what type of pipe do i have

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jvl, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. jvl

    jvl New Member

    Messages:
    11
    hello, replacing part of a vent and drainage pipes connected to it.how can i tell if the pipe is cast iron or galvanized.it is a 1950 s home.tried cutting the vent pipe with a blade that is meant for cast iron.wont cut it.used a metal blade and it did cut it.the pipe looks like steel but it is not grey.drainage pipe is the same material but it is hub and spigot connections.can a system have both types of pipes connected to each other.thanks jvl
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipes

    Galvanized/steel pipes are silver colored. Mixing steel and cast iron was the normal way to install the piping in the "old" days. The larger sizes were cast iron and the 2" lines were either steel or cast iron depending on the complexity of the system and 1 1/2" were usually steel.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    What size pipe is it???

    Generally galv. pipe was used on 2" and smaller pipe while 3+4" was ci. both should be about the same OD.
  4. jvl

    jvl New Member

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    11
    the pipe size is 2"
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Galvanized steel joints are made by threading the pipe and screwing it into fittings. Cast iron is joined with molten lead and Oakum which requires a fairly obvious flared hub. It should be very obvious by looking at the joints what kind of pipe you have. If you still can't tell, you may be into something beyond you abilities and really should bring in a professional.
  6. trip-l-jax

    trip-l-jax New Member

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    13
    Most likely you have cast iron. I am redoing my DWV system where the old had cast iron and steel combination. Lenox makes a decent sawzall carbide blade (around $20 for two) that works well and they also make a diamond blade ($23 ea )that works even better, it is very time comsuming. Keep your blade cool with water helps it cut faster and last longer. Good Luck.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    If you have room to wrap around a snap cutter, it's MUCH faster. Could be risky if the pipes are really old, since they sometimes don't snap cleanly and crush instead, but if they do, it may not be the best idea to leave them in anyways. Does NOT work on galvanized.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  8. jvl

    jvl New Member

    Messages:
    11
    just finished the job replaced vent piping,wye combo,sanitary tee,30 feet of 2"' drain pipe,plus fixture drain.that 2" pipe is diffently gal/steel that runs into hub and spigot that it appears to be caulked/glued. there seems not be lead or oakum joint.could a galvanized/steel hub/spigot ever been made or could a galvanized /steel drain pipe fit into a cast iron hub/spigot?going to see a engineer/contractor saturday to show him what i have.thanks gary
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    A plumber may be less $$$ than an engineer...then again ...:)
  10. jvl

    jvl New Member

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    very close friend,no charge,he has been a building inspector for 13 years,a contractor for 10 years,a teacher for 14 years,engineer for ?i am going to break apart the fittings.remember this is the work of a plumber who didnt understand the 1/4" per foot drop for piping.
  11. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    In my house i replaced 3 main stacks, 2 of which were 4" galvanized, the other was cast iron. The fittings, and couplings were HUGE 4" threaded.
    I had to cut those pipes, what i learned here was slow speed on the sawzall, lots of blades, and someone spraying spray lube on the blade while cutting....that last one was the magic.

    I guess the 4" galvanized was not common, but my local old school plumbing house owner was familiar with it, can't remember what he called it, but he had a name for that type of DWV system.
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio

    Or a house that settled..I have seen that...
  13. jvl

    jvl New Member

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    11
    rmelo99,thanks for the info.i am going to cut the fittings off the gal pipe to see if it is threaded or not.the settling of the house could be but the fixture drain was pitched back towards the trap and not towards the san.tee and the drain pipe right below it was pitched 3/8" per foot toward the main drain running along the same run.thanks
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    A diamond blade in an angle grinder cuts very fast!
  15. jvl

    jvl New Member

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    11
    diamond blade cuts thru gal.steel?
  16. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    222
    Location:
    Ontario
    Diamond is not ideal for cutting ferrous metal. Carbon (diamond) will disolve in molten iron so the diamond abrasive will erode much more quickly than when cutting stone or whatnot. Personally I would use a cutoff wheel in a grinder. They're also cheap -- like me.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    For Cast Iron! For galv. use a Lennox gold blade! The Lennox Gold will also cut cast iron but not as fast as the diamond in the angle grinder.
  18. jvl

    jvl New Member

    Messages:
    11
    answer to above questions about the piping

    from the roof down to floor level ,the vent pipe is 2" galvanized.it then enters into a cast iron sanitary tee.also entering is a 1 1/2" copper fixture drain pipe that is threaded into the cast iron 2x2x11/2.coming out of sanitary is a short piece of galvanized that is connected to combo wye made of cast iron.horizontal clean out section is a combo cast iron and galvinized.existing from the other side of wye is a cast iron pipe 2"that enters into a galvinized hub that has a galvinized piping that enters into a santary tee made of cast iron.anybody ever seen this setup.how do i know because i dissected each piece that i removed and replaced.
  19. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wheel

    I have a diamond wheel that I have been using for months cutting steel and cast iron pipe, chains, and almost everything ferrous, but no tile. I have no idea what kind of connection you are referring to because your description is all over the place with little real detail. A picture would help. cast iron and steel were interchangeable and connections between the two were common.
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