Remove cast iron sewer line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by doctordad781, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. doctordad781

    doctordad781 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I have an unused 4-inch cast iron sewer line that runs about 12 feet parallel to and about 9 inches from the wall in my basement. The pipe was formerly used as the house drain line leading to a septic tank. However, the pipe was disconnected at some point in the past and the wastewater was redirected by a new PVC line to the public sewer. The abandoned line is embedded about half-way into the concrete floor. I would like to remove the old, unused line to create more floor space. What is the best (easiest) way for me to remove the pipe? Is this something I can tackle myself, or should I have a plumber do it?
  2. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    A picture would help, but if it is definately not being used I'd think you could do the work.

    From what you described, I invision the top half of the pipe showing and the bottom half is imbedded in concrete. If this is correct, I would assume you could break it apart with a sledge hammer, then fill the void in with some sort of cement mixture.

    From what I have been told Hydraulic Cement is what you would want to use anywhere it terminates the house/wall.

    In the past when I removed sections of cast iron, I've used a sawsall with a good metal cutting blade, but be prepared to go through a few blades. Recently I had to cut a line out and ended up putting a metal cutting blade in my circular saw and that worked great!! Can't go all the way through, but it's a good start and the sawsall finishes.

    If there are any lines going vertical, make sure they are supported very well before removing any horizontal lines!!

    Hope that helps!
  3. doctordad781

    doctordad781 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks. Your advice helps a lot.
  4. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    Not a problem, if using the sledge hammer just be prepared to have a sore back the next day! It'll probably take a few hits to get it to bust, but it'll give.

    My parents had an old cast iron boiler in their basement. My dad of course wanted it out so he could use the room. We worked off and on for several months breaking that thing apart. Your pipe won't be anywhere near that hard.....
  5. Hugh T Tran

    Hugh T Tran New Member

    Messages:
    1
    cas iron sewer pipe

    hello,

    my home is about 54 y.o, and do i need to replace the cast iron drain pipe which runs underneath my subfloor to the out side pipe which lead to the city's sewage line. i have been having problems of having bad smells and the toilets are not being able to flush...buble airs are coming up when i flushed.

    thank you.
  6. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I agree, I doubt your cast iron needs to be replaced. I read somewhere the life expectancy of it is about 100yr. My previous house was built in 1874 or 1876 (records disagreement) and it still had much of the cast iron in place and even though I had lots of trees in it's path in the yard, I only had to have the line snaked 1 time in my 14 yrs there and that was of course right before having an inspection. Even then I will say, I think the problem was due to my wife probably flushing things down she shouldn't have.

    My current house was built in 1915 and for the most part everything has been fine. I'm starting to find leaks or possible future leaks so I'm trying to replace, but only because I am also wanting to finish out areas where the pipes run.

    I would agree snake the line and see if that helps, pay for the camera if that makes you feel better. I have heard it's better/cheaper to call a plumber than to call rotorooter, but I don't know that for certain. Maybe some on here can answer that question. I do know the almost $500, it seems rotorooter charges is a good start on replacing line....especially if you are capable yourself!
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,605
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    You do not need a sledge hammer. A 4# machinist hammer will do the job in short order, about 4 minutes or less, without damaging your back.
  8. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas

    Good to know, I only have a sledge hammer, so that's what I know!
  9. Rossm

    Rossm New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Abandoned Cast Iron Pipes

    Hello,

    I saw the posts regarding the cast iron pipes and wanted to run something past you all. I have old capped off pipes, two to be exact, and one in particular is leaking from the edge of the cap. Based on the corrosion I know why it is leaking, but I was wondering what my best course of action would be. Is there something I could use to make a better seal knowing there is an issue with corrosion, or is this something I should consider removing altogether? I realize the removal process will be more taxing, considering I would then need to either replace the block it went through or fill it with hydraulic concrete. If I go this route, is there a cap of some sort that i could buy to cap this off on the outside of my basement wall to prevent water from migrating back towards the house? Based on the experience of those who have posted here, what do you all suggest is my best course of action? I am willing to do as much of this on my own, however, in the event I want to have someone do this, what would I be looking at for a potential estimate on cost? I am trying to prepare my home for selling in the next year, and I want to address this issue sooner rather than later. Any advice on this would be great.

    Thank you in advance.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,985
    Location:
    New England
    Post a picture to let us see what you have to work with.
  11. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    I have a vent pipe I may need to get rid of
    Bottom is PVC, top is PVC
    I need to tie into when the kitchen is renovated
    Sounds like some demo work will be done once warm weather gets here

    Thanks
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