When it comes to finding your way around the plumbing system in your home, you may not know how many different types of sewer pipes there are. Here’s a guide on what each type is and where they are typically found.
What Type Of Sewer Pipe Is Installed In Your Home?
Do you know what kind of sewage plumbing is installed in your home? If you’re like the majority of homeowners, you only worry about your sewer lines when something goes wrong, such as a sewage backlog or a drain issue.
Sewer pipes are an important part of our homes and businesses. They are used to transport wastewater from our sinks, toilets, and showers to the sewer system. There are different types of sewer pipes, and it is important to know which type you have in order to properly maintain it.
Here’s a breakdown of the many kinds of sewage lines found in most residences. Don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you need assistance diagnosing and fixing problems with your drain and sewage system.
Sewer Pipes In Orangeburg
Orangeburg piping, also referred to as bituminous fiber piping, is made of wood pulp sealed with coal tar. It was widely used during World War II due to its cheap cost and the shortage of cast iron. Sewer Pipes in Orangeburg continued to be widely used up until the 1970s.
Originally, Orangeburg piping was intended for dry use in electrical and telecommunications applications—not for water and sewage uses. Consequently, Orangeburg sewer pipes are not as durable as other types of sewer pipes, and they are far more susceptible to:
- Infiltration of tree roots.
- General deterioration.
Sewer Pipes Made Of Cast Iron
Far more durable than Orangeburg piping, sewer pipes made of cast iron were widely used in homes built before the 1960s. These types of sewer pipes were typically installed with vertical drain systems, and they tend to last about 30 years.
Despite their durability, sewer pipes made of cast iron are prone to corrosion and rust, as well as waste buildup due to their uneven interiors. That means that, as cast iron piping ages, it can be far more susceptible to:
Sewer Pipes Made Of Clay
Sewer pipes made of clay are another type of piping used before and during the World War II era. These pipes, made of a clay-shale blend, can last for 30 or more years. They are environmentally friendly and inert, making them resistant to chemicals and acids.
Clay pipes, despite their benefits, are fragile and porous, rendering them vulnerable to:
- Infiltration of tree roots.
- With the passage of time, it can begin to crumble.
- Cracking, particularly when under a great deal of stress.
Sewer Pipes Made Of Concrete
Concrete has been used both as an encasement for clay piping and as a piping material itself. Sewer pipes made of concrete are extremely durable and have an average service life of about 30 years. Along with plastics, concrete is considered a new-generation material for sewer pipes.
While sewer pipes made of concrete are not immune to damage or aging that can trigger the need for repair or replacement, this type of sewer piping is currently popular because of its affordability, strength, and longevity.
PVC & ABS Sewer Pipes
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) are two new-generation pipe materials that have been commonly employed in houses since the 1970s. PVC and ABS piping is one of the most resilient and long-lasting pipes available.
- PVC and ABS pipework are rust-proof and will not deteriorate over time.
- Plastic sewage pipe is a very cost-effective option.
- Smooth: These pipes are resistant to root infiltration due to their uniform, smooth interiors and exteriors.
- PVC and ABS pipes may be used alone or in conjunction with cast iron or clay piping.
Despite the fact that this form of sewage piping is not heat resistant and may break if the walls are too thin, it is still one of the most common choices for sewer line pipes.
The Bottom Line On Sewer Piping Types
The bottom line when it comes to sewage line pipes is this:
- If your home was built before the 1970s and it has Orangeburg, cast iron, or sewer pipes made of clay, your piping has likely reached the end of its life span, and you should consider sewer pipe replacement before your sewer line breaks.
- If your sewage line fails and you need to replace it, the finest alternatives for a new sewer line are PVC and ABS.
- For any of your sewage line issues, a plumber can help.
For non-emergency sewage line servicing, you may be able to contact a plumber online.
“Old sewer pipe materials” are types of materials that were used to make sewer pipes in the past. Some types of materials are not being manufactured anymore, so it can be difficult to find these types of pipe.
Regardless of which type of material your pipes are made of, they can be susceptible to freezing in the winter. Find out more in 4 Signs Your Pipes are Frozen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of pipe do I need for the sewer?
A: A pipe that is half an inch in diameter and a little more than four feet long.
Which pipe is best for underground drainage?
A: Any pipe will work for underground drainage as long as the size is appropriate.
What is the difference between green and white sewer pipes?
A: Green sewer pipe is made of copper, while white sewer pipe is made of PVC. Copper pipes are more eco-friendly and easier to clean with a wire brush than metal pipes that contain VOCs.
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