How to Cut Cast Iron Sewer Pipe

If you live in an old house, most of your sewage system is probably composed of cast-iron sewer pipes. This isn’t really a problem — until your pipes become rusted or damaged and need to be replaced. Fortunately, if you’re handy with tools, you don’t have to worry since there is several equipment you can use to cut these pipes and prepare them for replacement. Some of these include:

1. Hacksaws

If you have a good, old-fashioned hacksaw, you can use it to cut your cast-iron pipes. But keep this in mind: using this tool requires you to exert maximum effort and can result to a lot of hard work. It also takes a substantial amount of time, especially if you have several pipes to cut. So, unless you have plenty of hours and energy to spare, it’s probably best not to use this tool.

2. Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating saws make cutting cast-iron pipes a breeze so, if you have one, make sure to use it. Before doing anything else, though, install a long cutting blade into your saw. Choose either a diamond grit blade or a carbide grit one to ensure it will easily cut through your pipes; both of these products can be easily found in large hardware stores.

Once you’ve installed the blade, take your pipe and mark the portion that you need to cut with a piece of chalk. Since this will be your guide when cutting with your saw, make sure the mark is straight so you’ll end up with a pipe with smooth edges. Once you’re done, take your reciprocating saw, set it at the lowest speed, and follow the chalk line to cut your pipe.

3. Circular Saws

Like reciprocating saws, circular saws let you cut cast-iron sewer pipes in a quick and less stressful way. However, don’t just use any kind of blade with your saw; instead, look for a diamond blade that’s specially designed to cut through cast-iron items. By using this, you can make a clean cut and ensure your pipe will have smooth edges.

4. Snap Cutters

This is probably the best tool to use for cutting cast-iron pipes since it lets you do the job in a relatively quick and easy way and create smooth, even edges. Unfortunately, snap cutters can be on the pricey side so, if your budget is limited and/or you don’t see yourself using the tool again in the future, it’s better to rent one from a reputable dealer.

Snap cutters essentially look like scissors with a roller chain in place of blades and a ratchet for a handle. Place the chain around the pipe and apply pressure on the ratchet to cut the pipe.

These are some of the tools you can use to cut your old cast-iron sewer pipes. Whichever you choose, make sure to use it carefully to avoid injuries. Also, remember that cast-iron is a heavy material, so handle it with care. To avoid injuries, it’s best to have another person assist you during the process and to use clamps to support the pipe and keep it steady as you cut it.

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