Conor

Cutting up steel header tank

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We've an old galvanized steel header tank in our attic that I need to remove. It's about twice the size of the loft hatch so you can see where this is going...

 

I tried to drag it our from the eaves the other day and it's bloody heavy! The steel it probably 1-1.5mm thick. What is the best way to cut it up? I've a small grinder but I'm doubtful it could do the job, plus it's a small, unventilated space with exposed, rough, dry timbers....

 

Any ideas? Something like this manage the job?

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/makita-djr186z-18v-li-ion-lxt-cordless-reciprocating-saw-bare/8334r

 

C.

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Why do you need to remove it?  As far as I know the old similar tank in our previous 1930's house is still there, disconnected and disused, just pushed right into the eaves out of the way.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Conor said:

We've an old galvanized steel header tank in our attic that I need to remove. It's about twice the size of the loft hatch so you can see where this is going...

 

I tried to drag it our from the eaves the other day and it's bloody heavy! The steel it probably 1-1.5mm thick. What is the best way to cut it up? I've a small grinder but I'm doubtful it could do the job, plus it's a small, unventilated space with exposed, rough, dry timbers....

 

Any ideas? Something like this manage the job?

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/makita-djr186z-18v-li-ion-lxt-cordless-reciprocating-saw-bare/8334r

 

C.

If it was me, I would probably use an angle grinder, however, as you alluded to, if it is in your loft and sparks go flying I would be concerned, I have started many a fire with an angle grinder, nothing serious but a piece of paper or my trouser leg (seriously).

 

I think therefore it would be a good quality metal jigsaw blade or if you get that recip saw a good fresh blade in that - just something that doesn't send sparks flying, for any heavier bits you could use a grinder but use a thin disc (1mm) and control the spray of sparks into the tank if you can.

 

Also, the zinc when heated through cutting etc. will give of zinc fumes which will give you welders flu, you will not generate much heat or flying dust with a jiggy but still, wear a mask, it makes you feel awful for a day or so. 

Edited by Carrerahill

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Why do you need to remove it?  As far as I know the old similar tank in our previous 1930's house is still there, disconnected and disused, just pushed right into the eaves out of the way.

 

Selling the house, and fully insulating and clearing the loft was one of the things we agreed to do in advance of completion. Regret not doing this years ago!

Edited by Conor

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Angle grinder with a ultra thin metal blade, (have a few handy) if you are worried about fire take a damp towel up with you.

I've just been cutting 2mm galvanised steel with a cheapo 110mm screwfix grinder and its fine

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I'll give the grinder a shot tonight and see how it goes. It's a cheapy and I can see it expiring before the job is done...

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44 minutes ago, Conor said:

I'll give the grinder a shot tonight and see how it goes. It's a cheapy and I can see it expiring before the job is done...

Note my post! If you disc cut it, wear a MASK. 

 

I would not leave the loft for a while afterwards either, I once set my garage door frame on fire and it wasn't until about 2 hours later and there was smoke billowing out of frame that I realised anything was wrong!

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Galvanising fumes are horrible and potentially hazardous with any "hot" cut aside from the sparks issue. Recip saw would be my goto, even then with a mask. Less hot swarf of all the processes.

 

Remember having to chop out incorrect bolts on a roof years ago with a recip saw. Only thing we could use because of the rubber roof.

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Luckily I bought a full face respirator last week, I can pick up some chemical filters for it on the way home today. 

 

Thanks all. 

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26 minutes ago, Conor said:

Luckily I bought a full face respirator last week, I can pick up some chemical filters for it on the way home today. 

 

Thanks all. 

You just need to go for a particulate filter for zinc, be wary, very very wary when buying different filter types - you can sort of lead yourself into a false sense of security.

 

I spoke to 3M's technical guy for about 45m a few months ago and came to the conclusion I need about 5 different filter stacks for my hobbies and building work.

 

For example I spray paint a lot, so I have the filter pack for that which is inorganic and organic compounds + something else + that get stacked with a P3, but that is no use for taking out the formaldehyde gas from MDF cutting which also needs stacked with a P3 (well I don't bother with P1 or P2 and always use P3 which is also the correct filtration for asbestos).

 

 

 

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When you agreed to "empty the loft" I am sure that means remove all your clutter and don't leave bags of old kids toys etc.  I would just push the tank into a corner and leave it.  If they argue, point out it won't go through the hatch.

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5 minutes ago, ProDave said:

When you agreed to "empty the loft" I am sure that means remove all your clutter and don't leave bags of old kids toys etc.  I would just push the tank into a corner and leave it.  If they argue, point out it won't go through the hatch.

You know, I am with Dave.

 

What are they going to do exactly if you leave it - I don't see it being a big issue, solicitors are hardly going to make a big deal out of this. When we moved into our house there was quite a few things left behind, arguably, it wasn't meant to be there, but no one got upset it was just some furniture that I ended up making into garage storage.

 

Say it is part of the house. 

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You are probably right that it's not a big issue and I could leave it... but I'm too nice for my own good.

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I would leave it to and if they ask, you say this "its part of the building", especially if its fixed down somehow

 

Don't risk cutting it in the loft with a grinder, its so easy to start a fire using one. Jig saw or reciprocating saw would be safer but still too risky. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Conor said:

You are probably right that it's not a big issue and I could leave it... but I'm too nice for my own good.

You will have enough to worry about doing the move, leave it. If they complain give them £40.

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On 02/10/2019 at 13:13, Conor said:

You are probably right that it's not a big issue and I could leave it... but I'm too nice for my own good.

nice to see there are some principled people left in the world where their word is their bond

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1 hour ago, vfrdave said:

@Conor did you get it cut up, don't leave us hanging

 

56 minutes ago, scottishjohn said:

nice to see there are some principled people left in the world where their word is their bond

 

5min job on Sunday night. Easy peasy. Just need to clean out the rust and debris and lift it down. Luckily only needed to cut it in half to make it small enough to fit through the hatch. But the Makita saw I bought cut through it no bother, would happily cut it again.

IMG_20191009_214620.jpg

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Mind those sharp edges getting it down!

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That's why I'm waiting until the weekend... Need some help lowering it down!

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I have the same recip saw. That is a good price. I often use mine to shorten scaffold poles.

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