Orangeburg pipes have presented problems for homeowners since shortly after they were introduced on the market. The issue with the pipes in Orangeburg can be fixed by replacing them. If you have Orangeburg pipes, it is best to consider the risks and potential problems with keeping them.
A Quick Overview Of The Orangeburg Pipe Issue
The Orangeburg pipe issue has been present for some time. This is a type of sewer pipe that was installed in many homes during the early 1900s. While a variant of Orangeburg (also known as bituminous fiber pipe) has existed since the late 1800s, extensive use of Orangeburg started during World War II owing to a lack of cast iron resources. Orangeburg continued to spread after the war because it was inexpensive.
Orangeburg, which is made of wood pulp that has been sealed with coal tar, has been compared to a “coal tar-impregnated toilet paper tube” by some plumbers. Many people believe it is a wonder that it has survived this long. Over time, these pipes have begun to deteriorate and break down, causing major problems for homeowners.
If you live in an older home, it’s important to be aware of the Orangeburg pipe issue. Here are some quick facts about this problem.
Problems With Orangeburg Pipes
One of the main problems that plumbers encounter is squeaky Orangeburg pipes and it can be difficult to pinpoint which pipe has a problem. It could also be a problem that spreads with time, especially if you have bad pipes throughout your system.
For plumbers, the Orangeburg pipe crisis has been a cash gain, but for homeowners, it has been a costly hardship. The pipe is named after the town of Orangeburg, New York, where it was initially manufactured, and it has a lifespan of roughly fifty years. Since the last of the Orangeburg pipe was installed in the 1970s, the most current installations are rapidly approaching their end of life. They might lead to a very nasty and costly sewage line collapse if they are neglected.
Orangeburg Warning Signs To Be Aware Of
First and foremost, if you’re purchasing a property constructed before 1980, have a professional plumber to assess it for Orangeburg pipes (if there is, you can subtract the replacement estimate from your offer).
Whether you’ve already moved in and aren’t sure if you have Orangeburg plumbing, check with the previous homeowner or city papers; if not, it’s advisable to get a professional plumber to assess it for you.
However, there are a few red flags to be aware of:
- Draining slowly
- Back-ups in the toilets on a regular basis.
- Inside the house, there are foul sewage smells.
- Mold problems
- Patches of lawn that seem to be greener than others.
- Indentations or dips in the grass.
- The foundation has sinkholes.
Orangeburg Replacement Vs. Trenchless Technologies
A skilled plumber may employ trenchless technologies to avoid digging up your yard if it’s decided that your Orangeburg pipe is in good repair or at least recoverable. The trenchless technique is placing a new pipe within an existing one by putting a liner into the pipe, inflating it, and curing it to keep it in place.
If your Orangeburg pipe is beyond repair, though, you’ll need to start again with PVC piping to prevent a total collapse.
If You Can’t Afford To Replace Your Orangeburg Piping
While we believe that replacing Orangeburg pipe should be a top priority (remember, replacement is far less costly than cleaning up after a collapse), we recognize that for many people, rapid replacement is not a viable choice. Unfortunately, it’s not always covered by insurance; even if your policy does cover sewer lines, there’s likely a “limit” on claims, so you’ll still be responsible for part of the costs. You should contact them as soon as you can.
Meanwhile, have your plumber put a camera down the drain every six months to keep an eye on things. Of course, this will cost money, but maybe you can split the cost with a neighbor or two; it’s probable they had Orangeburg plumbing put at the same time as you, so it’s in comparable condition. If their pipes seem to be in good shape, it’s a reasonable bet that yours will be as well and vice versa.
If the examination shows damage but no immediate risk, your plumber may be able to snake the pipes to prolong their life while you look into getting a loan or finding another way to pay for the replacement.
Orangeburg Pipe is a type of pipe that was used for many years. It has been replaced by other types of pipes because it’s not as durable. The cost to replace an Orangeburg pipe varies depending on the size and location of the pipe being replaced.
While Orangeburg once had its uses, it’s now worn out its welcome (literally).
When considering replacing broken Orangeburg sewer pipes, you may wonder Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover a Broken Or Damaged Sewer Pipe?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Orangeburg pipe hazardous?
A: It can be if it deteriorates enough and its particles enter the water supply.
How long does Orangeburg sewer pipe last?
A: They were intended to last decades, but many last only a few years before having issues.
When did Orangeburg pipe stop being used?
A: Orangeburg pipe was discontinued in 1980 due to its tendency to break down.
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