Cutting Iron Drain Pipe - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-29-2008, 10:39 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 88
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


I've read about using a chain pipe cutter to remove an iron drain pipe. Is this necessary or will a reciprocating saw work? I have one, but its battery powered from the 18V Ryobi set.... This pipe is 4" and runs from the basement to the second floor bathroom. I want to get rid of it since it has three large cracks in it and I can see less than half of the pipe right now. The kitchen is right under it so it must not leak anymore since I will be remodeling it too.

Is it worth buying/renting a chain pipe cutter for a job like this or will a reciprocating saw be just as good?

Advertisement

jonathan03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2008, 11:24 PM   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


It is worth renting a soil pipe breaker for even a couple of cuts, I have cut 2 inch iron pipe before, but it took 4 sawz
all blades and more time then it was worth

Advertisement

Frederick j Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 12:10 AM   #3
Member
 
Wethead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 82
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


Hi,

I am a professional plumber, just so you know,

Yes, you can but a blade for your chop saw, This is way faster and easier.

Even us professional plumbers use chop saws, chain cutters or professionally known as "snap cutters" are just to slow.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan03 View Post
I've read about using a chain pipe cutter to remove an iron drain pipe. Is this necessary or will a reciprocating saw work? I have one, but its battery powered from the 18V Ryobi set.... This pipe is 4" and runs from the basement to the second floor bathroom. I want to get rid of it since it has three large cracks in it and I can see less than half of the pipe right now. The kitchen is right under it so it must not leak anymore since I will be remodeling it too.

Is it worth buying/renting a chain pipe cutter for a job like this or will a reciprocating saw be just as good?
__________________
Need Help With Your Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pump Repair TV
Wethead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 09:10 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 88
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


Ok thanks for the reply. Two more questions. Does that blade you posted work with a circular saw? I don't have a choip saw and I just need to demo the pipe more than get an exact cut. The only good cut I need is where the pipe goes in the ground and when it goes up as the stack.

Second, most of these cuts will be close quarters and I'll need to make a lot of them since it looks like they cut throuigh the floor joists and put in lots of little sections of pipe and soldered the connections together. The connections are too big to fit through the holes they made in the floor joists. The pipe also goes up from the basement and then turns 90 degrees, goes a short distanct and curves back up 90 degrees. This is because the basement wall is so thick that its thicker than the width of the exterior walls. Is this still the best bet for close quarters?
jonathan03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


A chop saw will not work in close quaters, and would be dangerous to try in a circular saw. The pipe will get into a bind and could kick back at you. There are 3 types of chain cutters. Manual, with two long handles, like bolt cutters, Ratchet type and Hydraulic. Depends on what your rental store offers. Cutting with a sawzall will be a real pain. The joints are filled with lead, not soldered. You can break these hubs with a hammer if you protect yourself from flying debris. You could actually break the pipes if you have access to get a full swing. Cast iron pipe is heavy so start at the top of the line to remove.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 3,814
Rewards Points: 2,262
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


Quote:
You can break these hubs with a hammer if you protect yourself from flying debris. You could actually break the pipes if you have access to get a full swing. Cast iron pipe is heavy so start at the top of the line to remove.
Ayuh,...

Actually,.. You can probably remove All of it with a BFH....
Well placed blows with a Sledgehammer will turn it into manageable pieces...
Bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 05:19 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


my two cents, I rented the chain cutter, snap snap, all done. Had a plumber friend tell me he had just done same but used sawsall, most times the pipes are close to the wall, plays hell with the blade., As said already, be careful, the pipe is heavy.
__________________
LIVING THE DREAM
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
tracy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maiden NC
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


hey just replaced all my cast pipe and just another sugestion is to not trust any old straps. i cut mine loose with a sledge hammer at the joints and it all fell down on me. 50 foot of 4 in pipe and no room to get out from under it. had to wait for someone to get me out. my sugestion in to put a few straps on it to keep it from accidentally falling on you.
tracy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


What Tracy says is why I mentioned starting demo from the top. You do not want to cut the pipe in the basement and have 15 to 30 feet of 4" cast iron pipe start a freefall. You may also want to consider leaving the end of the pipe that goes out the roof, in place and do a transition coupling there. This will allow you to not be doing roof repairs before finishing the plumbing job. If it has a lead sleeve on the roof, there will be no problem since the cast iron should just slide out of it and then the new pipe will slide up into it.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 09:26 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 88
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


I've never used or even seen a chain pipe cutter but to be sure I understand right, its better for close quarters? The pipe is close to the wall, and worse yet also runs horizontally through the floor joists.

I do plan to leave the stack alone form the second floor to third floor to the roof. No water should flow through it and it looks like its in good shape anyway. Plus I have no idea what to do with the big hole in tin roof lol.

I'm still demoing the wall right now but I'll see about renting a chain cutter if thats what you need for very close cuts.

I have to do the same thing if this this brutally difficult with the stack from the toilet in the basement. They ran the stack up from the basement to the roof going right through all the hallways. One part even blocks some of the window. To make it short, they did that because the basement walls are much thicker than the perimeter walls. I think I'm just going to demo it and cap the pipe in the basement since I don't think that toilet adds a dime of value. But there will be a hole in my roof. Can I just patch it with tin?

