I have a giant metal pipe filled with concrete or something, it doesn't go anywhere, it's just taking up space in my closet.

I assume there used to be a big wood burning stove in the kitchen, and this is where the pipe led to. They removed the stove but left the pipe, and walled it off. I'm no archaeologist but this is my best guess.

The pipe doesn't go anywhere. The top is open, the bottom is open, and the side is walled off. It's freestanding.

I'm not sure how I can even get started in removing it safely. I have a reciprocating saw, an angle grinder, and lots of patience. But I don't know what material I'm dealing with or how to properly and legally dispose of it. Any ideas?

Here's a picture of my kitchen wall.

Kitchen wall

On the other side of this wall is the hallway closet. Here's the view from that angle. Same wall, different side.

Same wall, different side

Inside this closet and to the left, there's this giant hunk of metal encasing concrete or clay or ... something.

giant metal thing

Here's the top view.


Here's the bottom view.


  • Start from the top. Is that concrete or clay in sections? Can you lift any of it out...
    – JACK
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 1:48
  • I can wiggle it around, but it does not seem to be in sections and I can't manage to lift any of it.
    – 000
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 1:49
  • 2
    Is there an asbestos concern here? My impression is that it was commonly used in high heat situations.
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 2:30
  • 1
    Ugh I didn't think of that. Yes there is a definite asbestos concern. I may need to call in a pro for this one.
    – 000
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 2:37
  • If in doubt, consider taking a sample and paying for an asbestos test. The downside of that is that if it's there and you don't remove it, you can no longer say "I don't know" when a potential buyer asks about asbestos.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 2:08

3 Answers 3


It almost certainly is in sections, but to get the first section out you'll have to get the T away from the wall.

Asbestos putties were really common. That said you have a choice, pull it out and stay ignorant, or add probably $2000 to the removal cost to have a test and an abatement firm come out. The asbestos could have been in the clay pipe, but more likely was in a fireseal putty used between sections.


It looks newer , I have remodeled Victorians and 20’s 30’s era homes that were originally wood heated, that double wall pipe was a much later install but it sounds like it was abandoned, yes if nothing is connected or no stack (doesn’t go through the roof) it can go. Double wall pipe (is much newer not sure of the year ) can be screwed together or is twist lock (more modern) but some twist lock may even have a screw holding it in place, there could be some asbestos like material but the clay or fire clay pipe I have worked with did not contain asbestos (my experience only goes back to the early 70’s). On the ones that were in an old unlined brick or stone flue and later lined like your photo shows they were fire clay as far as I could tell but only had 1 out of dozens tested because the owner asked. I would be careful removing the vent pipes in the other rooms , many times closed off with what looks like a metal pie plate that if painted with a picture may be valuable, other than that repairing the lath and plaster was easy compared to removing the pipe through a working kitchen or family room but it can be done. I can’t think of anything else right now but metal stacks are much easier than unlined brick removal. The stack area makes a great chase for hvac and electrical that were not envisioned when the home was built and the reason I have removed the stacks and flues to keep the original look and have modern heat and cooling plus an easy to pull a sub panel to the upper level for electrical.


I'd be careful in thinking of solo removal.. I would definitely get "free estimates" as many contractors that do DEMO are willing to give you a price. It is upon them to test and remove the asbestos.

Don't not hire anyone who doesn't test for and abate asbestos... For your own good health.

Best wishes for great demolition estimates.👍

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