Is methane dangerous when cutting cast iron?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mbauer, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. mbauer

    mbauer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Hi all! I found myself here by way of the John Bridge tile forum. I'm doing a bathroom renovation on a 1950's slab foundation in North Texas. I'm wanting to go back in with a Kerdi drain and waterproofing membrane. In preparation for it, I'm wanting to replace the existing trap with PVC. In the attached pics you can see what I have. I'm basically wanting to cut it right behind the bell with a carbide tip blade in my sawzall and transition with a Fernco connector into the PVC trap.

    So, as my question says, is methane a danger when cutting cast iron? I really don't want my first big plumbing project to end in disaster. ;) Any other comments or suggestions are more than welcome.

    Thanks!

    Matt

    Attached Files:

  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    No worries about gas.
    The roof of your home has plumbing vents that prevent buildup of gas.

    Plumbers use couplings with a shielded couping to prevent the pipes from shifting like these

    [​IMG]
  3. mbauer

    mbauer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks Terry. I'm going to have a few more questions about this project before everything is done. Could you change the title of the thread to "1950's Bathroom Renovation"? I guess you might want to move it to the renovation or shower forum as well. I'll keep all other related questions here.

    I thought I had seen a comment in the tile forum regarding the fernco connector. They mentioned that using a flexible connector gives a little more ability to adjust the final level of the Kerdi drain. With the drain slope, I'm assuming a more rigid connection would make my final level a little bit off. Maybe I'm splitting hairs and the final shower pan that I build will even it all out?

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  4. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Ontario
    CX and the gang have you well trained, don't they?
  5. mbauer

    mbauer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Ha! Yea, I don't want to ruffle any feathers over here too. ;)
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I kind of like the title.
    It's a good question.

    Before I became a plumber, somone was trying to scare me about removing the toilet in a bathroom.
    Nobody even notices all of those pipes coming up through the roof.
  7. mbauer

    mbauer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I'm just extra careful ( paranoid ) I suppose.

    Thanks for confirming. I'll stop by HD and try to get a shielded connector and see the difference in the ability to adjust my final floor level.

    On to the next question...

    It looks like their was a problem with the slab in this house at some point and the hot water line supplies were all abandoned. They took the hot water out of the water heater, directly up through the closet ceiling into the attic and branched it off from there. Flexible copper was used to run across the attic, down through the furr downs and fire blocks for the two baths. All hot connections were severed and tied to the flex copper coming from the attic instead of the original copper that was run under the slab.

    I want to fix this in the bathroom I'm renovating. For one reason, I'm removing the furr downs and the shower wall is changing a little. I need the copper to run straight down the wall. I would like to run rigid up the wall, through the top plate and into a 90 that is connected to the flex. I've heard that flex can't be used in walls but I wasn't sure about the attic.

    The first pic shows the shower hot water faucet. Notice the line was cut and the feed comes from above. The second pic shows the flex coming through the furr down. And finally, you can see that the flex comes down the wall and extends out close to the abandoned hot water. Notice that neither of the hot lines are capped.

    I was hoping to cap the hot water right above the entrance from the slab and extend the feed on the right up through the top plate. This would get everything back in order. So, my question is, can flexible copper be run through the attic and transitioned into rigid at the top plates?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    methane

    Since I have used oxy-acetylene torches on sewer lines without blowing anything up, or even having minor fire, you should not have any problem. There is almost no way you could get the concentration needed to become combustible unless you really tried to do it for insurance purposes.
  9. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    I am NOT a plumber but I tried to cut a 4" CI pipe with my Recip saw. It didn't work to good. I went to HD and got a diamond blade for my angle grinder and within 3 minutes that sucker was gone. Word to the wise WEAR a face shield whatever way you do it. Have you considered using PEX?


  10. The blade, or the pipe?


    I get all my diamond blades from harbor freight and you can't kill them.


    One blade usually gets me 40-45 cuts...that's quite a few jobs. I cheat and cut copper and everything else with it when need be.


    If you wiped out a diamond blade from HD, take it back demanding money. They are not cheap there and I will never buy a blade from them. The cheap ones are 3 for 9.99 :eek:
  11. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Is this a good way to cut cast for a one time job, Rugged? (ie: I don't do it every day, so will an angle grinder work just fine for the one time in this house I need to cut cast?)
  12. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    So this doesn't happen:

    [​IMG]

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  13. ArtM

    ArtM Junior Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Slope of the Rockies
    I've given up cutting cast with saws. What a frustrating experience. If I need to cut cast, I use a soil pipe cutter. Google RIDGID Model 246 Soil Pipe Cutter and you can see the one I rent as needed - it's worth every penny and then some. Last 4" cast I had to cut took me about 3 minutes.

    If a guy can borrow one so much the better.

    [​IMG]
    RIDGID Model 246 Soil Pipe Cutter
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  14. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    Rugged--

    The pipe was gone. It was messy though! Really old CI I am married to a wonderful woman who has Chrons disease and believe me when I work on the waste systems in the house I need to get it back in service in a hurry!

    The blade I bought was crap. I also found other uses for the diamond blade for the angle grinder (like cutting tile). So the expense hasn't been just for that job.
  15. Wow,


    Sorry to hear of your bad experience with a diamond blade. I've been using them for years. It happened by accident in using one one day when I was in a jam and didn't have my wheeler chain snap cutter.


    It allows me to cut cast iron that is thinning at the top or bottom and not crush it all in when the chain clamps down on the pipe.


    I use it to cut tiled walls when doing shower faucet reworks, along with cutting copper piping whether it is water or dwv when you just have to save a pipe or can't get a cutter in there to spin around.

    Chrons disease is a rough one. Have you considered one of Terry's bidet toilet seats?

    It will pay itself off in the toilet paper you use at your home, I promise. Lot less clogs and cleaner feeling.


    I've had one since last year *BB-50* and even though it's the most economical, I am a bed of fresh daisies between my legs now, in my nooks n' crannies so to speak. I thought I'd let everyone know how clean I am. :p
  16. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yeah some tools work well for some and not so much for others. I use my Recip saw alot for other things. Also , there was too much info in that last message from you Rugged! Although we just redid the bathroom and I had never thought of a Bidet! Maybe that will come.

    Thanks

  17. It was the Thomas's English Muffin reference, wasn't it. :p



    You know how much toilet paper you use knowing how that disease works. It's very awkward at first, but it's like a mini-shower on demand and can make the reach around process obsolete. The ones with a dryer and warm water are top notch, I just haven't graduated to that level yet. It's coming!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  18. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Yeah, they say Chron's is from stress. It probably is the only disease I don't have from stress. I got shingles, does that count? Oh, yeah, my new resolution is to control the stress. :rolleyes::confused: Two girlfriends has it, and they have been managing the disease pretty well, by seeing a therapist. Mind over matter?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  19. edlentz

    edlentz New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Michigan
    Nah the girlfriends are lucky. Stress does factor into it for sure, tho. But, being an auto immune disease it pretty much does what it likes.. when it likes. It took a ruptured bowel for them to diagnose it, REALLY bad that year was. She had it for about 20 years before then, and "it was all in the noggin" until then.

    For now I think this thread has taken a 90 degree turn from where it started. :)
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Rugged is auditioning to become the Toto Washlet Spokesperson.... :D
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