The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sewer Pipe Materials
The type of sewer pipe material in your home uses will mostly be determined by its age. Older homes often have clay or cast iron pipes, while newer homes are most likely to use plastic. However, as older sewer lines are replaced, it’s becoming more common to find plastic sewer lines in older homes.
Clay Sewer Pipes
Clay is one of the oldest pipe materials still in use today. Its main advantage is that it’s inert and therefore resistant to chemical degradation. The downside of clay sewer pipe is its porous surface, which makes it a magnet for tree roots. Clay is also more brittle than some other pipe materials.
Cast Iron Sewer Pipes
As with clay pipe, cast-iron sewer pipe is more commonly found in older homes, although it is still commonly used today. The main advantage of cast iron is its long lifespan and strength. A 4″ diameter sewer pipe can withstand almost 5,000 pounds of pressure per linear foot. By comparison, a plastic sewer pipe can be damaged by a person standing on it! Cast iron’s main disadvantage is cost and weight.
Plastic Sewer Pipes – PVC and ABS
Plastic sewer pipe is made from either ABS and PVC. Its smooth surface provides excellent carrying capacity of waste and makes it resistant to tree root intrusion. It must be installed carefully, however, as plastic is not as strong as other materials and can bend or collapse if not sufficiently supported with sand or gravel.
Orangeburg Sewer Pipes
Orangeburg is a pipe material you’re unlikely to encounter today, and for good reason. Made from cellulose wood fiber held together with adhesive and impregnated with liquefied coal tar, Orangeburg pipe was lightweight and easy to work with, but was also weak and prone to failure, which has resulted in many sewer lines being replaced prematurely over the years.
Have a question about your sewer line? Call ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Tom was awesome! He is very personable and explains the whole process well. He did a great job and ensured that he used 5-star service throughout the process. I will definitely use ABC and Tom again in the future for electrical work.”–
“Bill showed up on time to repair our broken air conditioner. ABC kept in touch throughout the day to let me know time he would be arriving too. Bill was professional, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. We wound up signing up for monthly care package because Bill and ABC really made…”–
“We were very pleased with the service performed by Brett Pack in performing the annual maintenance of our air conditioning unit. He noted it was low on refrigerant, which he then added after consulting with us. He also made sure we took advantage of all available discounts.”–
“Tom did a super job fixing our electrical problem. He is one of the best electricians I have ever had in my home for repair work. I would highly recommend Tom and ABC Company if you need any type of electrical work. He took his time and explained everything and…”–
“I am so impressed with Chris and ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric. His friendliness honest approach to his Job is remarkable. Thanks Chris for making my day and believing that they are still great honorable people out there.”–
“Our AC was not working in the 90-degree summer heat. Josh identified that power was not going to the furnace blower. He identified that power was not going to the furnace breaker. His keen eye spotted that the wire leading into the breaker had frayed. He cut out the frayed…”–
- satisfaction guaranteed
- customer service guarantee
- "no surprises" guarantee
- no-nonsense parts & labor warranty See More +
Our AC Guarantees
- equipment size guarantee
- lifetime installation materials warranty
- AC "level for life" warranty
- the exclusive "no-lemon" guarantee See More +