Destroying cast iron wye from the inside out

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by milesdf, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. milesdf

    milesdf New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm going to start a project soon to gut my kitchen, exposing 2/3 of an old cast iron wye in the bathroom above. Two plumbers have now told me that the wye will probably not be able to be removed by dropping it out of the wall because the hub will catch on something, they recommend demoing a small part of the bathroom wall. Assuming I can secure the cast iron stack above the wye from the attic, is it possible to destroy the hub end of the wye from the inside out? I'm thinking about using a chisel to chisel the fitting to oblivion, probably with a sds drill or demo hammer. Has anyone ever done this before? Is the cast iron brittle enough for this to work?
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I have seen old cast iron crush instead of snap or break cleanly. In your case, won't you need to access from above to make the new connection? If you pound on it, you risk damaging connections further above, thus I don't recommend it.
  3. milesdf

    milesdf New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I am replacing the entire stack, so damaging connections above is not a problem. I can secure the pipe from up above in the attic, in fact I wouldn't mind cutting a hole in the drywall and securing the pipe approx. 3 feet above the wye. The hub for the wye is hiding behind some nice tile I'd rather not disturb. I have attached a picture.

    Attached Files:

  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you are replacing the stack, all you can do is try hard to get it out cleanly and hope for the best. If I were hired to do the job, I would explain it the same way, as there is always the likelyhood of additional challenges when one cannot see into the wall. If you spend enough time at it and are careful, you might find that you can drill and cut any obstruction using long drill bits and sawzall blades from below without causing damage to the wall. You will need to spend some time figuring out how the framing was done, as a 4" stack obviously does not fit into a 2x4 wall cavity. I would also look at whether you can get a soil pipe snapper on the wye itself, as if you can snap off right below the top hub then you have other options.
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