A galvanized pipe is no ordinary pipe. It is a durable, steel pipe coated with zinc to prevent rust and corrosion. It can withstand freezing temperatures and high water pressure. Because of this, it is suitable for water pipes at home.
Thus, cutting a galvanized pipe is a tricky task. Most people would call a plumber to get the job done. But, what if we said you don’t have to? Today, we will show you how to cut galvanized pipe, so you can get the job done on your own!
Why You Should Renew Your Plumbing
It is essential to check your galvanized pipe plumbing now and then. Galvanized pipes typically last for 40 years, but they erode like any other steel pipe. If left unchecked, it can affect the flow of water in your house.
Corroded galvanized pipes tend to create low water pressures, discolored water, and leaks. If you don’t want these nasty things in your home, you better consider replacing your old galvanized pipes with new ones. Here’s how to do it.
What You’ll Need
Before you get on with the process, prepare these materials first. You can find them at the nearest hardware store or online shopping market.
- Personal Protective Gear
- Tape Measure
- Tube Cutter
- Reciprocating Saw
- Threading Machine
- Pipe Reamer
Steps to Follow:
Step 1: Wear Protective Gear
You’ll be working with power tools, so you better suit up. Wear sturdy protective goggles to protect your eyes from flying metal shards. You might also want to wear metal gloves in case of slipping saw blades or sharp pipe ends.
When cutting your galvanized pipe, it’s best to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and protective shoes. That will protect your arms and legs from any sharp pieces of metal that might fall on the floor or fly towards you.
Sawing through a galvanized pipe can make ear-shattering, loud noises that are too much for your ears to bear. Protect your ears with a simple pair of earplugs before you get started on cutting the pipe.
Step 2: Measure the cut
If you’re all suited up, it’s time to measure your cut. Estimating the size of your reduction is an essential step in cutting a new galvanized pipe. You need to take note of the length of the tube and the allowance for adding threads into the cut.
To begin, look at your old galvanized pipes and buy a new one that has the same size. Then, use your measuring tape to determine the needed length of the tube. Leave a one-inch allowance for threading. Then, mark the spot with a permanent marker.
When marking the spot of the cut, be sure to take note of the whole circumference. You can do this by drawing several points around the pipe and connecting it with a line after you’ve completed the process.
Step 3: Prepare the pipe for cutting.
After determining the area to cut, it’s time to secure it for cutting. Securing the pipe is essential to avoid it from slipping. You can achieve it by having a friend hold it, placing it in a vise, or clamping it on the workbench.
If you are going to use a clamp, make sure that the cloth wraps both ends of the pipe. That prevents the tube from slipping from the clamps. With the fabric on both ends, place the pipe into the clamp and secure it by tightening the clamp knob.
If you don’t have a clamp, have a friend help you hold the pipe while cutting. Be sure to have your friend wear protective gear, so he or she doesn’t meet any accidents while assisting you.
Step 4: Cut the pipe
You can cut the galvanized pipe with these power tools: Tube cutter, reciprocating saw, and a threading machine. Each of these devices has their own sets of instructions when used to cut a galvanized pipe.
- Tube cutter: Choose a tube cutter with a size that matches the size of the pipe. Secure your pipe cutter around the pipe by turning the screw loose clockwise.
Rotate the pipe cutter around the pipe and tighten the screw when you reach the starting point. Repeat the same steps until you complete 10-15 rotations or until the tube is cut loose.
- Reciprocating saw: Install a six-inch cutting blade on the saw before starting. Saw the pipe in such a way that the foot of the saw touches the pipe, and the edge extends across the tube.
Before finishing the cut, bend the pipe to open a gap. That helps prevent the saw from binding. Saw in the same direction until the tube is cut loose.
- Threading machine: Obtain a Pipe threading machine. You can either buy this from an equipment retailer or rent it from home improvement stores. Be sure to get a motorized one with a cutting tool attached.
- Mount the pipe on the vise grip of the threading machine. Identify where the pipe cutting attachment too, is located. To cut, gradually tighten your hold on the cutting tool as the device rotates the pipe.
Step 5: Ream the pipe
After cutting, you might find some sharp edges on the end of the pipe. Just file the entire rounded edge with a round file until you’ve flattened all the sharp edges. You can also use a pipe reamer for this task.
And voila! You have successfully cut a piece of Galvanized Pipe! You can now start threading it and attach some couplers to it to connect to your water lines.
Some Final Reminders
Sometimes, you don’t have to call a plumber to cut a galvanized pipe. With some elbow grease and dedication on your part, you can cut your galvanized pipe, easy-peasy. Just remember these five simple steps on how to reduce the galvanized tube, and you’re good to go!