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Drill Bits for cast iron?

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  • Drill Bits for cast iron?

    For those of you out there that clear drains from time to time, I know you have been tempted and have succeeded in drilling a hole in cast iron pipe (regular and XH) instead of installing a cleanout. I regularly use an angle grinder with a diamond blade or metal cutting blade to cut cast iron. What type of drill bits do i need to be buying in order to drill through cast? I have tried titanium coated high speed steel, but all i seem to be doing is making them dull and putting shiny spots on the pipe. I have a ridgid 18volt hammerdrill to power these so i know it's not a lack of power. I assume i should have it on high speed to drill through cast. Any help is welcomed along with web page links to look at pretty drill bits.

  • #2
    theron, drilling a hole to access a line is ok for a quick temporary emergency. but is no means a permanant fix. how do you keep sewage from leaking and roots from coming into the joint? sure i've done this, but that's just to let the waste out and allow for snaking. then i install a proper c/o.
    now for the answer you're looking for. the proper drill bit you need is a carbide tipped hole saw. this will cost approx. 75-100 dollars. you are better with the grinder since this is a temp. fix. it will also allow for a rectanguar hole to allow for the cutter to fit in easier.

    rick.

    Comment


    • #3
      Carbide tipped eh? I may stick with the angle grinder. I only cut this in vents not drain lines. That would be a mess. I usually only do it for the poor who can't afford a proper cleanout or when i'm in an appartment complex or high rise and there isn't enough room or time to remove a section of pipe to put in a cleanout.

      Comment


      • #4
        Theron,

        If you are cutting into a C.I. vent to allow for a clean out access and not installing a cleanout, you are not doing your poorer customers a favor. How are you repairing the pipe?


        The cost of a test tee, adapters and no hub bands are only about 30 dollars wholesale. If you are worried about their wallets just don't mark up the fittings. But to just grind a hole in their stack and jury rig some kind of patch is the kind of feeble garbage I have seen the thieves from Roto Rooter do to the poorer and less educated consumers.

        Do yourself and the customer a favor, cut out a section of pipe and install a proper cleanout. Everyone is better off that way.
        Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would agree with you - a cleanout is the way to go. Yes a hole in the pipe or a section cut out does look like crap. Markup - well the company won't let me flex on that, otherwise i would do it. Only specific situations would call for such. When it's done unnecessarily that is poor craftsmanship. I was working in a high rise appartment building that had an access panel above the toilet. The panel wasn't big enough to let me install a proper cleanout. It would have cost the customer more money and time to patch the drywall i would have to remove in order to install it. Time was the big factor there and it was their decision. I never make that decision and I educate the customer to know what i'm doing isn't the best thing for them, but it will serve the purpose of a cleanout. I have yet to do that (cut a hole in the pipe) in residential. I'm not saying cutting a hole is the way to go - 9 times out of ten i am able to install a proper cleanout with no hubs or ferncos. You wanted to know how i patch the "cleanout" - it usually ends up being an 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square hole that i put duct tape over and then slit a fernco and band it on there. I only do this in vent lines never in drain or it won't hold at all.

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          • #6
            This is plumbing at it's worst. If it costs more, so be it. If they don't want to pay, walk away. Duct tape is not a proper seal for a vent line. Sewer gas can be dangerous, do the job correctly or don't do it at all.

            the dog
            the dog

            Comment


            • #7
              As far as your comments about Roto Rooter - [img]smile.gif[/img] I'll be nice and keep my comments short and appropriate in case there are any fellow roto-rooter employees in this forum. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch. Some technicians from our company do shoddy work. Some of the callbacks i have to do are rediculous. One i had to do today, a guy had put wax from a toilet ring in some no hubs to try to seal a leak when he should have replaced the no hubs. His excuse was that he didn't have them on his truck. What a joke. It made our company look bad and i had to fix it again. Those guys typically don't make it more than six months because they're not plumbers and they have no morals or business ethics. Our company does have a plumbing school, finally, that teaches you all about codes and what is and is not appropriate. Every new hire has a 3 month ride-along program with a certified trainer. In fact I have a trainee. I have to sign off on this guy in a month and a half on whether or not i think he is ready for the road (he's pretty close to being ready). I have had guys in my truck that just didn't get it and we had to let them go. I'm relatively young, but i'm in this for life. I have no intentions of doing shoddy work and stealing from people. I'm all about pleasing the customer and doing excellent work. It's their decision to have a hole instead of a cleanout. I only offer the hole to them if they state a valid reason (time or money) for not wanting a cleanout installed. It's not the first thing i offer them, its the last. I hope you guys don't hate me now for doing that. I'm in this forum to learn from y'all. Do you think i shouldn't offer it at all? Is my method of sealing it the best? I feel as bad about "cleanout" holes as i do when i see a compression fitting. And i know all of you have a few compression fittings on your trucks for that "just in case" occasion [img]smile.gif[/img]

