From the late 19th century to about the 1960s, most homes were built with plumbing systems that relied on cast iron sewer pipes. While this was state-of-the-art technology at the time, today older homes that still have their cast iron sewer pipes in place often have plumbing issues. (If you live in one of these older homes, you might already be aware of this.)
Cast iron sewer pipes are prone to the following problems:
Rust and Corrosion
Because cast iron pipes are generally thick-walled, a certain amount of rust and corrosion can form on their interiors without causing problems with drainage. After a number of decades, however, the rust level inside cast iron pipes can increase to the point that water flow is greatly decreased or even blocked all together. Removing this corrosion can restore water flow, but will also make pipe walls thinner, making pipes more vulnerable to breaks. Severe rusting and corrosion can also cause holes or cracks to form in cast iron sewer pipes. If this corrosion is allowed to continue, eventually your cast iron sewer pipe can completely collapse, resulting in an emergency situation.
Uneven Pipe Surface
Another common problem with cast iron sewer pipes is an uneven interior surface. Over time, hard water can cause build up inside of pipes. The resulting bumpy texture creates the perfect environment for hair, paper, grease and other debris to get caught, eventually resulting in problematic clogs.
Tree Root Intrusion
Aging cast iron pipes can form cracks that allow tree roots to form inside of them, slowing down and eventually blocking the flow of water.
What to Do if Your Home Has Cast Iron Pipes
If you live in a home with cast iron sewer pipes, it’s a good idea to have them inspected on a regular basis. Modern plumbing technology offers a number of solutions for problems with cast iron sewer pipes that are both effective and long lasting.
For all of your plumbing needs, look no further than Essig Plumbing & Heating. Contact us today!