Re: Replace old Cast Iron Drain Pipes?
Posted by Steve on September 06, 2001 at 20:37:16:
In response to Re: Replace old Cast Iron Drain Pipes?
: I am about to replace the old steel supply pipes in my 110 year old house. I�ve noticed a couple heavily corroded/rusted spots on the larger drain lines that I will also need to replace. Since I�m going to have to open a wall or two to do this work, should I consider also replacing the cast iron stack and all associated drain/vent lines with PVC? What is the life expectancy of cast iron? Are there ways to tell its age and/or remaining life expectancy? Is it possible this cast iron pipe (which looks like the stuff I�ve seen in 50 � 70 year old houses) is original to the house? I�ve heard cast iron is quieter then PVC, and really don�t want to tackle this big job unnecessarily, but would hate to skip it and have the cast iron fail in a few years (we plan to be here at least 10 years).

: Your thoughts are appreciated!

The company I work for we just did this after "camera-ing" the sewer from a clean-out in the stack to the street. this house is 100+ years old too and it looked like a terrarium inside the pipes there was so many roots. What we ended up doing was first putting in a new sewer from the street to the house (building drain) and then jack hammered up the basement floor to the stack and replaced that with pvc. We didn't do the stack because it looked clear and they didn't want to completely tear up the house. But most of the damage will probably be on the horizontal branches and the building drain, and yes they probably are the origional pipes from 110 years ago bless their souls those guys had it tough, that kind of cast iron is heavy as h--- and you can't be off a 1/4 inch on those pack and pour joints(I don't know , maybe a 1\4 inch is fine I've only packed and poured toilet flanges). And yes cast iron is quieter than pvc, and no-hub is what they use now days if you want cast iron, but my boss told the customer that the life expectancy of cast iron is 100 years. But before you go and tear out all that if I was you, I'd have someone come in with a "See Snake" that's the camera, and you can even get it on video tape show your insurance co. maybe they might help pay for it. But if they arent crumbling and not leaking, and if the camera doesn't show any roots that means their solid enough to handle the goods. But, if it ain't broke, don't fix it is what I always say. And if you do do ( no pun intended) all this the vent lines never saw anything but rain water all these years and you shouldn't have to replace them.

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