Orangeburg pipe is a type of pipe used in plumbing systems throughout the nation. But what is it exactly? Find out in this post.
What is Orangeburg Pipe, and How Does it Work?
Orangeburg pipe is a form of pipe that was popular between 1945 and 1972. Orangeburg pipe is a form of bituminized fiber pipe manufactured from a combination of hot pitch and wood pulp. It is also known as the “no-corrode” pipe. It takes its name from Orangeburg, New York, where the Fiber Conduit Company first mass-produced it (which later changed its name to the Orangeburg Manufacturing Company).
Although other types of bituminized fiber pipe have been in use since the 1800s, Orangeburg owes its existence to World War II, when the iron and steel normally used for sewage pipes were vital to the war effort. Orangeburg pipe was designed as a result of these shortages so that more iron and steel could be used to make war goods. Orangeburg continued to spread after the war because it was inexpensive.
Where is Orangeburg Pipe Used?
Orangeburg Pipe is a type of pipe that has specially shaped ends on one end and an eye-bolt at the other. It’s used in building construction, as well as for agricultural applications like irrigation systems.
Orangeburg has a smooth interior and an exterior with a series of grooves or ridges. The groove or ridge pattern allows water to flow through the pipe more easily than other types of pipes.
How Orangeburg Pipe Can Fail and Become Costly
Standard Orangeburg sewage pipes were supposed to last 50 years once constructed. Unfortunately, after just 30 years of usage, many systems started to fail. The majority of these structural issues were caused by the pipe’s construction material.
Orangeburg pipe is really nothing more than asphalt-soaked paper and pulp. It may seem apparent in hindsight, but soaking paper (even tar paper) in water for an extended period of time can cause it to distort. It’s hardly unexpected that these pipes started to collapse so fast, given the pressure from the earth above the pipe.
Orangeburg pipes absorb moisture and become deformed, frequently in an ovular shape, under pressure, in contrast, to cast iron or clay pipes. This material’s layers are likewise prone to bubbling up and shutting the pipe. Many Orangeburg pipes have survived as long as they have because they are sometimes characterized by plumbing specialists as little more than a “coal tar-impregnated toilet paper tube.”
The phrase “Orangeburg pipework” is probably foreign to the majority of householders. You owe it to yourself, however, to get acquainted with this unusual kind of sewage pipe, since it might be a ticking time bomb under your feet.
Problems With Sewer Pipes Made From Orangeburg Pipe
Sewer plumbing is often “out of sight, out of mind” until there is a water backup or structural failure in the pipe.
Orangeburg, which had diameters ranging from 2 to 18 inches, went out of favor in the early 1970s when more dependable, economically manufactured pipe materials became available. Orangeburg pipe sewage systems are still used in many older residences since they were the only low-cost sewer pipe alternative at the time. The pipe in most Orangeburg-built houses has either already corroded or is in the danger of collapsing. Homeowners who neglect to examine and assess the degeneration of their Orangeburg systems may face costly replacements and significant damage in the future. This might lead to a very nasty and costly sewage line collapse if they are neglected.
Orangeburg Pipes and Your Home
Homeowners often simply need to know the age of their house and the approximate year of pipe installation to estimate the existence of Orangeburg pipes on their property. The sewage system in practically every house constructed between 1945 and 1972 will be made up of Orangeburg pipe systems. This information is often kept on file by landlords, real estate records, and local papers.
Property owners may notice a change in the service and effectiveness of their home’s sewer system and other plumbing when the degradation of Orangeburg pipelines starts; this is the sewage system beginning to collapse. If this issue is not addressed, it may endanger the safety and health of the people who live in the house.
First and foremost, if you’re purchasing a property constructed before 1980, have a professional plumber 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, ask the previous owner or consult city documentation; if not, it’s advisable to get a professional plumber to assess it for you.
Orangeburg Pipe Failure Warning Signs
Over time, property owners with Orangeburg pipes may experience poor pipe flow, reduced efficiency, and other service issues. This slow deterioration in quality, which is often neglected, may lead to bigger, more costly, and catastrophic pipe failures. Homeowners may discover pipe problems sooner and prevent significant, expensive restorations by understanding typical indications and indicators of degradation.
