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How to Remove Concrete Around a Waste Pipe in the Basement

Removing concrete from a basement floor for any reason can seem a daunting task for any DIY project. The material is difficult to cut through and even harder to break, but with the proper tools, you can get through the concrete around your basement waste pipe with a minimum amount of the slab removed and without breaking the pipe itself. The process is a dusty one though, so adequate ventilation and safety gear are required.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloths
  • Screwdriver
  • Chalk
  • Fans
  • Safety goggles
  • Respirator
  • Ear plugs
  • Work gloves
  • Demolition hammer with chisel attachment
  • Sledgehammer
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    • 1

      Remove anything mobile from the basement. Cover anything that remains with drop cloths to protect it from the dust that removing the concrete will kick up. Open all windows and doors to increase the ventilation. Place a fan in any basement windows to aid in ventilation as well. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying concrete chips, and a respirator to reduce inhalation of concrete dust.

    • 2

      Remove the drain cover leading to the pipe. Look inside to note the direction of the pipe from the opening at the side of the drain. You may need a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the cover in place; otherwise just unscrew the cover from the drainpipe. Mark the direction of the pipe with a piece of chalk on the concrete to avoid breaking it as you remove the concrete.

    • 3

      Insert a pair of earplugs and put on a pair of heavy work gloves.

    • 4

      Place a chisel attachment on the end of a demolition hammer. Hold the hammer in both hands and place the chisel on the concrete on the opposite side of the drain from the drawn chalk location of the pipeline, about 2 inches from the side of the cover. Press the trigger of the hammer and hold it firmly to the concrete floor as it drives into the concrete. Chip about 2 inches deep into the concrete, then reposition the chisel to create a line around the drain. Watch for the location of the pipe.

    • 5

      Chip through the concrete in 2-inch layers until you reach the top of the pipe, then chip around it until you reach the pipe base on both sides.

    • 6

      Follow the line of the pipe, chipping the concrete on both sides until you reach the wall.

    • 7

      Take a sledgehammer and strike the concrete above the pipe, breaking the concrete still covering the pipe body. Aim your strike against the chipped edge of the covering where the concrete is weakest. Continue down the line of concrete to the wall.

    • 8

      Pick up the broken concrete debris to reveal the pipe completely.