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Thread: Cut & Jack Hammer Basement Slab

  1. #1
    DIY Member Dan Pick's Avatar
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    Default Cut & Jack Hammer Basement Slab

    In my basement I need to cut and jack hammer about 10' of 4" concrete slab to replace 50 year old CI drain pipe. It is all gray water from the kitchen and laundry that comes over to the drain pit under the basement bath tub. In the process of converting/remodeling basement bath I removed old enamaled steel tub. This is when I noticed black pea gravel and foul musty smell from leaking/broken drain line. The connection at the bath tub drain was a banded coupling to black ABS drain pipe (ABS must have been added later after initial house construction since I can see where the floor has been cut and patched before).

    My questions:

    Rent diamond saw and electric jack hammer?

    Could I just use a diamond blade in a portable circular saw?

    Build a tent to encapsulate dust from both operations?

    Score concrete or cut it all the way through completely?

    Use PVC pipe or continue with ABS?

    I don't see ABS pipe at the "Big Box" stores, any reason?

    Thanks, Dan

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Exclamation it all sounds about right

    saw cutting that floor makes one a hell of a mess.....

    the tent is a great idea.....but you got to breathe too..


    also having someone saw cut the floor for you
    is not as expensive
    as you might think...
    and having them cut it all the way through
    is always best....


    I would make sure that their are no surprizes
    in the concrete that might get you shocked,

    the sch40 pvc is what is supposed to be used in the
    slab floors...

    it all brings back fond memories
    that I would rather forget.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Dan Pick's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Mark,

    Do you recommend anyone in the Indy area to cut and jack hammer the floor?

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    I would find a contractor that uses a "wet saw"

    No dust
    Clean cuts
    Less noise

    The ones I use have all the hand and power tools too.
    They have me work the wet vac, while they cut.

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default like cutting clay

    i wish every cut i ever made was with a wet saw.

    The dust is bad, when dry cut. Dangerous little particles that float everywhere. No tent will hold them in.

    david

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking concrete guys

    I was not aware you were from Indy....

    I have gotten away with bloody murder before with

    CAPITOL CONCRETE ......

    they did great jobs for me back in my
    more commercial days....

    look in the yellow pages..

    and dont be ashamed to ask them what they will tear
    it out and carry it all away for you would cost.......

    its not that much ....







  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    It sounds like ABS is not permitted in some localities, but it is OK in others. If it's not available in your area, it probably because local codes don't allow it. Just use Schedule 80 PVC. I've broken out concrete in my basement and it is not a job I'd do again. Concrete dust get into everything including your lungs. Hire the pros for this. If you were outside, it might not be so bad.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default abs

    Whether an area has ABS or PVC depends on the preference of the plumbing contractors. If they prefer and use one or the other, that is what the stores will start to carry and concentrate on. Here you have to hunt very diligently to find any kind of PVC drain pipe and fittings.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Default

    Interesting variation. My last house (built 1981) and my current (built 1984) were plumbed with ABS dwv, but I can't find it locally anymore. I was trying to get a trap I could solvent weld directly to the existing, but settled for a Proflex connection.

    When I looked at Charlotte Pipe's list prices, ABS was roughly 1/3 more expensive than PVC. That, with ABS's tendency to age less well than PVC, makes PVC a no-brainer for new installations if local code allows both.

    I do wish the local suppliers would stock small quantities of common ABS fittings for repair work.

  10. #10

    Default

    I used an electric jackhammer and a dry diamond blade saw and a tent.
    Problem with wet saws is they're gas powered, so yr not supposed to use in basement without ventilation. (Edit: I was unable to find a rentable electric wet saw)

    The dust was so bad in my tent, I could only cut 4" at a time before I couldn't see. Would have to wait for the 'dust to settle' and then carry on. Plus, a little leaked out, and got ALL OVER THE rest of the house. Concrete dust is the nastiest stuff. I think I could hear it laughing in my ducts for hours after.

    I scored and then then broke the rest with a demo hammer. One hell of a workout.

    I couldn't find anyone to come and do the concrete work at a reasonable price.

    If I had to do it again, I'd:

    1) Rent a gas powered, walk-behind, wet diamond blade saw.
    2) Rent an industrial sized air mover and mount it to my basement window to blow out. Open all the windows in the basement. Probably overkill, but I'd work a few mins at a time, to minimize CO build up.
    3) Rent the Bosch yellow jack hammer.
    Last edited by prashster; 02-19-2007 at 10:41 AM.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  11. #11
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default Wet and electric.

    electric wet saws come with a long cord so you can get 20 amps from the kitchen range.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Most places have electric wet saws. The Dryer or the range is a good place to plug in.
    With a wet saw, there is no dust.

    You aren't pounding away at the concrete either.

    When I had to have concrete cut in supermarkets, we could cut about 80 feet of trench in a few hours.
    We stacked the concrete in the parking lot with a "free" sign, and it would be gone before the day was over.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-19-2007 at 09:41 AM.

  13. #13
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Default

    For small stuff (home jobs), I have used a regular circular saw with a diamond blade and a pump sprayer (like for lawn spray).
    No dust, very quick, easy cleanup, 120V power requirement.
    Only drawback - you have to be on your knees to do the cutting and have a wet-vac to clean up the slurry as you go (every couple feet)...

  14. #14
    DIY Member Dan Pick's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all the great advice, guys!

    I decided to have a few "Concrete Cutting Contractors" give me an estimate this week. Two of the local contractors can do the whole job. Diamond wet cutting, concrete removal, and repour concrete after I replace the drain line.

    I'll keep you posted on the estimates for 11 feet of 12 wide trench in 4 inch slab. I assume a 12" wide trench is adequate for removal of a 2" CI drain line and installation of 2" PVC line?

    I think these estimates will be my deciding factor as to wether I rent equipment and do it myself or hire it done.

  15. #15
    DIY Member Dan Pick's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prashster
    I used an electric jackhammer and a dry diamond blade saw and a tent.
    Problem with wet saws is they're gas powered, so yr not supposed to use in basement without ventilation. (Edit: I was unable to find a rentable electric wet saw)

    The dust was so bad in my tent, I could only cut 4" at a time before I couldn't see. Would have to wait for the 'dust to settle' and then carry on. Plus, a little leaked out, and got ALL OVER THE rest of the house. Concrete dust is the nastiest stuff. I think I could hear it laughing in my ducts for hours after.

    I scored and then then broke the rest with a demo hammer. One hell of a workout.

    I couldn't find anyone to come and do the concrete work at a reasonable price.

    If I had to do it again, I'd:

    1) Rent a gas powered, walk-behind, wet diamond blade saw.
    2) Rent an industrial sized air mover and mount it to my basement window to blow out. Open all the windows in the basement. Probably overkill, but I'd work a few mins at a time, to minimize CO build up.
    3) Rent the Bosch yellow jack hammer.

    Thanks for the laugh! I was almost in tears telling about cutting inside the tent, and when I started I thought this was the perfect solution to dust....

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