Cast iron plumbing is often more common in older homes. These pipes are very common due to their durability and ability to resist water damage. It is no longer installed in new homes, due to new competitors, PVC and ABS, that have the advantages of cast-iron without the disadvantages.
Cast iron plumbing is typically found in older homes built before 1975. There were also locations that installed cast-iron into the 1980’s. They used to be a great option for plumbing and sewer lines, but other materials became more popular due to their inexpensive cost to make.
What is Cast Iron?
Cast iron contains 2 to 4 percent carbon, and also contains amounts of silicon and manganese. It is created by blasting iron in a blast furnace. While it’s hot, it’s liquid and can be poured and hardened into ingots. These then have to be melted to allow them to be poured into a mold so they can have their defined shape.
Pros and Cons:
There are many different advantages and disadvantages of cast iron plumbing in your home. Whether you chose to install it in your home is completely up to you.
Pros of Cast Iron Plumbing:
- Cast iron plumbing will deteriorate over time, but it can last for over 100 years. Homes that are built in sandy soil have more luck with making cast iron pipes last. The situation of the home and the pipes will affect how long they will last, but it also helps if you are taking care of your pipes.
- It is strong and extremely durable. There are still many homes that have cast iron plumbing that is still running strong.
- They are also quiet pipes. Unlike ABS pipes, they contain noise and are great for quiet environments.
Cons of Cast Iron Plumbing:
- While it does last for a long time, corrosion will occur over time. It will be even more difficult to repair these pipes if they are used for your sewer lines, which is very difficult and expensive to repair.
- Cast iron is very heavy compared to other materials. This can lead to the pipes sinking underground which will lead to damage such as cracking.
- Because of how difficult and timely it will be to repair these lines if needed, the expense will be much higher than other situations.
The damage that could be caused from cast iron plumbing isn’t substantial if they are installed, repaired, or replaced by a professional plumber. The connections and joints often contain lead, which can be dangerous if you become exposed to it. Since this material is commonly used to sewer lines, which run underground, this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s still good to be safe and allow a plumber to handle all repairs to these lines.
Cast iron is also prone to rusting. Rust can wear down the pipes and cause clogs. The worse the clogs get the more the pipes will become damaged the more extensive the repairs will be. The wall of the pipes deteriorating can also cause tree roots to grow into the line. This will make the problem almost a guarantee that the pipes will have to be repaired through an excavation.
What if I Have Cast Iron Plumbing in my Home?
It’s not a bad thing to have cast iron plumbing in your home. While there are better options than cast-iron, that doesn’t mean they will be bad for your home. Cast iron can be a great option, as long as you’re aware of the potential issues and take care of your pipes. It’s important to have a plumber check your pipes to make sure they are in good condition. It can be damaging to your home to let damages go unnoticed, and much cheaper to fix the problem before it becomes an even bigger problem.
Overall cast-iron plumbing offers a lot of advantages, but there are better options available for your plumbing. If you already have cast-iron plumbing, there’s no need to worry! Just because there are better options out there doesn’t mean you need to update your pipes. Cast-iron pipes are very strong and durable, and they typically last for years.
Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need a plumbing service. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.