Is a rotary hammer a viable alternative for trenching concrete slab?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ecmejcd, May 26, 2020.

  1. ecmejcd

    ecmejcd New Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    Twin Cities, MN
    Basement bathroom addition - requires about 12' of trenching into the slab for waste lines...

    Quote for concrete saw work was about $1700. It's not entirely about cost (though partially that), but the room is adjacent to areas very sensitive to dust and so I am wondering: would attempting to make these trenches in a very controlled way by drilling "dotted lines" with a rotary hammer (with dust collection) and breaking them out with the hammer in "chisel mode" be a realistic option?

    I have plenty of time and patience - more these than dollars - but didn't want to go down this path if it was basically an idiot move ;)

    Has anyone experience with trenching a slab this way?

  2. Martin Boring

    Martin Boring In the Trades

    May 9, 2020
    Malcolm Ne.
    It can be done and I did it years ago. I wouldn't ever do it again. It just didn't look nice when the job was done as the floor was going to be left in concrete only. Later flooring was installed so it got covered up. Did you check on renting a saw? No matter how you do it you better put up a lot of plastic and get that room you don't want the dust in sealed up real good.
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

  4. Plumbs

    Plumbs In the Trades

    Oct 16, 2019
    If the job is done properly, by OSHA regulations, there should not be much dust. I use a jackhammer on jobs like yours, or a hammer drill if in a confined space, and hook up to a HEPA dust extractor. I don't even have to put up plastic anymore.
    I'd recommend looking into renting one with the appropriate attachment for the jackhammer. It will be done in a matter of hours versus days with the method you propose.
  5. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

    Jun 20, 2014
    Prince Rupert, British Columbia
    Rent a concrete saw and do it in a 10th of the time
  6. ecmejcd

    ecmejcd New Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks folks!

    The slab will be covered with finished flooring so I'm not worried about aesthetics. I appreciate the comments about renting a saw and just being done with it; I should have added that there are a few areas where precision would be useful and I don't think I can maneuver a 12-14" concrete saw, so there's also that. Like I said, I have the time so the tortoise pace is okay by me (I say this now; hindsight may well kick my *** of course!)

    I read a saying once: "Remember: you're building a house, not furniture." But honestly, I tend to build furniture; I'm fussy like that.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share thoughts.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    A concrete wet saw right? And have someone with a wet vac to suck up the slurry. Then hook the saw to a garden hose. No dust and clean cuts. And yes, there is always a few spots for a sledge hammer.
Similar Threads: rotary hammer
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Water Hammer Clothes Washer Saturday at 5:19 PM
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Water hammer Sep 7, 2021
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice New case of water hammer when we flush the toilet Aug 25, 2021
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Do I need water hammer arrestors? Aug 21, 2021
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Water hammer caused by hot water circulator pump sensor valve Aug 18, 2021

Share This Page