About 76 million American homes have cast iron pipes that must be replaced. This is mostly because the majority of homes in the country were built around 1975 when cast iron pipes were the more popular and cheaper choice. Cast iron may have served homeowners well back then, but over time they have begun to decay. It is important to replace these because not only do they cause costly damage in the long run, but they can also pose health and safety hazards to you and your family.
While they were once popularly recommended for being durable back in the day, they are actually brittle in structure and cannot last long in a busy household. Cast iron easily develops cracks and holes where water and moisture leak, and once that happens, a whirlwind of unfortunate events follow suit. You may notice that mold starts growing at a fast pace and cause respiratory and skin issues for the household. Foul odor also develops due to the cracks in the pipes that release sewer gas. The unpleasant odor can cause health problems for those who inhale the toxic fumes!
But the biggest disadvantage that comes with using cast iron pipes is their weak structure that tends to rot over time. This is the main focal point that causes other avoidable problems to occur. Rotten cast iron pipes is not a good thing to have in your home, especially when it puts you and your family at risk.
How Long Do Cast Iron Pipes Last?
Cast iron pipes last between 50-100 years, However, cast iron piping has been found to be susceptible to rust over time
Signs You Need Your Cast Iron Pipes Replaced
- Bad Smell
- Mold Growth
- Sewage Backups
- Unusual Water Color
Additional Benefits of Replacing Cast Iron Pipes With PVC
Pipes made of cast iron are failing all over the country, reaching the end of their 50 - 100 year lifespan. Investing in PVC has great benefits.
- Leaks Less Often - When joints aren't tight enough, leaks become more common. When the joints are weak, tree roots find it easier to detect water flowing, causing more problems.
- Cost Effective - The pipe requires fewer plumbers, which means less labor, heavy material, and shipping.
- Lightweight - Despite being lightweight, cast iron is hefty and requires several plumbers to remove. When compared to cast iron, PVC is light, easy to move, and easier to install.
- Cracks Less Often - PVC is the preferred material in areas subject to high pressure and high movement because of its flexibility. PVC remains intact even when subjected to pressure and vibration.
- Flexibility - A highly flexible material, PVC is resistant to movement and shifting of the ground.
- Stronger Joints - PVC pipes have the strongest joints when compared to other types of pipes, such as cast iron and terracotta (clay).
- Long-lasting - Polyvinyl Chloride can last for 70 years or more. Because they deteriorate from oxidation, cast iron pipes are expensive to replace.
- Cleaner Water - Since PVC doesn't corrode or rust, you won't get any metal in your sewage or drinking pipes. The material is non-toxic, so it can be used for all kinds of plumbing purposes.
A Fort Worth client was dealing with the nasty results of rotted cast iron pipes. Read on to find out how we solved their problem!
Should You Combine Or Connect Cast Iron With PVC?
In short, no, doing this requires special tools and can leave you having to go back and constantly replace more and more of the cast iron pipes.
Old, Rotted Sewer Line in Fort Worth TX Needs Replacement
Our client’s sewer line was collapsing because the piping was so old and rotted. It had holes, cracks, breaks throughout! Delaying the replacement of these pipes any longer would have caused more problems than just a sewer line collapse. Mold was already starting to grow. If they had continued to ignore the problem, health issues would ensue.
Sewage backup was another problem our client had to deal with. Because the sanitary waste line’s cracks had already been causing leaks, enough buildup would have caused sewage backup and clogs that could damage the home (very expensive damage, in fact!).
Our crew of 1 plumber and 1 helper came in to help. The first step was to excavate the main gut line to get to the rotting pipes that needed to be removed and replaced. We then carefully and accurately cut out all of the old cast iron pipes before replacing them with schedule 40 PVC.
Overall, it took us 7 full days from start to finish of the excavation repairs, the city inspection and even the backfill job.
Why Choose PVC Pipes Over Cast Iron Pipes
PVC pipes comes with a lot of benefits. Unlike cast iron pipes, PVC pipes do not easily clog, which means you won’t have to spend a lot of time and money unclogging them! They are also invincible from stain and rust, while cast iron pipes rust easily. PVC pipes are also lightweight plus easier to fit and cut. They even has an impressive lifespan compared to other commercial pipes. The material even costs less when it comes to installation, as you won’t need to solder them anymore—simply glue them together and you’re nearly done!
Your rotted cast iron pipes should be replaced with PVC pipes as soon as you notice any signs of leaking or foul odor. It best to immediately call our professional team for efficient plumbing system services. Replacing old pipes is not an easy DIY project and it will only cost more if you attempt to whip up a solution yourself.
Get your old pipes checked and replaced by a team of specialized plumbers who provide quick and on-time services at your door. Call us at (817) 402-2188 today to book an appointment.