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Cutting 4" Cast Iron Sewer Pipe

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  • Cutting 4" Cast Iron Sewer Pipe

    Can any one recommend, through real experience, a SawZall Blade for cutting Cast Iron 4 Sewer Pipe?

    Tungsten Carbide Grit or Bi-Metal Blade? Any blade/Manufacture would be greatly recommended, including tips

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • #2
    I used a 4" grinder with a metal-grinding disc in it to cut a score around the pipe about 1/8" deep and as narrow as possible. Then take a masonry chisel (not a woodworking chisel) and place the tip in the score and hit it sharply with a hammer. The pipe should break cleanly along the score line. There is a tool that breaks cast iron pipe in one easy step...I'm not sure what it's called (a "pipe breaker?") but it's probably not worth buying or renting one if you're only making a few cuts.
    Mark

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    • #3
      I think a good bi-metal blade will handle it. cast iron is not terribly difficult to cut. I've used milwaukee and lennox blades with good results. milwaukee lists their general purpose blades for cutting cast iron.
      if it has a layer of heavy rust you'll need to clean the rust off where you are starting the cut. rust can be so hard/abrasive that it will dull the teeth before you start.

      I like mrojec's idea better though.
      Last edited by Tom Slick; 01-28-2007, 07:48 PM.
      Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

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      • #4
        From real experience I would go with the angle grinder. Most recently I had to remove some cast iron from my fireplace last year and sawzall would not touch the stuff even after starting it with the angle grinder. Score as neatly as you can with the angle grinder then break with a cold chisel. I w You can get thin cutting blades ~ 1/8" thick at the home centers. Buy several.

        Watch the sparks - there will be many. I use a full-face shield for jobs like this. Move the tool in the opposite direction the blade is spinning - same concept as using a router. You will get better control. If you move it the wrong way it will still cut but will want to skip a lot more.
        David

        The chief cause of failure in this life is giving up what you want most for what you want at the moment.

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        • #5
          Because of all the sand in it, sewer pipe will go through blades fast. A sawzall is pretty much useless on it. The grinder works but takes a while, and forget it if the pipe is up in the floor joists. A good rental center should have the snapper tool, 1-2 minutes per cut compared to 1/2 hr - hour or more.
          M. Leichtle
          Beer is proof that God exsists and wants us to be happy.
          Ben Franklin

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          • #6
            I cut my 4" cast pipe w/ a sawsall, I went to HD & bought a 6" or 8" carbide blade. It took a while, & my hands were tingling from the vibration, but it did the job. There is a tool that does this, it is sort of like a chain type cutter that ratchets, I don't remember what it's called but you can google "cutting cast iron pipe & it probably will come up. Good Luck, Joe
            It's got to be us, because there are a lot more of them!

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            • #7
              I would try the rental also. I have only seen them on TV but the chain cutter ( I think it really snaps the pipe) will make short work of it. This must be a vent pipe. I think the biggest worry is support for the pipe after the cut.
              Thanks again,
              Mike

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Perfidiajoe View Post
                I cut my 4" cast pipe w/ a sawsall, I went to HD & bought a 6" or 8" carbide blade. It took a while, & my hands were tingling from the vibration, but it did the job. There is a tool that does this, it is sort of like a chain type cutter that ratchets, I don't remember what it's called but you can google "cutting cast iron pipe & it probably will come up. Good Luck, Joe

                Soil pipe cutter. Might call the rental place to see what it will run.
                She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the replies and I will keep you updated.

                  The 4 Sewer Pipe in question is under the basement concrete floor. Its my sons house who is 23 years old. He has two Plummer friends one his age who is helping. The other is a coworker @ the Electrical/Mechanical Engineer Design Company.

                  His young plumbing friend does not like to use the Pipe Snapper in this application, fearing it might break somewhere else under the basement slab. He prefers to just use an angle grinder to completely cut through the cast iron pipe.

                  His older coworker friend handled him a pipe snapper and told to have at it, since his house is not that old (Built 1972).

                  I sent an email to Lenox & Milwaukee hoping for a response on what type of Sawzall blade to use.

                  My son is leaning towards using the Pipe Snapper Tool.

                  Thanks Again

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                  • #10
                    I'd ask the older friend if he'd still use the pipe snapper if it were his house. Then I'd listen to the younger friend and go get my angle grinder. The extra time it will take with the grinder is a LOT less time and cost it would take to find out there was a leak under the slab and have to excavate and repair it.

                    Good luck.
                    Last edited by crokett; 01-30-2007, 03:25 PM.
                    David

                    The chief cause of failure in this life is giving up what you want most for what you want at the moment.

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                    • #11
                      I would trust the plumber. Sounds like he needs to cut a section out and he would have more control on the 2nd cut with a grinder or Sawzall.
                      Thanks again,
                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        I asked the same qustion to a plumber, and there is a specific tye of blade that doesn't have teeth. It looks more like a solid glob of grey stuff slong the blade. It acts as more of an abrasive to cut the pipe. That's what I'm going to use to fix my brother's cracked soil pipe.

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