Hello. I'm getting ready to scrap the old heating system in my 1900
Philadelphia house. It consists of an oil-burning converted coal furnace
with an added B&G pump feeding through 2-inch and 2 1/2-inch cast-iron
mains and returns to 1 inch for cast-iron radiators and 3/4-inch copper for
one room of baseboard radiators. I plan to repipe the mains with 1-inch
and/or 3/4-inch copper, with appropriate tees and a couple of zone valves.
I've got a Viessmann mid-efficiency gas boiler ready to go.
Now my question (but if anyone wants to throw in any other advice, that's
fine). Is there any way to remove the old cast-iron pipe without
demolishing it? I thought I might be able to loosen the threaded fittings
once I removed some copper ends, but no dice so far. Propane heat on the
joints appears to make no difference. I've got a metal cutting blade for my
circular saw and a 4-inch angle grinder with metal-cutting wheels, so
that's my fall-back option. But I figure someone might want this pipe, so
if I can leave it usable, that's my preference.
While I appreciate your desire to not destroy functioning pipe, nobody is
going to want it for anything beyond fenceposts or maybe garden irrigation.
No professional plumber would reuse stock that old. IOW, it's scrap metal at
this point. One of the TV remodeling shows showed something called a 'soil
stack cutter', a chain based tubing cutter for 4-8 inch drain stacks. But as
small as your pipes are, I'd use a smoke wrench, angle grinder, or sawzall.
Unless you have someone lined up that wants the pipe, I'd go ahead and cut
it into 4-foot sticks for convenient handling, keep it seperated by flavor,
and just take it straight to your local scrap brokers. I presume you have
already verified the lack of or removed any asbestos? If scrap yard sees
white powder, they will turn you away. Silly, but in todays world, they have
little business choice.
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