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Thread: what type of pipe do i have

  1. #1

    Cool what type of pipe do i have

    hello, replacing part of a vent and drainage pipes connected to it.how can i tell if the pipe is cast iron or galvanized.it is a 1950 s home.tried cutting the vent pipe with a blade that is meant for cast iron.wont cut it.used a metal blade and it did cut it.the pipe looks like steel but it is not grey.drainage pipe is the same material but it is hub and spigot connections.can a system have both types of pipes connected to each other.thanks jvl

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipes

    Galvanized/steel pipes are silver colored. Mixing steel and cast iron was the normal way to install the piping in the "old" days. The larger sizes were cast iron and the 2" lines were either steel or cast iron depending on the complexity of the system and 1 1/2" were usually steel.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    What size pipe is it???

    Generally galv. pipe was used on 2" and smaller pipe while 3+4" was ci. both should be about the same OD.

  4. #4

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    the pipe size is 2"

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Galvanized steel joints are made by threading the pipe and screwing it into fittings. Cast iron is joined with molten lead and Oakum which requires a fairly obvious flared hub. It should be very obvious by looking at the joints what kind of pipe you have. If you still can't tell, you may be into something beyond you abilities and really should bring in a professional.

  6. #6

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    Most likely you have cast iron. I am redoing my DWV system where the old had cast iron and steel combination. Lenox makes a decent sawzall carbide blade (around $20 for two) that works well and they also make a diamond blade ($23 ea )that works even better, it is very time comsuming. Keep your blade cool with water helps it cut faster and last longer. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you have room to wrap around a snap cutter, it's MUCH faster. Could be risky if the pipes are really old, since they sometimes don't snap cleanly and crush instead, but if they do, it may not be the best idea to leave them in anyways. Does NOT work on galvanized.

    Last edited by Terry; 01-14-2009 at 09:47 AM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8

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    just finished the job replaced vent piping,wye combo,sanitary tee,30 feet of 2"' drain pipe,plus fixture drain.that 2" pipe is diffently gal/steel that runs into hub and spigot that it appears to be caulked/glued. there seems not be lead or oakum joint.could a galvanized/steel hub/spigot ever been made or could a galvanized /steel drain pipe fit into a cast iron hub/spigot?going to see a engineer/contractor saturday to show him what i have.thanks gary

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    A plumber may be less $$$ than an engineer...then again ...

  10. #10

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    very close friend,no charge,he has been a building inspector for 13 years,a contractor for 10 years,a teacher for 14 years,engineer for ?i am going to break apart the fittings.remember this is the work of a plumber who didnt understand the 1/4" per foot drop for piping.

  11. #11
    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    In my house i replaced 3 main stacks, 2 of which were 4" galvanized, the other was cast iron. The fittings, and couplings were HUGE 4" threaded.
    I had to cut those pipes, what i learned here was slow speed on the sawzall, lots of blades, and someone spraying spray lube on the blade while cutting....that last one was the magic.

    I guess the 4" galvanized was not common, but my local old school plumbing house owner was familiar with it, can't remember what he called it, but he had a name for that type of DWV system.

  12. #12
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvl View Post
    remember this is the work of a plumber who didnt understand the 1/4" per foot drop for piping.

    Or a house that settled..I have seen that...

  13. #13

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    rmelo99,thanks for the info.i am going to cut the fittings off the gal pipe to see if it is threaded or not.the settling of the house could be but the fixture drain was pitched back towards the trap and not towards the san.tee and the drain pipe right below it was pitched 3/8" per foot toward the main drain running along the same run.thanks

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    A diamond blade in an angle grinder cuts very fast!

  15. #15

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    diamond blade cuts thru gal.steel?

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