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 Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: mtovar (TX)

I am wanting to tap into a 4" Cast Iron Drain pipe. This is the waste stack and I am wanting to cut and install a boot and plastic "T" for a 1 1/2" new drain. I can install pvc from that point and go up through the roof with pvc. Is it possible to cut into the Cast Iron with a reciprocating saw or would I need to rental a chain cutter?

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: J Garrick (WA)

You can use a recip. saw and metal blades to cut cast iron pipe. You will go through a few blades though. Also, if your recip. saw has a non-recip. setting, use it without reciprocation. Good Luck

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: packy (MA)

brace the stack really well above and below the cuts. some codes call for a cast iron fitting to be installed and transition to plastic from there.
looks like this only the branch is reduced
[#$%&]

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: redwood (CT)

Is there any drains above the floor where you are putting the tee in? Or, is it a vent stack?

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: muck (MA)

a grinder will go through a lot faster than a sawzall would

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: hj (AZ)

Recip is an in and out motion. What good would a reciprocating saw be if the blade does not move in and out? Possibly you mean oscillation. There are different grades of cast iron depending on the amount of slag in it. Some will cut easily, others will be as hard as glass and will wear out a blade without even making a dent in the surface.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: redwood (CT)

I had a sawzall stop reciprocating once... Then I got a new one. the old one worked as good as a blade with no teeth!

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: hj (AZ)

Sort of like the guy who couldn't even cut one tree a day with a chain saw, but was startled by the noise when the service man started it up.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: ericsandstone (MD)

I would prefer to use a rachet type pipe cutter in this application.

The type with a drive screw which is driven by turning a socket wrench...easy to use.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: sandyman720 (NJ)

I could not use a chain cutter since my pipe was too close to the wall. I tried a recip. saw and it did nothing. I ended up using an angle grinder and it was cake.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: hj (AZ)

You must have had to do some gyrations unless the wheel was large enough to penetrate the entire pipe from the front side. A small grinder would also need room behind the pipe, or make a window on the front that the grinder would fit into.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: mtovar (TX)

There are no drains above the point where I am putting in the drain.
The reason I am going with a new pvc 1 1/2 drain tap is that the existing 2" cast iron pipe is constantly clogged. Tried everything from acid to a drill powered snake and it will be ok for a while but then it gets clogged again. Don't know if the pipe is rusted inside or there a roots growing into it. The existing 2" cast iron pipe looks ok from the outside but short of paying someone to video it, my next solution was to take a new 1 1/2 pvc tap (which is only about 36" inches from the main stack)and run it about 6" off the floor and abandon and cap the 2" cast iron tap. What do you think?

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: dlh (TX)

it would be better to use the 2" since it is larger. your snake was not big enough to do a proper job and you probably do have a problem with the cast iron after using acid!

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: davefoc (CA)

Cutting cast iron pipe is something I have to do quite often as part of the maintenance of the old building I own.

I agree with the folks that say a grinder is the way to go, although in most cases I end up having to use a reciprocating saw to finish because my grinder even when I put a 5 inch blade isn't big enough to cut through the pipe. I've experimented with putting a 7 inch blade on my 4 1/4 inch grinder, but it scares me. The blade is rated at 6,000 RPM and my grinder spins a lot faster than that.

I've thought about some of the ratchet things, but haven't used them because they seem too costly for my occasional needs and I worry about them just destroying the 80 year old pipes that I'm trying to connect to. Am I wrong?

Does anybody have any favorite type of reciprocating saw blades for cutting cast iron pipe? I think, I've had best luck with Makita blades but I'm not careful enough to do an accurate test to determine which blades work best.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: redwood (CT)

Dave, As far as a reciprocating saw blade cutting cast, these Lenox Gold Blades will flat out Git-R-Done!

[www.lenoxsaw.com]



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: davefoc (CA)

Thanks for that advice Redwood. Do you have a TPI recommendation for the blades? Lenox has definitely sold a few more blades as a result of your comment. I just spend a half an hour in a very awkward position cutting through a pipe yesterday and I am up for anything that makes it faster. I had pretty much convinced myself that the next time I had to cut through cast iron pipe I was going to invest in a 7 inch grinder. The only thing that worries me a little about that is that the blade is a lot wider than the smaller grinder blades and it seems like it might take a lot more effort to get that larger blade through the pipe.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: redwood (CT)

The diamond will cut much faster but when you can't get it in there out comes Mr. Sawzall with a 14TPI Lenox Gold. I find it is pretty universal as it does well on cast, galv, or, plastic.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: davefoc (CA)

Interesting, you use your diamond grinder blade on cast iron? I use the diamond blades on stucco, cement and tile but I found it was kind of slow and messy going through even the brass toilet screws so I've never tried it on cast iron. I always use the ablative blades.

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 Re: Tapping into 4" Cast Iron Drain
Author: redwood (CT)

I learned it right here Dunbar set me up!

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