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Thread: Cut & Jack Hammer Basement Slab

  1. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Pick
    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.

    12" is plenty of width for your project.

    If you do DIY, make sure any HVAC is shut OFF. The dust will kill the blower motor in short order. Better yet, isolate the furnace from the area to be cut if possible.

    Unless you rent an industrial wetsaw, this will likely end up being a two person job to keep things like dust under control.

    Good luck.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member clifforddog1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I just broke up my basement floor today, with electric jack hammer, it broke up easily and way less dust than a stone saw. I own a stone saw and wouldn't think of running it inside, there would be a ton of dust. I use a full gas/dust mask outside.


  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Northern VA.


    I was going to say the same thing....why not skip the cutting and just use an electric jack hammer. Once you get a hole going it is very easy to take it any direction you want. A wet saw inside a house is going to make a big mess also. I'd skip the sawing all together.

  4. #19
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    The wet sawing I've been a part of has been the cleanest way to go.
    It's done with a wet vac, and it is "very" clean.

    You can rent a elec jack hammer too, it will have some dust, it will pound the nearby concrete, thereby weaking it some, and will leave rough edges that are hard to pour too.

    If it's my job, it's going to be a wet saw and vac.

  5. #20


    I'd use both. You risk overbreaking the slab if you just jack.

    If you just cut, you still have to break down the pieces so you can transport them out. A sledge or demo hammer are cheaper than a jack but will give you an upperbody workout.

    Personally, think it's worth it to bust up the concrete into small enough pieces that can be used as aggregate filler in the trench once your pipes are laid. It'll save you many bags of concrete, minimizes waste, and minimizes trips up the stairs hauling 5g buckets of rock.

    I was surprised at the volume of rock. Felt like I was in 5000BC Egypt building a pyramid for a pharoh (read, wife)
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    NY Capital District


    For those who will not be swayed from dry cutting in a "tent"...

    Running a shop vac (with fine particles disposable bag installed) with the hose inside the tent and exhaust outside it will help control dust spread by creating an air pressure differential....

    I'd still go with wet.

  7. #22


    Keep in mind no matter how it's done - in a basement with no walk-out, it's gonna be a real workout. In many ways. The cart, jackhammer and bits alone weigh close to a hundred pounds. Lugging that down 15 steps or so is just the beginning and then it's the end and a heavy one at that!

    The amount of rubble left over is staggering to first-timers. Often, you can dump it in the crawl space or at least some it. I prefer to use clean gravel when closing the trench.

    As someone else noted, the first cut with a diamond saw will give a clean break at least on the top where it counts.

    One other tip, you might find that the slab varies in depth. Usually due to slope towards a floor drain. The farther from the drain, often the thickest part of the concrete. And the most work!

    Have fun!

  8. #23
    DIY Member Dan Pick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Speedway, IN


    Had 2 local contractors in this week for estimates. They both planned on wet cutting and cross cutting in lieu of a jack hammer. They both quoted to diamond cut wet, cross cut, remove debris and repour after new pipe was installed. There estimates were for an 12" wide by 11' trench and cleaning up the edges of the drain pit was $600.00 and $943.00. I'll keep you posted and hopefully have a few pics to post soon.

  9. #24


    That sounds about par.

    If you realy don't want to DIY something, this would be a good one to have the pros handle.

    Your back will love you for it!

    Good luck.


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