I'm in the process or repiping my whole house with copper. During the
process in removing the iron pipes I've encountered a little problem under
the house in a tight crawl space. There are a few sections of existing iron
pipes where I wasn't able to remove with a 30" pipe wrench because of the
limited space (no leverage) to work with under the crawl space. There was
also a section where the pipe won't cooperate where I was able to crushed
the pipe with the pipe wrench but still couldn't back the thread out of the
coupling. Anyway I resorted to use my super sawzall (24 teeth bi-metal
blade) but that is slow going, about 5-10 minutes to cut through a 3/4"
pipe. Is there a better way to disassemble the iron pipes in a tight space
5-10 minutes per cut is way out of line. 24 tooth sounds like too fine
a blade, try down around 16. I can cut 3/4 pipe with a manual hacksaw
a lot faster than that.
Leave the pipe in place? I would unless it is in the way of the
not really, just make sure you have the appropriate blade. A general
purpose demolition blade won't last long, you need a fine toothed blade
for metal (24tpi sounds about right, so you should be ok). Buy a bunch
of blades, change them as soon as they start getting dull. Speaking
from experience, when in a tight space, you'll find yourself using only
about 1" of the blade and the teeth in that short section get worn off
very quickly. Otherwise, time and persistence are about all you need,
sorry - there's no easy solution that I've found yet for such a
Put a torch on it. Use care so you don't set the house on fire, but a
propane torch may loosen it enough to move it.
Alternative is to get a better blade. 3/4" pipe should not take more than a
minute or so.
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