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              • #8
                Duct tape isn't a seal it's a gasket the fernco is the seal. Is there a better way to do that? I'm totally open to suggestions.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Theron:
                  As far as your comments about Roto Rooter - [img]smile.gif[/img] I'll be nice and keep my comments short and appropriate in case there are any fellow roto-rooter employees in this forum. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch. Some technicians from our company do shoddy work. Some of the callbacks i have to do are rediculous. One i had to do today, a guy had put wax from a toilet ring in some no hubs to try to seal a leak when he should have replaced the no hubs. His excuse was that he didn't have them on his truck. What a joke. It made our company look bad and i had to fix it again. Those guys typically don't make it more than six months because they're not plumbers and they have no morals or business ethics. Our company does have a plumbing school, finally, that teaches you all about codes and what is and is not appropriate. Every new hire has a 3 month ride-along program with a certified trainer. In fact I have a trainee. I have to sign off on this guy in a month and a half on whether or not i think he is ready for the road (he's pretty close to being ready). I have had guys in my truck that just didn't get it and we had to let them go. I'm relatively young, but i'm in this for life. I have no intentions of doing shoddy work and stealing from people. I'm all about pleasing the customer and doing excellent work. It's their decision to have a hole instead of a cleanout. I only offer the hole to them if they state a valid reason (time or money) for not wanting a cleanout installed. It's not the first thing i offer them, its the last. I hope you guys don't hate me now for doing that. I'm in this forum to learn from y'all. Do you think i shouldn't offer it at all? Is my method of sealing it the best? I feel as bad about "cleanout" holes as i do when i see a compression fitting. And i know all of you have a few compression fittings on your trucks for that "just in case" occasion [img]smile.gif[/img]
                  Theron,

                  Sealing a vent pipe with duct tape is against any code in the country. As a plumber you have the resposibility of protecting public health and saftey. This should not be an option.

                  the dog
                  the dog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Please keep in mind guys, I do everything by the book (the KY state code book). This is the only grey area i step into. Some guys are for it some are against it. I am against it. I've been doing this for only three years. Help me out [img]smile.gif[/img]

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                    • #11
                      So it's not grey, it's black and white - I'll stop doing it then. I couldn't find it in the book so it must not be code.

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                      • #12
                        Some of you guys are in cali. Is there Roto Rooter where you are? Do they have a bad reputation?

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                        • #13
                          theron. roto-rooter is in calif. i only hear the bad and ugly. i'm sure there is just as much good as there is bad.
                          it doesn't take that much extra to cut the vent and put in a no hub band. a fernco (all rubber band)is not legal inside of the building in calif. it has to be a shielded band.
                          why not try from the roof vent if it's an easy access, or remove the trap and snake from the fixture?

                          rick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well I do of course remove the trap and run it from there whenever possible. Roto-Rooter won't let us on the roof starting this year unless it's a commercial flat roof with access for insurance purposes. Like i said it's a last resort. What i should be doing is installing the proper cleanout. Removing more drywall and doing it right is just the cost of doing the job right. I see where you guys are coming from and i agree. This is wierd - In Kentucky Ferncos are approved for underground use only and no hubs are not approved for underground, but above ground. Is that true of most states? Our code book states that we have to trap every drain on a three compartment sink instead of just having one for the whole sink. I work KY, OH, and IN so i have to be familiar with all the codes in those states and KY is wierd compared to them. But alas we could start an entire new topic on wierd plumbing codes and local codes [img]smile.gif[/img] .

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                            • #15
                              Theron,

                              The outfit you work for has one of the worst reputations in the entire country regarding quality, honesty and professionalism amoung licensed plumbers and competent contractors. I personally know several plumbers that used to be under their thumb. All of them are happy that's in their past. In the days when I did an extensive amount of service everytime I followed roto rapers so called plumbers it was one disaster after the next.

                              How much training are they giving you regarding your plumbing skills? Judging by the information you seek my guess would be they still train you to sell and let you learn your plumbing skills on your own.

                              If an apartment owner does not want to pay to do it right then follow Plumbdog and Ricks advice and walk away. I promise you such a landlord will be screaming to your boss about your shoddy workmanship in the future. Even if you were just following his orders.

                              You are supposed to be the professional, Tell the landlord you won't do it. Its your integrity on the line and he is already showing you he has none.

                              Theron, your posts indicate that you care about the quality of your work and given what you wrote about your concern for the financially less fortunate it looks like you have scruples as well. With three years of experience and your seemingly good attitude you might consider testing the job market with other contractors. That your bosses hadn't advised you about not using fernco's and duct tape inside a building after three years should tell you all you need to know about their concern for your training or your future.
                              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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