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Old 11-12-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
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Remove Cast Iron Pipe


Hi All,

I would like to remove a portion of my cast iron vent. The basement portion will remain but everything from the first floor and up will be PVC. I purched a fernco fitting to go from 4" to 3" ,a 3" piece of PVC and a 3" to 2" furnco to get to my 2" pvc which will exit the house.

I just need to know how to go about removing the cast iron. The pipe is flush to the dry wall behind it so I cannot get anything around it.


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Last edited by jelly; 11-12-2007 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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Remove Cast Iron Pipe


I'm not a plumber, but I think the vent, or the total cross section of all vents, have to be equal to the main drain going out of the house.

Anyway...would it be possible to cut it in the basement, just below the ceiling, instead of on the main level at the floor? You're only talking a few more inches.

Short of that, my only thoughts are: Cut out a section of drywall so you can cut the pipe, then patch the drywall.

BTW: Don't just take my word and go after it. The pro plumbers might have a better solution for you. Ron or someone will be along sometime soon.

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Old 11-12-2007, 05:29 PM   #3
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Remove Cast Iron Pipe


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Originally Posted by jelly View Post
Hi All,

I would like to remove a portion of my cast iron vent. The basement portion will remain but everything from the first floor and up will be PVC. I purched a fernco fitting to go from 4" to 3" ,a 3" piece of PVC and a 3" to 2" furnco to get to my 2" pvc which will exit the house.

I just need to know how to go about removing the cast iron. The pipe is flush to the dry wall behind it so I cannot get anything around it.
First off do the ferncos you purchased have a metal band around the entire fitting? Or is it just two hose clamps, one on either end. You want the one with the metal band, if you have the other type don't use it. The box stores only sell the two band, you need to go to a plumbing supply to get the correct ones.

Remember before you go cutting anything that cast iron is heavy. Make sure before you cut that the pipe is going to be supported and not injure someone or cause damage.

As for cutting their are two ways you could go about it. The first is to rent a ratchet cutter, this has a chain going around it so you would need to cut a hole in the drywall on both sides. The second are diamond abrasive sawzall blades. You may be able to adjust the fence on the sawzall (if you have a good sawzall) enough that you don't cut into the Sheetrock or don't cut it all the way through. In any case a 4in cut the size of a sawzall blade is a pretty easy repair. The only problem with the sawzall is some stubborn pipe can take half an hour or so to get through. That's another reason why you're need a good sawzall, a Ryobi will give out after half an hour of continuous running. You may also use several blades per cut at about $7 a blade if you have a particularly hard pipe.

And finally. How many toilets, how many showers, how many bathtubs, and how many sinks drain into this line? 3'' is probably fine but you probably can't reduce to 2'' exiting the house.

Last edited by Marlin; 11-12-2007 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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"would it be possible to cut it in the basement, just below the ceiling, instead of on the main level at the floor? You're only talking a few more inches."

jpoferr, I don't want to disturb the fittings below, if it were to crack down then I would have a much bigger job than I need. I figured to play it safe and stay a couple feet up.

"First off do the ferncos you purchased have a metal band around the entire fitting?"

Marlin- No, Lowes just had the adapters with the two hose clamps. It's that important to get the others?

"Remember before you go cutting anything that cast iron is heavy.


Yes, I plan on cutting 2 foot sections at a time.

"As for cutting their are two ways you could go about it."

I heard about the ratchet but the plumbing store didn't know of any ratchet, I will pursue renting one. My sawzall has an adjustable shoe but the ratchet sounds easier.

"And finally. How many toilets, how many showers, how many bathtubs, and how many sinks drain into this line?"


This vent is for one toilet, one shower/bathtub and one kitchen sink. Is 2" fine?

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:16 PM   #5
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I think you better check the code about joist cutouts. It appears you made the original cutout larger by the fresh wood that I see. Regardless, how did the original cutout pass code? That soilpipe is about 4-1/4 inches outside diameter and your joist's look like they are only 8 inches wide. I would ask a professional's opinion. Some do visit and may see this.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:32 PM   #6
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Your right, there not much of the joist left. It does look like a fresh cut but they were probably cut when the house was built in 1937. I plan on sistering them up with new ones.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:45 PM   #7
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A 4 1/2 inch grinder with a diamond cutting wheel works pretty good on cast. Make two horizontal cuts across then two vertical cuts, up and down, on each side of the pipe and take out that piece. Then you can cut out the rest of that piece from the inside of the pipe. Be careful, cast is heavy.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:59 PM   #8
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"

"As for cutting their are two ways you could go about it."

I heard about the ratchet but the plumbing store didn't know of any ratchet, I will pursue renting one. My sawzall has an adjustable shoe but the ratchet sounds easier.

"And finally. How many toilets, how many showers, how many bathtubs, and how many sinks drain into this line?"


This vent is for one toilet, one shower/bathtub and one kitchen sink. Is 2" fine?

Thanks[/quote]


I'd get the other ones clamps. You're not allowed to use the two band type by code. They're also more likely to fail although I've never seen any type fail. With the banded ones the entire fitting becomes a big clamp. The rubber ones can actually fill with liqued, it will still seal at the clamps but having the outside, edges, and inside of the cast pipe wet will accelerate rusting. They don't have any ridgidness to them so the metal handed ones do a much better job holding the pipes level.
The metal banded ones are shorter and generally easier to get on. Think about snaking too. With the two band type if the pipes aren't pushed all the way in, or you have the pipes bending at the clamp the snake could easially go right through it.

Cutting I'd recommend the ratchet chain cutter. May require some drywall cutting but it's easy to use. Wear safety glasses as a precaution. If you end up cracking the pipe with it you may have to revert to the sawzall for one cut.
This is what you want.
http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/206-Soil...r/EN/index.htm
This will work too although I've never used one
http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/226-Soil...r/EN/index.htm
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:49 PM   #9
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You should give serious consideration to dropping it down below the ceiling, and building a bulkhead around it.
Those joist have been butchered, and should be sistered, with full virgin 2X8's.
They really shouldn't have a hole larger than 2-2".
You can cut the pipe with anything, sawsall, chain cutter,hack saw.
That's not a problem!
Those joist ARE a problem.

This is what I do for a living, for more than 35 years.

Last edited by neolitic; 11-12-2007 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Cause the signature is F#*ked
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:00 PM   #10
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I am guessing that if you use 2 inch pipe at the end of your vent that the water in the drains will go down much slower. Your toilet has 4 inch connections going into a 4 inch wye connection; but you will not have the same capacity for air replacement with 2 inch pipe as the water trys to drain.Better check this out with a Pro.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:14 PM   #11
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Can I rent a soil pipe cutter?

I called four plumbing supply companies and they don't even sell them let alone rent them. Would automotive supply companies have it?
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelly View Post
Can I rent a soil pipe cutter?

I called four plumbing supply companies and they don't even sell them let alone rent them. Would automotive supply companies have it?
Check your local Home Depot. Mine rents them.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:30 PM   #13
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I removed a toilet flange by drilling holes in the solder and using a slim chisel and scooping the yocum out and the flange came right off worth a try
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:45 PM   #14
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i just used them yesterday. takes about 2-3 min to cut through a 4 in pipe. can buy them at ferguson or another specialized plumbing store. note sure about regular hardware or HD/lowes.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:53 PM   #15
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no pipe should go through a beam, much less beamS, it should be parallel with the beams, otherwise the entire structure is weakened.

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