When the time comes to cut clay pipe on site, Hepworth Clayware believes the best practice approach is to use standard short lengths instead. However, if you are going to cut clay pipe, Paul Wydell, offers some top tips to make sure you do it right.
Despite the common misconception that cutting pipe on site when you need it is the most efficient way of working, we believe that the use of standard short lengths should be favoured over cutting pipe on-site wherever and whenever possible.
In practice, not only is pipe cutting time consuming, the ‘offcut’ is often discarded, making the cut a very expensive one. Removing the need to cut pipe on-site will reduce installation time; requiring only short length fittings to be collected from the delivery pallet and installed.
However, some installers still prefer the on-site pipe cutting approach and are keen to ensure all cuts are made safely and achieve secure and reliable connections. That’s why we’re keen to promote the following pipe cutting tools and techniques.
Lever Action Chain Cutter
When using a lever action chain cutter, the following procedure should be observed:
Powered Masonry Saw
This method can be used to cut any diameter of clay pipe, but is most likely used on 225mm and 300mm (as 100mm and 150mm can be cut faster with a chain cutter). The cutting disk can be a relatively inexpensive carborundum blade, which will produce an acceptable cut but the speed of cut will be slower. The life of the blade will also be shorter, as its diameter will reduce as it wears down, reducing its effectiveness.
We believe a diamond-tipped blade is the best option, as it has a continuous rim of diamond particles specifically designed for cutting hard ceramic product to deliver a clean and high-quality cut. Additionally, its full cutting diameter is preserved. A good quality, diamond-tipped blade, carefully used, should be able to make around 70 225mm pipe cuts in its lifetime, offsetting its high initial cost. But beware, cut a concrete kerb once with this blade and its useful life ends right there.
Before using a powered masonry saw, a safe system of work (SSoW) should be designed, approved and followed:
When installing a cut pipe of any variety, try to ensure that the cut end is facing downstream. This then reduces the potential for snagging in the drain or sewer, limiting the potential for blockages and sewer overflows.
Paul Wydell is product manager of Hepworth Clayware