New homeowners can sometimes feel like they are drowning in a thousand tiny problems — things they had not considered or just never should have been a problem in the first place. In our mini-series for new homeowners, we are focusing now on what happens when an underground pipe breaks.Do you really have to dig…
Ripe for Repairs: Pipe Replacement
A burst pipe, corrosion, constant blockage, clogging or drainage issues are all signs that a sewage pipe may need to be replaced. It is important to know all the basics about your sewage piping, such as location, fittings and material. This information is essential to make sure replacement is done properly and smoothly to help the overall plumbing performance of your home.
If your pipes do need to be replaced, it is best to get started with a sewer camera inspection. This is a process where a plumber inserts a camera with a bright light into the pipes and keeps track of it above ground. Sewer camera inspections are helpful for many plumbing issues but can be especially useful for pipe replacement. A sewer camera inspection can tell where pipes need to be replaced, what kind of damage has been done and what material the pipe needs to be composed of.
Knowing your pipe material
It is important to know what type of material you will need for a pipe replacement. Your pipes will likely need to be replaced with either PVC or cast iron. Before you buy replacement pipes(if you are trying to do it yourself), be sure you know exactly where the repair must take place and what material it requires. If you replace a PVC unit with cast iron or vice versa, you run the risk of further damage to your pipes.
The problem with not knowing the pipe material is that PVC and cast iron are included in pipes for specific reasons, such as the water pressure, temperature tolerance and overall plumbing of the home. A mismatched pipe replacement will have to be repaired and will cause bigger issues in the end.
Cast iron sewer pipe
Cast iron sewer pipe can be found in older homes. Cast iron holds up to root infiltration (unlike older clay pipes) but is susceptible to rust and corrosion. Old cast iron pipes need to be replaced with cast iron in order to ensure integrity of the piping structure and matching of fittings. However, it is likely that cast iron pipes will eventually need to be replaced with PVC entirely.
PVC sewer pipe
Most sewer pipe replacements use PVC piping, as PVC is the new standard. It does not rust like cast iron, is not damaged by roots and is long lasting when installed properly. All PVC pipes have standard sizes and fittings, which makes replacement of sewer pipes much easier and streamlined.
It pays to do your homework
Sewage pipe replacement must be done properly, or it will need to be replaced all over again. If your sewage pipes need to be replaced, starting the process with a sewer camera inspection is ideal. This is an easy-to-book, cost-effective service that can easily obtain valuable information such as the exact location and material of pipes. You can try replacing the pipe yourself, or call a professional plumber to confirm it is done right.
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