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Soil Pipe Cutter on 6" XH Pipe?

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  • Soil Pipe Cutter on 6" XH Pipe?

    Anyone ever try cutting 6"XH with a Rigid snap cutter? Did it work? The 6" XH pipe I have to cut is in a 97 year old house, so maybe it will be easier to cut. It looks to be in good condition though. Could it have been added later. This is the main sewer line under the basement floor.

  • #2
    TOMBK, THERE IS NO PROBLEM CUTTING 6'' EXTRA HEAVY PIPE WITH A RIDGID SNAP CUTTER. THE REAL ISSUE IS THAT THE PIPE IS GOING TO BE VERY BRITTLE ESPECIALLY ON THE BOTTOM. I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST TO USE A CUT OFF SAW, GRINDER, OR EVEN A SAWZALL. A SNAP CUTTER HAS A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO CRUSH THE OLD PIPE. DON'T THINK YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT CHANCE.A TRICK IS ALSO TO USE THE SNAP CUTTER AS A PIPE CUTTER. TIGHTEN THE CHAIN AND ROLL THE CUTTERS TO SCORE THROUGH THE PIPE. IF THIS WAS MY PROJECT, I WOULD USE A CUTOFF SAW, OR GRINDER TO CUT THROUGH THE PIPE.
    GOOD LUCK, RICK.

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    • #3
      Can't add much to Rick's words of wisdom other than a ratchet cutter using the technique Rick describes will work too. A ratchet cutter is much easier to handle in tight spaces and for overhead work. The important part is to roll the cutter and get the score mark 360 on the pipe. With old CI pipe that has un-even wall thickness (due to the methods used to manufcturer the pipe years ago), you stand a good chance of crushing through in a thin spot just as Rick says. So the first and best choice is a cutoff wheel in a grinder or similar abrasive cutoff tool as Rick said.

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      • #4
        You can also use an abrasive tungsten sawzall blade with your reciprocating saw to get a good cut if you are in a space where sparks from a grinder would be a problem. An angle grinder is probably the fastest way if you have room.

        Please note that with cast iron it is either the bottom or the top that will be bad and almost never the sides. If you start and the pipe seems in very good condition on one side, do not be over confident that the rest of the pipe is still good.

        Rule of thumb: cast iron vents usually rot on the top while drains carrying waste rot from the bottom. Wet vents usually rot out on the top first.

        It is very possible that the pipe was added later after the house was built but you can probably be sure that it is at least 50 or 60 years old.

        Are you adding to your plumbing system or repairing a problem in your existing lines? If repairing a problem line it may be to your advantage to replace all of the C.I. under the concrete while you have a mess and be finished with it for good. If adding to the system, determine the thickness of the pipe after making your cuts, if it has degraded substantially consider replacing it all while you have the mess now.
        Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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