Orangeburg pipe 12/1/1999 wwwboard

Users who are viewing this thread


The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Reaction score
Bothell, Washington
Our main sewer drain has backed up twice in the last 2 or 3 years -- most recently this morning -- and a few more times some years ago. The plumber who snaked it out said we might have Orangeburg pipe in the system and, if we do, it\'s "inevitable" that it will have to be replaced.

Our house was built in the 1930s. I found a source on the Net that says Orangeburg pipe was manufactured during the Korean War. If that\'s true, we can\'t have Orangeburg pipe. Do you know if that source is right?

We appreciate your help. Thank you.

Jerry:--Orangeburgh Pipe was manufactured by "The Fiber Conduit Company" in Orangeburgh, N.Y.. This company was very active during the Second World War and after (1940 - 1950s). I believe it's great success was due to the scarcity of cast iron during those war years and the rationing of metal building products (nails..flashing.. piping etc.) It could have been in business even in the 30s\', but I was only 10 at the time. I lived in Pearl River, NY during that time and Orangeburgh was next town to the south. I do remember that it ran 24 hrs a day on a very busy rail road siding, and employed half of the residents of that town.
Orangeburg has dropped the h at the end of its\' name and is now a quiet little community, with the largest Employer being the Rockland State Mental Hospital.

Bud, Here I am an ex New Yorker and I didn't know that. Interesting information. Dale Peck LMP

Jerry, I don\'t know the exact date it came out but i built a home in 1963 and i think orangeburg was pretty new then. Yom may have clay tile for a sewer lone. You can have your line camered to see what material you have and also locate the exact place or the problem with your line.Hope this helps. Dale Peck. LMP

The fact that you might or might not have Orangeburg isn't the issue. The issue is that the main line backs up and you want it to stop backing up. When the roto snake went into the line. the operator should have been able to give you a general location of where the obstruction was (is? is it still backing up?) When you know where the obstruction is, the repair is pretty simple, whether its orangeburg or clay or plastic or steel. The reason people say Orangeburg "inevitably" needs to be replaced is because it uses friction forced on couplings instead of glues or screwed fittings. Very fine tree roots look for water, and are able to penetrate the friction couplings, and grow inside the line. One roto rooter job each year to clear the tree roots cost what.......\$50 to 95 dollars? or \$100 to \$200? that is less than the cost to dig up a sewer and repair it (or change from Orangeburg to clay). Anyway Orangeburg is still a good pipe fabricated in the 1950s made out of the Orangeburg minerals and soaked in creosote to ward off insects and roots. Sixty years of service is pretty good, but it\'ll probably go another ten if you roto snake it out every year. If you really need more Orangeburg information


Master Plumber
Reaction score
Cave Creek, Arizona
Orangeburg pipe was touted as the PERFECT replacement for cast iron because the tar coating would repel roots. The BIGGEST problem with Orangeburg was that it would collapse over time. In fact, some I replaced for a friend looked like a double barreled shot gun, or two 2" pipes side by side.This is the "biggest problem" because when it happens the line plugs up and it cannot be snaked without further damaging the pipe. One additional fact is that in the'90's, when the government developed the specifications for a Title (234?) home, it SPECIFIED Orangeburg pipe as an approved material in order to lower the cost of construction. Thus insuring that the people LEAST able to afford a new sewer would be guaranteed to need one.
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks