe under the visible hydrant. It is about 7/8", 1" thick, and about a foot in diameter.
I want to remove this pipe, leaving only the visible segment.
what tool is the most effective for this? also, i would like to get the cut as snug up to the slight lip that is on the bottom of the visible hydrant.

Hope that makes sense, ask me about anything that doesn't! thanks for any information you can provide!

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Old 03-13-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


A sawzall with a few metal cutting blades?

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


If it's a traffic break-away type use a hammer
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Pics! One of my husband's college roommates had one (also through legitimate sources) his dad painted red. It was gorgeous.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Not sure what yours looks like but I'd say use a big grinder or demo saw with a metal cut off blade. The hydrant pipe is probably made of ductile iron.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


thanks for the input, guys! i'll check if it's a breakaway... that'd make this whole thing really easy.
I considered the sawzall, but i think it'd just be time consuming. thought maybe there's a faster way to do this. If i try it and it fails, well, i guess i'll go down to my local hardware store and rent something with a little more... beef

and sorry, i don't have any pics to post! it's currently under a couple feet of snow in my backyard. thought i'd get some ideas in mind before spring rolls around (which should be about now, but North Dakota is always a little late in that regard) so i can jump on it once snow melts. I already picked up some primer and fire engine red paint, ready to go! i was hoping to make it an interior decoration as opposed to something in my backyard, thought it'd be pretty cool!
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:28 PM   #7
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Better keep it indoors when finished or every dog in the neighborhood will be in your yard
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


I would use a saw, I was thinking of a circular diamond studded pavement saw if you can rent one of those.

I would not use a chain style cast iron pipe cutter or a hammer, too much of a risk of shattering the bottom of the hydrant.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:28 AM   #9
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


In my area they are always bolted to the pipe so if it is made like that you could just un bolt it. There would still be a shaft in the middle that you might have to cut. I believe this is the break-away type mentiond erlier.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
I would use a saw, I was thinking of a circular diamond studded pavement saw if you can rent one of those.

I would not use a chain style cast iron pipe cutter or a hammer, too much of a risk of shattering the bottom of the hydrant.
Ayuh,... I agree, Except, diamond blades are for stone,...

Use a carborundum blade for Metal...
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #11
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Are you in a fire district? If so, you probably cannot put it in a visible place, as that would be against the IFC
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #12
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


yeah that's also why i wanted it in my basement. no potential problems there. otherwise it woulda been my backyard, which isn't visible from the street.

I'll look into local tool rentals more, see who offers a pavement saw, and if there are multiple who offers it the cheapest.

thanks for the info!
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


Perhaps a local welding shop could cut it with a torch. I have no idea if that would be cheaper or more expensive than renting a saw, but it sure would be quicker.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:07 PM   #14
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Plasma cutter would be better than torch...

A soil pipe cutter won't cut that?
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:23 PM   #15
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Cutting A Fire Hydrant Down To Size


If it is ductile iron, you will burn out your sawzall regardless of blades & no snapper will touch it. I use an abrasive cut off blade on a 14" electric or gas operated saw. Cuts like butter, is fast and is the cheapest way too. Totally rentable stuff. You could use a wrap of det cord.

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