The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sewer Pipe Materials
The type of sewer pipe material 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. It’s 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 it’s 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 provide 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 question about your sewer line? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Keith and his crew were top notch. Calm/cool, trustworthy, efficient, respectful, reliable, thorough, communicative and reassuring. And at the end of the day, quality work! For the bigger projects, I feel confident knowing we have a go-to service to call.”–
“ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric are fantastic. I recently used them to replace my sump pump, which had exploded! They were very friendly on the phone and Rick H., our technician was fantastic. He explained things thoroughly, we was efficient and very nice. Will definitely be using him and…”–
“On only a day's notice, Adam came very prepared. He knew immediately what was the issue in each case. He replaced one toilet and repaired another. The bathrooms were left in great order and very clean. I am looking forward to having more work done by Adam and ABC.”–
“ABC was reliable and professional. Mike G was our technician and was a pleasure to work with. Down to earth, no pressure and gave you a straight answer to what you needed. Felt like I got an honest appraisal and was given a great quote. Will be calling them back…”–
“You never know for sure what you'll get when you need a contractor in a pinch. I chose ABC Plumbing out of my 2017 Best Picks Report for contractors because ABC was their top choice. After working them, I will use them again and tell everyone who needs this kind…”–
“EXCELLENT and FAST service provided by ABC plumbing and superb work at our home provided by Tom Glaza. He fielded, diagnosed and fixed all electrical issues. Tom is knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and explains everything in detail to customer so you know what he is fixing and gives accurate up front…”–