Plumbing Project Gone Awry

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Brownout, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Yesterday, I started an effort to clear a blockage from my 60 year old cast iron drainage pipes. Before it was over, the rusty, old pipes were cracked and leaking. So today I am replacing the old iron P-traps with PVC. First order of business is cutting the old pipe. All I have is a sazall and some diamond blades (at Home Depot). I don't have access to a snap cutter. I've never tried this before and not sure what I'm in for. Well, wish me luck.
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Cast iron is not as hard as good steel, saw it. The couplings nowadays are rubber sleeves with 2 huge hose clamps.
     
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  3. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    I love the sawzall. Best invention ever in tools. It is probably of my least use tools but when I need it I am really glad I had it.

    I needed to replace a cracked closet flange. I used the sawzall for that job. While not as near as wide as a drain and it was PVC I was able to do a decent job.

    If you can't get in there with even a saezall, you have access to Home Depot. They rent pretty much every tool going.
     
  4. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Been reading up on how to cut the cast iron. Seems like a special tool was needed in the past, but new diamond blades make the sazall the tool of choice, especially conisdering the tight quarters I'm working in. I'll let ya'll know how it went at the end of the day.
     
  5. inwo

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
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    Any old bi-metal blade will cut it.

    A cutoff wheel in an angle grinder works where there is no fire hazard.

    And a bfh is always an option.:D Cut part way and hammer blow.

    When I first moved in my old house I installed iron. Hot lead and oakum! sp.?
    Used the chain type cutter referred to in first post.
    Who invented that anyway?:eek: Tight enough and it snaps clean. The world would still be waiting on me!

    Had to dig a basmt by hand. Missed PVC by about two years.:(

    Good luck it's a hard messy job.
     
  6. inwo

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
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    Just be glad it's not threaded pipe. Soon all the real plumbers will be gone.

    2" threaded pipe required planning and lots of muscle. Think of getting 20 fittings down the line from a union and having a leak.:eek:

    Back in the day I offered a well guy my 3' pipe wrench to save him a trip to the truck.
    He said "I'm not fixing my watch!" and got his 5' wrench.:D
     
  7. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    I have the [ almost ] same issue with a building, circa 1925... My only option is to rip out the entire original cast pipe, and replace wholesale with pvc..

    I think this house was originally plumbed and afterthought wired, by a troop of Orangutans...
     
  8. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Seconded!

    Those new cutoff wheels (the thin fibrglass type) in a 4" or 5" angle grinder will go through iron or steel like it's butter.

    Apart from the noise and spark shower it will be fast and minimum effort on your part.
     
  9. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Well, I can't say it was fast or easy, but the blade did what it claimed. I got the 'beast' out and replaced it with new, modern PVC pipe. Problem is, I think while trying to clear the blockage, I pushed it further into the pipe, past all the new stuff. I worked on it a bit this evening, but still draining slow. Tomorrow, I think I'm cutting out the rest of the pipe and either replacing it, or just making sure it's clear all the way to the main drain, which is apparently draining fine.
     
  10. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
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    I had mine snap cut, it needed to be cleaned and flushed. I wanted to install a new inlet for the washer install upstairs. Some of the broken pipe went in; but after the cleaning by a professional I've had no trouble since.

    It all depends on the pipe and what happens to make it's way inside.

    I've had some trouble managing apartments, roots finding their way into and clogging the pipes. It was a by annual cost to clear them. I've also had to go to the expense of having a camera shoot down to see what was in there.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    When my 4 inch sewer pipe developed a hole, I replaced the whole run with schedule 40 PVC. That was 30 years ago. No problems since. One and done.

    I can only conclude that if it doesn't leak even a little bit, the roots will not pry the leaks open and grow inside the pipe.
     
  12. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    I am impressed with the blade (9" diablo diamond cast iron blade) I made two cuts in 4" cast iron, two in 2" cast iron and 1 in 1 1/2" galvanized with no degradation in performance, despite three times having the blade get bent into grotesque figures and hand straightening it.
     
  13. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    The diamond is sintered into an iron/nickel powder matrix. The metal wears away and exposes fresh diamond. They don't really get dull, they wear out.
     
  14. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    I resurrected this old thread because I'm starting to have problems again. I'm considering cutting out the rest of the iron pipe and replacing it with PVC. Problem is, and why I didn't do this before, is the last 15-20 feet of pipe goes under my foundation and concrete front porch.
     
  15. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Call a local supplier/installer of cure-in-place pipe liner. They can rehab pipe all the way to the street or your septic tank.

    http://www.craftsmanpipelining.com/cip-pipe-lining/
     
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  16. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Watch out for this guy:
    Curly-plumber.jpg

    Best Stooges episode ever?
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    My neighborhood has/had, "Orangeburg". Tar-paper rolled into a tube. Guaranteed to fail. Some scheming idiots poured room additions over the Orangeburg and no real plumber will touch it. For that, the pipe liner (post #15) is the way to go. Amazing stuff. I saw it on This Old House TV show.
    Expensive? Compare it to the price of digging up your yard at $20 per foot.

    Bottom line: If no nutrition leaks out of the pipe, no plants will seek it.
     
  18. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    It's $125/ft. For a 20' run, that's $2,500. wowzer!

    I'm gonna need a deal.
     
  19. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I just worked with a company who was developing a DIY version. It is more in the idea phase and, based on the quality of people there, it will never launch. On the other hand, we worked with a big company doing city sewers (48") and up to 1000' runs. Now that is expensive stuff and heavy equipment to get it done. Quick and easy while minimizing traffic disruptions but not as much savings as one would expect.
     
  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I'm quoting prices from a real plumber in Florida where the ground is made of sand. (Very easy to dig.) I said, "$20 per foot". I don't know where you got $125 per foot. Maybe that's about cutting out the concrete?

    Rent a gasoline powered concrete saw.
     
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