View Full Version : concrete demo

11-22-2008, 09:23 AM
Hello, I was sent here from the John Bridge tile forum and here is my question. I'm going to be starting a full bathroom remodel in my basement which will require the relocation of my shower and toilet drains for the desired layout. This will involve breaking up the slab in part of the bathroom and more or less moving each drain about a foot in one direction as well as replacing the shower drain with a pan liner type drain assembly. I'm a little concerned about the process of using a jackhammer to loosen the concrete because I know that my toilet drain from the upper level bathroom runs down behind this bathroom and into the slab in the same general area that I'll be demoing. In other words I don't want to destroy the plumbing for my other bathrooms and render them useless. Any advice for making this process as painless as possible would be greatly appreciated. Also, once all the concrete and dirt are removed, is the drain relocation something the average fairly skilled do it your selfer would be able to accomplish on his own with with advice from people on this forum?

Thank You,


11-22-2008, 09:28 AM
I don't like to Jackhammer in a basement, aside from the pounding the concrete takes, the dust in the air, and the rough edges to pour back to.

I prefer to hire out a contractor with a diamond blade wet saw.
Nice clean cuts, no dust, they bring the tools with them, no need to pick up a rental and return the rental.

Without seeing what is in the ground, saying it will be easy is premature.
It may be, or not.
A picture will tell us soon enough.

Here is a nice link

11-22-2008, 10:07 AM
Terry, Thanks for the quick reply. The section of concrete that needs to be broken up is only about 2'X4' and in the corner of the bathroom since the drains are only being moved a short distance. As far as hiring a contractor to do this, I would love to but it's simply not in the budget. I planned on using a diamond blade on a grinder to make a nice strait cut around the perimeter and then using the jackhammer to demo inside that perimeter hopefully leaving a nice even 2'X4' area that needs to be repoured. I'm just concerned about cracking or breaking the pipes in this process. Perhaps my proposed methods are simply unrealistic and other methods should be used although I'm quite determined to research this and do this demo work myself. Once I get inside the floor, if the plumbing seams beyond my capability, Then I'll get a plumber in to rework the drains.


11-22-2008, 10:09 AM
There are ways to use a jackhammer without it dropping into the ground.
You hold it up and don't let it drop. You can lay it on one leg while hammering. Really.
Have you priced a rental on a 60 pound electric jackhammer?
Or you can just use a sledgehammer too.

master plumber mark
11-22-2008, 03:01 PM
go get a Bosch rotary hammer with a 1/2 drill bit....

take and drill a series of holes where you want the
line or edje to be. along a line...

then basically pepper a one foot areawith a good number of holes....

then you got to basically he-man the floor with a good size chisel and a hand type sledge hammer.

start in one of the holes you drilled and break it up from there...

once you have pounded your way through to underneath the concrete all you have to do is tunnel your way under the gravel and then break it out from above....

as long as the concrete is not much more than 3-4 inches
thick , it wont be too difficult



11-22-2008, 05:08 PM
Very few drains are close enough to the surface to be damaged by a jackhammer. The more serious problem is your lack of experience and belief that all you need are a few E-mail type messages and you will be a plumber. There are serious issues when you install plumbing in a basement BENEATH another bathroom, and all the replies in the world may not help you avoid them, since we are not there to see the actual situation.

11-22-2008, 05:57 PM
I see your point but don't plan on using this forum as a crash course in how to become a plumber. My main concern is removing part of the slab in a controlled way so as not to damage the plumbing and the slab. I will then take pics and post them on this forum. If the job is not within my capabilities I will gladly call a plumber. This is a Plumbing and Remodel DIY Advice Forum isn't it? It says that at the top of the page anyway.