If you detect any of the following signs of Orangeburg pipe failure, it’s time to contact a local professional plumber to inspect the damage:
- Blockages that occur often or persistently.
- Reduced water pressure and flow.
- Lawns with indentations and wetness.
- Concentrations of lush grass.
- Pipes that are gradually collapsing or collapsing suddenly.
- Infiltration of tree roots and organic matter into pipes.
- Back-ups in the toilets on a regular basis.
- Inside the house, there are foul sewage smells.
- Mold problems
- The foundation has sinkholes.
- Increases in your monthly water cost can come out of nowhere.
Each Orangeburg pipe system case is unique. While trenchless methods may be used to repair leaks, tiny breaks, and degraded surface areas if the Orangeburg pipe is too far deteriorated or unsalvageable, a complete pipe replacement with PVC pipes may be required. To prevent such an expensive and property-damaging situation, homeowners should have their pipe system inspected by a professional and any degradation repaired as soon as feasible.
Repair Services For Orangeburg Pipes
The best remedy for your damaged Orangeburg pipe is determined by a few important elements that vary depending on the situation. The depth of the pipe, the kind of break, and the severity of the break all play a role in determining which remedy is ideal for your property. Video inspection technology is often used by service personnel to discover the cause of performance issues in pipe systems; these approaches are very useful in locating degraded regions and evaluating damage severity. There are a few possibilities for repair after the damage has been inspected:
The Time-Honored Dig-and-Replace Technique
In a traditional Orangeburg pipe rehabilitation, the damaged pipes would have to be physically dug and replaced with completely new pipe segments. While this is good for shallow pipes (less than 1-2′ below the yard surface), it becomes more difficult and expensive as the depth of the pipeline increases or when surface-level fixtures (driveways, sidewalks, etc.) are involved. The most costly part of conventional pipe repairs is often not the pipe itself, but the remedial landscaping, turf damage, and heavy work that is usually necessary.
The bottom line is that dig-and-replace pipe repairs are ideal for shallow Orangeburg pipes, as well as pipe replacements when bursting or other non-invasive methods could be troublesome. Traditional pipe repairs range from $50 to $250 per foot, with a typical job costing $4,000 to $13,000.
Pipe Lining Using A Trenchless Solution
Dig-free pipelining may be an inexpensive alternative to manual dig-and-replace repairs in cases when Orangeburg pipe runs under roads, sidewalks, or other fixtures, or is quite deep underground. These repairs are generally completed in a matter of hours and save days, if not weeks, of work by applying epoxy-resin liners into the existing pipe (thus the industry phrase “cured-in-place pipe”).
Using a fiberglass and resin Perma-liner (which molds into PVC), epoxy coating, and air pressure, trenchless technology, a type of cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP), may efficiently repair mild pipe degradation and damages. Due to its smooth application and exceptional efficiency, trenchless pipe lining has become a favored approach for modernizing Orangeburg pipe infrastructure.
The procedure is straightforward: An air pressure bladder is used to squeeze a Perma-liner solution along the existing pipe walls after it has been routed through damaged, targeted pipelines. The liner is forced into pipe fractures, fissures, and breakages under regulated pressure, resulting in practically perfect inner walls. Trenchless technologies are ideal for Orangeburg pipe repairs since they can:
- Fill in all of the pipe’s missing sections.
- Pipe offsets that are smooth
- Large fractures should be filled, and joint connections should be sealed.
- Orangeburg pipe should be reinforced to endure another 50 years or more.
- Repair cracks, root damage, and damaged pipes to their original state.
CIPP liner transfers tension from your old, corroded Orangeburg pipes to a new, perfectly molded PVC pipe. This increases the structural integrity of your pipe system and may extend pipe life by up to 50 years. However, the most significant benefit of trenchless procedures over other repair solutions is their low impact on your property and money.
Trenchless repairs don’t need extensive digging or property damage since they work with existing pipes and often make use of existing pipe holes. When trenchless technology is used, the only digging done is for two tiny entrance and exit holes drilled at both ends of the broken pipe. This application, which is also safer and more environmentally friendly than full excavation replacement, may be performed in a matter of hours, if not a single day.
