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I have an ABS standpipe coming out of the wall for the washer drain. I’d like to insert a wye (for condensate pump) and ideally I’d like to shorten the pipe such that the total length remains the same.

I have never cut an ABS pipe and if it would just be an unattached piece of pipe, I wouldn’t be concerned: I would use my sawzall, I had enough room to do it and I wouldn’t need to be afraid that vibrations or movements knock the thing out of the wall.

Here is a picture (right the pipe, left the wye I want to attach):

enter image description here

Is it reasonably “simple” to cut off a piece of this pipe? Or would you recommend by all means not to touch it?

And if shorten, what is the best way (approach and tool)?

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    You could just strap the condensate line to the laundry hose and shove them both in the top of the existing pipe. Added benefit, the condensate won't slowly turn the outside end of the laundry hose into a moldy mess.
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 11:50
  • Hopefully that outlet has a GFCI outlet or breaker upstream.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 14:04
  • It is easy to cut with most types of cutting blades. The hard part is getting a nice decent square cut when adding a wye/other pipe connection.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 14:11
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    As you learn and do more DIY, you'll eventually realize the "elegance" is false, and then, at some point, it will even begin to bother you. A Y is meant to create an opening where there isn't one. Since you have a big open hole you should maximize its value to you. And yes, raising the ABS pipe so the end of the laundry hose is above the Y will prevent the outside of the hose from being wet all the time. It's not that important but if you ever have to service it you'll appreciate that it isn't disgusting on the outside.
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 19:08
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    @divB yes, GFCI is required for laundry areas.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 14:09

3 Answers 3

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Yes, it can be cut.

My first choice, tool wise, would be to use an oscillating multitool. They're easy to control and you'd get a nice clean cut.

DeWalt oscillating tool

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    almost magic compared to a sawzall
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 10:31
  • Awesome! I have one. Is there a specific blade you would recommend?
    – divB
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 10:36
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    @divB The ABS will cut pretty easy, any wood or even bi-metal blade would work.
    – matt.
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 10:41
  • And it doesnt need to be sharp to work either. You basically melt through it by friction. Can confirm this works, did this a lot in my house recently.
    – Martijn
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 9:44
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As Matt said, a multi-tool would be the most available/re-usable tool for this. An inside pipe cutter would give a nice square cut.

Inside pvc pipe cutter

The second question is should you.

  1. Look to the manufacturer of the appliance to determine minimum height of the stack. Since you might change appliances in the future, I would go with the standard height for your area.
  2. Check local and plumbing codes. https://www.nachi.org/gallery/piping/standpipe-for-a-clothes-washer has a picture (which I can't copy here without permission) showing typical requirements. GE example of manufacturer specs: https://products.geappliances.com/appliance/gea-support-search-content?contentId=18682
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  • (which I can't copy here without permission) : you have the right to "quote" the sources.
    – JB.
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 17:13
  • Thanks JB. I tend to err conservative on other people's work. The picture was well labeled as not reproducible without permission so I put in the link. Links do change and content moves or changes, so I will ask permission and then post the pic if approved. (I will also do more research on what I can do in referencing other sites beyond pointing at them)
    – RG Hughes
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 18:49
  • How does that pipe cutter work? Looks interesting. Does it just go in a drill?
    – matt.
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 23:00
  • Yes, it goes on a drill and is typically used for access to pipes inside a wall or buried in concrete. I use a depth collar to ensure a square cut. The nice thing about the cutter is you can cut in very tight working spaces. The problem with the multi-tool in tight locations or larger pipes is you can't always get through the pipe because of blade length.
    – RG Hughes
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 12:57
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I would not use the sawzall. As you anticipate, it will vibrate the heck out of everything. Hard to use for things not secure in place, and the back wall will just make the saw bounce.

Another alternative not mentioned yet is a "PVC Cable Saw", about $6. A serrated wire you wrap around the stand pipe and pull back and forth.

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