Is there a way to cut through concrete slab without making a mess?

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I am exploring cutting a 36"x36" hole through the 8" concrete slab in my kitchen to access a sewer line for repair.
Called a few concrete contractors and one told me he will use a jackhammer to punch the hole (cost $300) and the other told me he will use a saw (cost $500). The jackhammer will probably spray dust in all directions and shake loose some copper pipes in walls. The saw will make a clean cut according to the contractor but he told me "imagine starting a motor cycle immersed in a mud puddle"...this does not sound promising. Is there a way to do this to minimize dust and mess? I am willing to pay a bit more for a cleaner procedure.
Also, if they use a saw, does it mean it is a big mean machine they will move from my door to the kitchen and along the way it may scratch the tiles along it's path?
Thanks,
MC
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Did either contractor talk about dust partitions? TB
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No. What is a dust partition? Both of them told me if I need to minimize mess I need to do something myself.
MC

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On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 22:29:38 -0400, "miamicuse"

Been there. Worst plumbing job I had was when I replaced cast iron DWV in a laundromat w/concrete floor. Had to dig a ditch. Hired a helper and used two jackhammers. Couldn't fool around - had to get the job done.
A 90 lb hammer is definitely faster, because you ain't taking a 3x3 foot slab out in one piece, anyway. The hammer on the concrete, and acetylene on the rebar. There is going to be dust. Wet saw will minimize the airborne dust, but will make much mud. Very messy, and worse to clean up.
Yes, they should hang dust curtains and use positive ventilation. This keeps the mess in the work area.
Of course, you could chisel it out by hand... ;->
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-john
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There is no new technology to cut through concrete? No laser beam cutter or something along that line?
MC
wrote:

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Nasa might help you on that one...
Or maybe the DOD has a satellite for that... Just give them the GPS position.... LOL
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In alt.home.repair on 28 Jul 2005 09:18:35 -0700 snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com posted:

Don't worry about the ceiling and the roof. They can go right through that. (You can patch it later.)
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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miamicuse wrote:

Sorry, those are in the weapons of mass destruction catagory; i.e., nonexistent.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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wrote:

Heck, if that's the case, just contact Osama and tell him to drop a bomb in your kitchen :)
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Jez you guys are brutal...
MC
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Yes, there is, it is called a plasma torch. About 10 feet long with intense flames coming out the end. It is used in demolition to slice through concrete and steel. Not much good for a 3 foot square in the middle of a finished room though!
wrote:

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More commonly known as a "burning bar" or "oxygen lance."
BTW, plasma will not cut concrete.
Steve
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If this structure was built as a residence then I will bet that the floor is 4 inches max. Last time my plumbing leaked under the floor I got some fiber and diamond blades for my "crappy" circular saw. I call it crappy cause I only use it for crappy jobs. Kept the area damp which helped hold down the dust. Took most of Saturday to get though enough that the 16 pound sledge could do the rest. Any way you go there is going to be a mess.
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I cut a trench in my house to house an electrical conduit to service an outlet in the middle of the room. I built a small dust partition using 2x4's and visqueen that covered up the immediate area to be cut. I cut a slit in the visqueen for my hand and put the circular saw inside this "house" if you will. It was slow going and needless to say, quite a bit of dust still escaped. Overall however, I think I did reduce the dust by a significant amount. I let it all settle and then gave the room a good clean up. Not sure if you can do the same but rather than dragging an oil leaking, noisy, heavy jackhammer in, I'd sure consider cutting with a dry blade. Cheers, cc

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In alt.home.repair on Wed, 27 Jul 2005 22:29:38 -0400 "miamicuse"

Not saying this is good but it's better than nothin'. When I sanded my parquet floors, I put an old 21? inch fan in the window, and left it running all the time, including after I stopped. The goal was to get the air out before the dust settled. About an hour after I finished, the fan "sputtered" to a stop, never to work again. Worked out perfectly.
(Another time I was trying to fix a 4HP outboard motor, in the bathtub. Put a 21? inch fan in the window and a big fan in the doorway, both blowing in the same direction of course. It still only took 20 seconds for the room to fill with smoke, but that was better than the 10 seconds I got otherwise.)

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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wrote:

An oxygen - iron "burning bar" torch will melt concrete. This was one way of cutting marble in a quarry. You can see one in action by renting the old James Caan Movie "Thief". It probably creates more problems than mere "dust" however.
Beachcomber
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Neither sounds like a good option. The saw will be a neater cut, but still a mess. Are you sure it is 8" thick? If it is less, like 3 or 4", you can score the outside perimeter with a circular saw and abrasive blade and then break out the center. Heavy hard work though, but a little more controllable on the dust flying compared tot he big machines. Still a mess.
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The plans in the city says 8". I am not positively sure. Probably will run into rebars?
MC

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miamicuse wrote:

If you want to check the thickness you can drill a hole through the sab with a masonry bit. A metal detecting stud finder would probably find rebar. If not rebar, it might have steel mesh (probably not the right word) maybe #12 wire on 6" centers at 90 with welded crossings.
Bud--
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miamicuse wrote:

If you're in FL (likely with that monniker) and you have an 8" thick slab, you may have a post-tensioned slab. You do NOT want to go cutting into that slab willy-nilly.
This from a post a few years ago by DanC:
Dan      Jul 2 2003, 2:13 pm show options Newsgroups: alt.building.construction
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 11:27:07 -0700
You damn well better believe there's a reason NOT TO CUT OR DRILL! Depending on the design specs, PT cables can have as little as a few hundred pounds of tension on them or as much as hundreds of thousands of pounds of tension on them. PT cables are as inherent to the structural strength of the slab as is the concrete. While you 'MAY' not see a catastrophic failure by accidentally cutting a single cable, you will suffer some design deficiency that may eventually lead to catastrophic failure. Think of that cable as a big rubber band that's stretched to about maximum and then cut. What happens to the rubber band, other then it's cut? Uncontrolled release of energy! If you've ever seen those 40~ 80 foot post tensioned concrete beams being transported down the highways, you'll notice they usually have camber in them. (Humped up) Your slab is much the same way. It's a somewhat common practice in multi storied structural steel framed buildings utilizing pan slabs.
Were this my house, those doing the work would get & have an engineered design drawing detailing EXACTLY the procedures required to undertake this. None of that freelance BS and shoot from the hip. You haven't lived till you've seen a slab or beam blow apart while undergoing PT. Can you say concrete missiles? (although it is rare)
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