How to Remove a Cast Iron Soil Pipe

Written by lisa wampler
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Cast-iron pipes run underground outside many old homes, removing waste from the homes' drainage system and sending it to the sewer system or leach bed. As cast iron ages, it becomes brittle and eventually cracks or crumbles. Newer homes have polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic pipe as the main drainage system. Changing the system to PVC requires removing the old cast-iron pipe from the ground. Although the process is laborious, it is not overly difficult for a do-it-yourself homeowner to complete.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Chalk lines
  • Circular saw
  • Masonry blade
  • Sledgehammer
  • Shovel
  • Cast-iron cutter

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  1. 1

    Locate the area in the basement where the cast-iron pipe goes into the ground and then through a wall, exiting to the sewer system.

  2. 2

    Snap two chalk lines 12 inches apart on the basement's concrete floor over the pipe. This procedure isn't necessary If the basement has a soil floor.

  3. 3

    Remove material that covers the pipe in the basement. Cut concrete floor with a circular saw equipped with a masonry blade. Set the blade slightly deeper than 2 inches. Break the concrete with a sledgehammer, and remove it from the area.

    Excavate the gravel and soil from around the pipe until you can access all sides of the pipe.

  4. 4

    Wrap the chain of a cast-iron pipe cutter around one end of the pipe where you want to cut the pipe, and then attach the chain to the hook on the cutter's cover. Ratchet the cutter's handle until the pipe snaps. Repeat the process at the other end of the pipe. If you must remove the pipe by yourself, cut it into manageable sections.

  5. 5

    Lift the pipe out of the ground. Dispose of it in accordance with your area's regulations. Because the pipe transfers waste, special disposal requirements probably apply.

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