/ / / Jacking Up Some Cement

Jacking Up Some Cement

I feel really bummed that we are shifting gears from the kitchen cabinets to talk about plumbing issues. But you need plumbing to make a kitchen work, so its something that must be done. I shared the whole story about our plumbing issues in this post about relining our main sewer line.

In that post, I explained how we found out that all our plumbing needed to be redone. And that we decided to do all the demo work to save us $3,000. So we are moving forward today to share how we jacked up some cement.

Before we could start breaking up some cement, we needed to demo our basement bathroom because we had to redirect the pipe to right were the vanity was, plus we had to replace the toilet pipe and shower drain. So we turned off the water to the sink, toilet, and also the washing machine (it needed to be moved out-of-the-way). Then we disconnected the sink supply line to the faucet and disconnected the sink drain. These had not been removed for a long time so it took some muscles to remove them, that would not be me… After that we moved the vanity to the junk pile (it had water damage). Then we disconnected the toilet (make sure you flush the water out of the toilet before you disconnect it… DON’T ask why we now that) and we put it into the junk pile too.

Before we removed everything

breaking up basement cement floor

And after some demoing…

breaking up basement cement floor-4

The next morning, Eric went and picked up a jackhammer from a local tool rental for about $110 per day, this included tax. (It was cheaper at this store then at the Home Depot, so check around)

breaking up basement cement floor-3

We then put plastic up to try to contain the dust. Next we taped the floor for where the pipe should be or go. Then Eric started working on breaking up the cement.

breaking up basement cement floor-2

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While he was doing that I removed the old laminate flooring in the bathroom. We were hoping it would come up easier but it was really glued down. So I used our rotary hammer drill with a tile remover bit and went to town… It took me about one hour to remove all the old laminate floor plus the old shower tile.

Eric was finished breaking up all the cement going to the kitchen sink and laundry drain after about 2.5 hours. Then he moved into the bathroom which was a little bit more work. I even took a turn! By that night, we had broken up all the cement that need to. We did place all the cement in the junk pile.

breaking up basement cement floor-5

breaking up basement cement floor-10

The next morning, Eric took the jackhammer back that way we were only charged for one day. Then we placed tarps on the ground to place the dirt that covered/surrounded the pipes. Then we started to expose the old pipe, for the bathroom it was just digging deep enough for the new pipe. After we exposed all the old pipe we were really really shocked that we did not have a major plumbing backup, that utility sink saved us. Look at the pipes that we found:

breaking up basement cement floor-7

breaking up basement cement floor-8

Can you see all the breaks and holes in the pipe? There was 6 breaks in the pipe and lots of holes. There was also a hole in the pipe coming down from the kitchen that was taped with electrical tape.

breaking up basement cement floor-9

Here is what our bathroom floors looks like:

breaking up basement cement floor-12

And the main stack that goes all the way to the roof:

breaking up basement cement floor-13

At this point, we are all ready for the new piping. And feeling very blessed we had not had a bigger issue. Another thing that I would like to mention was that the plumber that first gave us a bid to demo the cement. Told us it would take us 3 days to just demo the cement and it took us a full day. But we were really tired and sore after, it did help that Eric took the 2 days off to do all the demo work because I was back and forth, someone had to watch the kids…

Anyone else need new plumbing? Or are you demoing some cement?

See the other steps of this adventure here:

  1. Fixing our sewer line
  2. Jacking up some concrete
  3. New Plumbing
  4. Cutting some concrete
  5. Re-cementing our basement floor


  1. John Meehan says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am faced with the identical problem. I am hesitant to break up the floor, thinking that it would be too much work. I will still have to hire a plumber but if I break the concrete and expose the pipe the cost will be significantly less.
    I think that I will go for it. I just hope that the floor will not be to thick!!

    1. Your welcome John and I am sorry you are facing this problem. It does take some work but it will save you money. I really hope your floor is not very thick, ours was about 5″. This weekend we were working on removing some more concrete (we decided to add another floor drain) but this time we used our circular saw with a concrete blade. We felt that the jackhammer was easier and less dusty. Wishing you the best!!!

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