Old cast iron pipe left hanging

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Shegle, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Shegle

    Shegle New Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ellicott City, MD
    Hi all,

    I have an unusual question.
    I recently had my sewer line replaced because supposedly a piece of concrete broke into the cast iron pipe underground causing a blockage. When the plumbing company replaced the sewer line they moved the cleanout over to the left a little (as requested by me) to get it out of the driveway apron.
    I asked the plumber to make sure he removed the old cast iron pipe, but of course he was in a hurry and didn’t or simply forgot. And I have nothing in writing contractually to make him come back and do it now.

    So I am concerned that the heavy pipe will one day break off and head south damaging the PVC connection right below it.

    Everything is backfilled of course, so I would have to hand dig down a little and try to pull up a 6’ long piece of cast iron, which I believe would be very difficult. The end of the broken pipe appears to be about 2’ from the new connection, but the jagged end worries me.

    Should I be concerned?

    I was thinking an easy solution would be to toss a bag of dry concrete mix in the pipe, tamp it (with my Johnson bar) so it spreads out under the jagged end of the pipe. (I am sure the soil beneath the end of the pipe was not tamped, so the cement should spread nicely) That will give it a nice base so it probably won’t drop any over time.



  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    If the pipe is buried, how could it fall? Leave it alone. In time, it will rust away to dust.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; In time, it will rust away to dust.

    Maybe sometime in the next 1,000 years, but the Roman's cast iron pipes are still around. I wouldn't worry about it, but I am NOT impressed with their installation. What is that white round spot below the cast iron riser? I would also be suspicious of a "concrete broke into the cast iron pipe". Do you know how hard it is to break a cast iron pipe, even if you want to, by swinging a heavy hammer?
  5. Shegle

    Shegle New Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ellicott City, MD
    Thanks for the reply.

    The white spot I think you are referring to is an empty can of cleaner.
    Regarding the comment about a piece of concrete breaking the pipe, I was not there to see it, however I know there was a blockage that was outside of my house. I was there when the plumber was running the snake from inside, and he said he hit a wall under the ground trying to snake it and that is why he said I needed my sewer line replaced. He thought it might have collapsed. And he had previously snaked out another drain at my daughter’s house that turned out well. So I had no reason to doubt him. And since I had a backup into the basement, I had to act fast. They started work the very next day.
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