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Copper pipe removal from slab

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  • Copper pipe removal from slab

    I need to remove the copper pipe in a slab on grade house.

    The main supply lines run on the outside of the house 30" below grade.
    Then branches into the house in 7 locations (hot & cold at each location)
    Each 3/4" copper pipe is sleeved in 1-1/4 abs pipe.
    The distance from the outside of the house to the inside varies 3ft. to 9ft.

    I was thinking I could take a long chisel & cut the pipe at the 90.

    I was also thinking about wrapping a chain around it & pulling it out with my mini-excavator.

    Then there is the really wild idea.
    Rent a welder crank the heat all the way up hook the ground to 1 side & the stinger to the other side
    ,that should melt the solder at the 90 & than just pull the pipe.
    Yes I know this not good for the welder that's why I would rent one & not use one of mine.

    Is there a better way?

    Once I get the pipe out I'm just going to pull pex through the sleeve.

    I was thinking about just running the main supplies up to the attic & then drop down in each room,
    but I'm worried about the lines freezing.

    The reason I'm want replace the pipe is ,because the pipe in 46 yrs. old & I had a leak on the outside.
    I have it all dug up now & the leak fixed, but I don't want to dig it up again if I have another leak.
    Which I know is going to happen ( well water).

  • #2
    Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

    what was the cause of the outside leak? ie a rock denting the copper in a spot, bad solder at a fitting, copper worn thin because of water ph?
    Seattle Drain Service

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    • #3
      Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

      Leave the pipe in place and run pex up the ceiling.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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      • #4
        Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

        Originally posted by Cuda View Post
        what was the cause of the outside leak? ie a rock denting the copper in a spot, bad solder at a fitting, copper worn thin because of water ph?
        I'm guessing just worn thin. The pipe was back filled with mason sand.

        The leak dead center on the outside bend of the 90.

        I have already replaced all the copper inside the house. Had several pcs. that were paper thin & 1 pc. that I just pulled out of the fitting.

        Everything on the outside of the house looks good now, but I don't want to have to dig it up again.

        I like fixing other people's stuff, but I HATE FIXING MY STUFF

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        • #5
          Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

          Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
          Leave the pipe in place and run pex up the ceiling.
          I can do that really easy. All the drywall that would need to be replaced would be in the utility room or closets.

          My concern with that is the pex freezing in the attic it does get cold in MD at least it used too.

          One good thing with pex if it freezes it won't burst.

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          • #6
            Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

            Can't you move the attic insulation to the side and run it just above the ceiling and then put the insulation back? Seems to me that would keep it from freezing if there is heat in the house.

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            • #7
              Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

              Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
              Can't you move the attic insulation to the side and run it just above the ceiling and then put the insulation back? Seems to me that would keep it from freezing if there is heat in the house.
              Yes, I have (2) layers of insulation & I can run it on top of the trusses in between the (2) layers.

              Looks like that's what I will do, but I will see if I can get the copper out of the sleeve first.

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              • #8
                Re: Copper pipe removal from slab

                Never ever run the cold water supply in the ceiling whether copper or pex as in summer you will have to draw off a lot water to get a cold drink and the client will not be happy

                Tony

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