Any tips for removing old metal basin

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by mar4thbpos, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. mar4thbpos

    mar4thbpos New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I am replacing an old toilet ejection system in basement used for toilet, sink, and shower only. It has a metal basin 24†deep and 24†round with 2 two covered access holes in the basin top. The pump extends down through one of the holes with motor sitting on top of the basin. I have no problem removing the whole pump mechanism and disconnecting the waste and vent pipes.

    My problem is that I need to remove the entire metal basin. It’s similar to a half a 55-gallon drum buried in my basement floor. I thought the whole thing was rusted out but, now that I am trying to take it, it’s not that easy. I have broken up the concrete skirt around the perimeter and removed about 3-4" of soil from around top of basin.

    Has anyone else had to tackle something like this? Any tips on the best way to get this basin out of there? Anything I should watch out for? I would appreciate any suggestions anyone would care to offer. Thanks.
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    Can you cut it up into small peices with a sawzall?

    Tom
  3. mar4thbpos

    mar4thbpos New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Metal Basin removal

    statjunk,

    That would be fairly difficult for 2 reasons. One, the tank is buried about 2 feet into the basement floor and two, I don't have a sawzall ! But, I thank you for your suggestion. I could borrow a sawzall. I will definitely look into that.

    I posed my question to see how others with more plumbing experience have tackled removing these things. I was considering using a crowbar to bend the sides in and try to pull it out that way.

    Does anyone know if it is even possible to pull these basins out of the ground once they have been freed from the concrete? Any other tricks to get this basin out of the ground?
  4. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    A sawzall is one of the most important tools to own if you plan on tackling any kind of home improvment. In addition they are reasonbly priced. The blades aren't cheap but the saw itself is cheap.

    If it is imbeded in the concrete could you smash the concrete around it with a sledge hammer or demo hammer and then remove it? Do you have the room?

    I'm not sure a pro is going to offer you much more. It is a brutal kind of thing not a finesse kind of thing.

    Tom
  5. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    an angle grinder with metal cutting blade would also make short work of the metal container...
    Be careful not to cause the blade to bind and kick back and wear gloves and eye protection....
  6. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    The angle grinder is a good idea. Have someone with a shop vac following you it causes an awful mess and smell.

    Tom
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tank

    Most metal tanks are cast iron, which is one of the hardest metals to grind or saw.
  8. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    Lets not forget those wonderful particles that get all over the place...I often use my grinder where I can't get a snap cutter in (much faster than a sawzall with torch blade) and even with a mask I'm coughing black for days.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2008
  9. Plumb or Die

    Plumb or Die Plumbing Instructor

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Southern BC Canada
    Does your remodel require to remove the whole thing? If it's cast iron, a sledge hammer may take care of it. If you're putting in a new sump, you might be able to put it inside the old one and just bust out the parts of the old tank that you need to.
  10. Plumb or Die

    Plumb or Die Plumbing Instructor

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Southern BC Canada
    But if it's gotta go, can you chain 'er up and get a come-a-long or chain fall and rig it up to the ceiling? Lifting it out might be easier than digging it out.
  11. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    I think yer an imposter...for a plumber it appears you still have a few active brain cells.
    Best idea I've seen yet...I was just thinking he could wedge it out from the rim...break away concrete around the OD and struggle with it by leverage and a wrecking bar.
    (Heck...he could skip a trip the the gym for the day)
    He'd not likely have enough room to swing a 10 pounder inside the tank to break it.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
  12. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    If it's 2' deep, and buried 2' into the ground... why not just leave it? Probably easier to just fill it with concrete. Perhaps I'm not getting it... Can you post a picture?


    The grinder is the worst idea I've ever heard.

    Nasty, dangerous, loud, slow, unhealthy, messy, dangerous... Unless it's for a quick cut like Grumpy mentioned, angle grinders are just NOT an indoor tool.


    If it really must come out... I'd rent a chipping hammer to break the concrete around it, if it's completely encased... if not, try wedging a prybar* under/alongside it, try to pop it free. Then maybe a comealong to lift it out of the hole, once it's free? Depends what you've got available for hooking it up to.

    If it's cast, a sledge hammer will do a very effective job. I've done a few bathtubs that way... The pieces are killer-sharp, though. Get some thick leather work gloves. And buckets, for hauling the pieces.


    I wouldn't do any of this by myself. These are the jobs where it's real easy to get hurt.



    *not a crowbar, a pry-bar: like landscapers use for shifting big stones. Looks like a javelin, made out of heavy steel, you plant it in the ground and pry against the side of things... basically a big heavy lever with a sharp end.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
  13. mar4thbpos

    mar4thbpos New Member

    Messages:
    5
    New Thinking on old Tank

    Say, you guys have got me thinking (that's why I love this forum!). I believe this tank may well be cast iron. If that is the case and it is cast iron, how likely is it that it has rotted/rusted out such that it no longer holds water?
    The reason I ask is, if it still holds water, could I not replace the pump, reseal the two holes on top, and be back in business?

    While I orignally thought a total replacement was the only answer, I am intrigued by the idea of either retaining and using the existing cast iron tank or, if I have to, putting a new plastic tank inside the old cast iron. If I could avoid having to take that tank out that would be great.

    My plumber told me that using a tank with a long-shaft pump with exposed motor was the way it was done back in the day and are fairly common.
    Is it possible to refurbish this with a whole new pump and new bolts/gasket to seal the access holes on top?

    Any thoughts/suggestions are very much appreciated.
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