Okay, this is a goofy question.
Has anyone ever tried cutting or sawing the inside tank of an electric hot
water heater in half?
I took an old electric hot water heater apart and I am left with just the
steel inside tank. I am thinking about cutting it in half by using a
circular saw with a metal-cutting blade and cutting it around the middle.
Mostly I am just thinking that it will be easier to lug each half out of the
basement, and it will be easier for the trash guys to pick up and discard if
I cut it in half.
I know, I have way too much free time on my hands. But, seriously, I am
curious if anyone has ever tried this and, if so, how hard it was to cut in
If you are hell-bent on cutting it in half, use a reciprocating saw
(Saw-zall) not a circular saw. Less metal dust and cheaper blades.
But as was suggested - just get some help and carry it out in one piece.
The bulk pickup guys pick these up for a living.
On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 22:25:55 -0600, Richard J Kinch
I wish I'd thought of that. I cut one in half last year, but did it
so I ended up with two open topped cylinders.
Cutting the long way would have been tricky, but it would have made a
I used a plywood blade in my circular saw. When I first read of that
method of cutting steel I was doubtful, but I've cut 50-60' of heavy
gauge steel with it and it's black & ugly now, but still does the
trick. [and it wouldn't cut plywood when I started.]
I don't think I'd perform that operation in the basement, though.
If I really had to cut it in half there, I'd use cutting oil and metal
blades in a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.
As others have said, it is easy to move one once it is empty. I
removed mine from the basement by myelf. If you really want to cut it
up, that is also easy, simple and cheap. I did it to make a watering
Sabre saw and metal cutting blade. I think I busted one blade, the
other is still useable. It is a NOISY operation but no dust to worry
about, only the cuttings to clean up. My total cut was two
lenghthwise and 2 1/3 way around each end, time about 10 minutes. You
can also use a cutting torch but need really good ventilation (see
As for making a barbecue - don't do it. Galvanized plus barbecue
temps equal poison gas. You might be able to burn it off before
useing it but I wouldn't try it.
I removed a thirty gallon tank which was twenty some years old in an area of
fairly hard water. It must have weighed two hundred pounds or more from all
the sediment built up in it over the years! I got it out of the basement
myself but nearly busted a gut doing so. New tank felt ten times lighter.
Would surely get some help next time and try the "pipe handle" solution
given earlier or try cutting.
Thanks for all of the comments and ideas.
I was mostly trying to get an idea about how thick the steel is on the tank
and how hard it is to cut. Based on the comments from those who actually
cut a hot water tank in the past, it seems like the cutting process is not
The tank is at someone else's house, so the next time I go there I think
I'll bring both types of saws and take a try at it -- mostly out of
curiosity. I know I can always just get someone to help me carry it out,
and that might be what I end up doing.
That is why there are junk guys. I hired a company to get rid of my old
chicken coop, and the routine was "anything that 2 guys can carry, and
you pay by the qtr truckload". In my case it was a half truck load
I cut mine accross the top, down one side and accross the bottom and
spread it open like a clamshell and used it as a covered pig feeder
several years ago when we raised 5 hogs for ourselves and family.
I used a Milwaukee Sawzall with a metal cutting blade. Only took one
blade. Maybe an eighth inch thick at the thickest. Needless to say use
eye and ear protection.
I was an installer for several years and if a plumber comes into your
house and doesn't take his waste with him. Well that just ain't right!
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