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Old 07-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #1
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How to cut black pipe?

I'm calling it black pipe but it's a couple of inches in diameter, feels like thick steel and is used for waste plumbing from the sink, basin and even vent pipes in my Sovereign. It's really seized in place and I don't fancy torch heating every joint and was going to try some reciprocating (Sawzall) time on it and thought maybe I should see if there's a better way? I'm pretty excited to get all the pipe out and weigh it; theres an easy 20 feet of it so it must be tens of pounds! Any plumbing pro's about?
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
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Looks like cast iron pipe to me...I had to get rid of some in my wheel-less house and used a metal cutting blade in a reciprocating saw. Cut quickly and easily.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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awesome, I'm going to go get some quality blades and get at it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:13 PM   #4
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Your pipe is galvanized steel and the fittings are cast iron. Where possible, the fittings will break with a few good strong blows from a hammer. Once cracked, the pipe will come out of them. This will be difficult to achieve in tight spaces like the one in your photo.

You can get a special "ceramic" blade for your recip. saw to cut the cast iron parts. Looks like this:



The galvanized pipe can be cut with a good fine tooth metal blade on a recip saw. Plan it out so you make as few cuts as possible to get it all out.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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What a horrible job that was. I picked up a special $18 blade and had at it. Ten minutes later I got the sledge and lump hammer out. A combination of first removing all the kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity followed by judicious smashing with a lump hammer backed up with the sledge and it all started to come together. I couldn't bring myself to lie under the rear section and wield the hammer so I cut through the floor instead. I'll be putting a new floor on a new chassis so no big deal. The best news is I'm betting I took out over 100 lbs of pipe and joints!

I'll be weighing waste pipe, copper pipe etc and getting a base line for the rebuild.

Thanks for the tips :-)
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #6
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You can replace it with copper (expensive and cracks easily if water freezes in the traps), ABS (also can crack easily for same reason, but cheap), PVC (fairly cheap and doesn't crack as easily. PEX can be also used for drains, but is a lot more expensive than PVC and ABS because the fittings and the tools are expensive. It is forgiving of freezing. It is easier to thread around corners because it is flexible, but for drains it has to be supported a lot because it can sag and cause pooling of water—hard to split PEX, but it can be done. If you are careful to prevent sags, PEX may be a good answer.

I've used carbide tipped blades on a Sawzall and on a hacksaw. It'll cut through most anything metal if you can fit into the space. It can be hard to find them for a Sawzall sometimes. The photo above (#4) looks like a carbide blade, but I don't know what a "ceramic" blade is—made of ceramic or to cut ceramic? I understand your frustration when you can't get the blade into the space.

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Old 07-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Thanks Gene, I did the Overlander with PEX in and ABS out and will probably go with that again I'm pretty excited at the weight saving, 119 lbs cast and galvanized and 23 lbs copper. That's 142 lbs to replace with probably 20 lbs of PEX & ABS.
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