Trenchless technology has been welcomed by homeowners and service professionals alike for Orangeburg pipe repairs due to its exceptional efficiency and efficacy. Because every instance of pipe degradation and damage is unique, it’s essential for homeowners to analyze the health of their pipes before deciding on a repair strategy.
The efficiency of pipelining is mostly determined by the severity of the damage to your Orangeburg pipe. If your Orangeburg pipe has collapsed, the lining will not solve the issue. The pipe is still stiff enough to maintain its form, so the lining would strengthen the structure while restricting the flow. That’s a workable option, but it’s not ideal. If the issue is caused by a collapsed pipe, you’ll need to replace it.
Pipe Bursting: Modern Trenchless Solutions
Another trenchless alternative, pipe bursting, maybe the answer if the fracture is large or widespread throughout your line. Pipe bursting is a trenchless alternative to manual pipe replacement in cases when lining the old pipe will not totally repair damages; this is often the case with collapsed, deteriorating Orangeburg pipe.
Trenchless professionals may replace your collapsed pipe totally without digging up the whole pipe by using steel, conical bursting heads that are linked to new pipes. The cone-bursting head breaks and displaces the old pipe while simultaneously putting in new pipe via the tiny entrance and exit points, preserving both your yard and your budget.
The bottom line: trenchless pipe lining is less expensive than dig-and-replace Orangeburg pipe repair since landscaping and other labor jobs are minimized. Pipe lining in Orangeburg costs around $160 per foot and may cost as little as $3,000 to $4,000 for small to medium-sized jobs. Non-invasive pipe bursting is somewhat more expensive than pipe lining, but it is well worth the extra expense since it eliminates the need to dig up roads or sidewalks. It’s the only option to completely repair a broken pipe without having to dig extensively.
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 a 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.
In With the Trenchless, Out With the Orangeburg
Trenchless technology, fortunately, provides an appropriate solution to the challenges caused by decaying Orangeburg sewage pipes for owners of older houses and buildings. You save time and money by not having to manually dig up your broken pipes. You also avoid expensive and difficult landscape improvements. This lining application is appropriate for practically any sort of pipe damage, including temperature-related cracking, fracturing at important pipe joints, and age-related degradation (often the case for Orangeburg pipe systems).
Homeowners may benefit from adopting ‘green’ technology to strengthen, reline, and repair their Orangeburg sewage pipeline by employing trenchless technology, which eliminates the hazards of subsurface toxins and chemicals that can occur during traditional pipe restoration and digging.
It’s no surprise that this very quick and successful form of pipe repair has grown so popular in recent years. One of the easiest and most effective techniques of Orangeburg repair is to combine trenchless technologies with deteriorated or broken Orangeburg pipelines.
While the Orangeburg sewage pipe performed a useful role during the war, keeping it in its present shape is a terrible idea. Otherwise, it will simply keep collapsing until you have a problem. If you know you have Orangeburg pipe, it’s a good idea to have it lined as soon as possible. For the greatest long-term sewage pipe maintenance, homeowners should replace old pipes before they completely collapse. Don’t hesitate to call a trenchless plumbing specialist in your area if you suspect your ancient Orangeburg pipes are beginning to collapse.
Orangeburg pipe is a type of pipe that has been used for plumbing in the United States since the 1800s. The name comes from Orangeburg, New York, where it was first manufactured. This material is not well suited to sewage or plumbing lines as it can deteriorate over time. So, it is a good idea to avoid it altogether or get rid of it if your home already has it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Orangeburg pipe hazardous?
A: Yes, Orangeburg pipe is considered a hazardous material.
What is the life expectancy of Orangeburg pipe?
A: Well, the life expectancy of an Orangeburg pipe is typically around 20-50 years.
How do I know if my house has Orangeburg pipe?
A: There are a few ways you can tell if your house has Orangeburg pipe. One of these is to look for an orange and black color scheme that also includes red bricks, which indicate the presence of iron oxide pigments.
For more on plumbing leaks, see 6 Steps to Fix a Toilet Leaking at the Base (+ Prevention Tips).
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