Thanks for all the advice.
jonathan03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 10:35 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 855
Rewards Points: 526
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


what I have ALWAYS done is to take out a lead joint and use a doughnut looking thing called a fernco doughnut. Lots of different pipe and sizes of same pipe so takes a few trys sometimes. Does it have H or XH by the cast joints?? That stands for heavy or extra heavy,,,changes kind of fernco you need. might get name of manf. off of it too and take to OLD style plumbing shop because the old timers MAY know better,,,for sure the high school kids at the box stores wont,,,the ones with purple hair and more metal in their ears than in your pipe,,not to mention ink spilled all over them

I would suggest taking ALL the pipe out above the mend space,,,I have NO idea how to support a couple 'stories' of cast,,,plastic wont support it. Tear out just enough wall to 'make' it happen,,,even out thru the roof. Caulk a temp collar over plastic till spring if you HAVE too. EVERY old house needs this update sooner or later!!

AND for crying out loud,,,start at the top,,,the poster who was trapped was lucky beyond belief,,,it WILL pull walls and all out,,, falling,,, and no amount of strap will hold it unless you own a sky hook. Every bathroom adds value,,,put her right back in and beat the old girl,,,it really isnt too expensive,,just time fixing back walls. Generally THATS an improvement too!! That stuff cracks like glass if you get two BIG hammers in right rythem to strike exactly at once,,,from both sides.

Otherwise the recip saw is best way to cut off in 'tight' quarters,,,NOT a metal blade tho,,, get the kind with looks like sand glued fast,,,might be called bi-metal blade,,,and DONT get in a hurry. The chain snaps I ever used needs lots of room to swing and ring the pipe!!

The fernco SHOULD pound in really really tight,,,best if soap or veg oil is used to help it along,,,if it drops right in,,,ya got the wrong one!! IF ya cant find the 'right' one you CAN shim them up,,or they CAN order the right one

Use the purple primer for sure,,,and plastic pipe is SOO easy and nice to work with for the whole rest of the life of the building,,,just call it a necessary improvement (and sell the cast for enough money to prob buy part of the plastic!!!) Dont know what iron prices are these days but sounds like you have enough to care!! For sure dont pay to get rid of it!! Craigs list free stuff will get you LOTS of calls(if you dont have a hauler in the driveway)
4just1don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2008, 11:35 PM   #12
JDC
Plumbing Contractor
 
JDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 392
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


Yeah, if you can get the chain between the pipe and the wall then snap cutters are definitely the way to go. However, when demo'ing an old cast stack that I cannot get snap cutters around I've tackled it a couple of different ways.

First and foremost: get some sort of bracing on the pipe above. As mentioned numerous times, cast iron is heavy and it can cause serious personal injury as well as property damage. Most often I use a riser clamp for this. It may entail screwing a couple of sammy anchors into a joist then using all thread rod. If there is a solid floor above that the pipe runs through you can just use the riser clamp as is clamping it around the pipe at floor level. This is a MUST no matter how you tackle getting rid of the pipe.

Now on to the demo. If I cant get the chain around the pipe I'll just take a 3lb hammer and bust it out. This works very well especially if the pipe is coming out all the way to ground level. If you will need to tie back onto the cast at some point then you're going to need a relatively clean cut for that.

Another way I've demo'ed cast iron is with an angle grinder and a metal cutting cut off wheel. This CAN be a pain in the butt because the blade isnt going to go all the way through the pipe like a saw. You have to make a straight cut as far around the pipe as you can then cut a wedge out of it so you can get the blade to the back side of the pipe. Think of how loggers cut down trees. It's something similar to that.

As far as your connections go you COULD drill out the lead in a hub and use a fernco donut. Its a personal preference, but I dont like them. I'd rather use a shielded coupling like the Fernco Proflex band. I WILL use a donut if there's no way to get a band on the pipe, but I'd just rather not.

You can use a recipricating saw with a carbide blade to cut the pipe, but I doubt the Ryobi will stand up to the task without numerous battery changes. It takes alot of time, patience and a few curse words to get it cut all the way through....especially 4".

Hope this helps
JDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 10:33 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 88
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Cutting Iron Drain Pipe


Here is an update on what out after i did this. I used the soil pipe cutter ($14 a day) and it was able to break the pipe by just ratcheting down with the socket wrench. I didn't even have to turn the chains since the pipe was rusted. Worked very well and was worth the $14. You may have to bust oen walls ot use the chain pipe cutter, but I already had to anyway. I needs about 2" of clearance.

Advertisement

jonathan03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drain Pipe MrMrsSip Plumbing 2 11-21-2008 06:46 PM
sewer backup and stench jayhill Plumbing 12 08-14-2008 12:06 AM
New bathroom drain pipe leaks PAK Plumbing 2 07-29-2008 10:36 AM
Cast iron and rusty pipe question snowens Plumbing 2 07-27-2008 11:07 AM
washer drain pipe paydelady Plumbing 3 11-13-2007 01:27 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts