At some point in time, cast-iron pipes were the most popular pipe option when transporting wastewater over great distances and required rigidity. This type of plumbing pipe can accommodate high water pressure and is very durable, hence the reason for its high price. Unfortunately, due to the expensive aspect of this pipe, replacing it can put a hole in the wallet. Houses built around the 70s or 80s mostly have cast-iron piping. The downside with this type of pipe, though it is known to be durable, is it is nearing its end of full-service life and can anytime collapse. If you suspect you have this, check out the reasons below why your plumbing is at risk of reaching its point of failure anytime soon.
Why do cast-iron pipes fail?
Cast iron pipes are metal material, which means, despite its durability, it is not 100% failsafe. Sewer pipes are underground systems, so even with proper care and regular maintenance, these pipes are subject to different factors that influence its structural deterioration. For example, extreme conditions that are not under human’s control like soil compaction, fluctuations of groundwater level, presence of trees, and underground and aboveground activities. Other than that, metal pipes when coming into contact with moisture, such as during transportation of wastewater daily, rusting and corrosion naturally set in. High exposure to chemicals and salt-rich soil can also make cast-iron pipes vulnerable.
The first stage of deterioration on the cast-iron pipe is when cracks formed due to overwhelming disturbances, rusting and corrosion. The presence of cracks in the pipeline can make the side support lost, which increases the premature deformation of the pipe, leading to leakage and collapse. This condition is unfortunately beyond what eyes can see, therefore regular checkup through CCTV camera inspection should be in place to inspect the current pipe condition; establishing this as part of your routine pipeline maintenance safeguards you from expensive pipe repairs that require excavation.
Indications of Cast-iron Failure
Failure signs on pipes are not all the time apparent; it is especially true when the indications just come and go. Knowing the warning signs to be vigilant for will help you predict when to call the Sydney Relining Solutions experts to address any arising symptoms immediately.
- Visual – Cast iron piping is a complex system to inspect because the pipes are generally concealed above ceilings and behind walls. If your pipeline is exposed in certain areas in your property, look for leaks, moisture, seepage, or even cracks. These issues are common to houses with trees where the pipe system runs. If the leaks exist in multiple parts in your home, you need to make urgent contact with the experts. Leaks have the potential to lead to a home renovation when it is allowed to continue. Discolouration of water, on the other hand, is another obvious sign of a failing pipe; this indicates a buildup of corrosion or rust which cast iron pipes are especially vulnerable. Rust and corrosion exhibit a brown or yellow colour on the water. A slow drain is also another sign that you need to be concerned about, specifically, when it is occurring not just on a single drain at your property. A slow drain is an obvious indication that a pipe may have already failed.
- Odour – A well-conditioned sewer system should be airtight, but when corrosion occurs, leaks commonly follow. Leaks on pipes release sewer gas supposedly vented outdoors, but due to the presence of a leak, sewer gas goes into a different direction, hence, the smell that is emanating inside your home. Prolonged exposure to sewer gas can lead to headache, irritation, etc.
- Sounds – At times, it is common for pipes to make a sporadic sound due to the pressure of the water running on the pipeline. But if the sounds seems a queer effect, not from water pressure, invite an expert to investigate where the sounds are coming from. Pipeline sounds can be a result of a loose-fitting somewhere in the line, a high water pressure, or a blocked vent pipe in your plumbing.
What are the consequences of a faulty cast-iron pipe and the importance of Cast iron pipe relining services Sydney?
Pipeline failures are inevitable and appear in different forms; this includes cracks along the pipelines, pipe bursts, pipe breaks, or even total collapse. Regardless of the type of failure, it is undeniable that the effect can stretch over the environment, the entire community, and even affects human wellness after extended exposure to extreme deterioration without being treated. The list below will give you an idea of what to expect when you leave your faulty cast-iron pipes unrepaired.
- Mould – Cracks in the sewer line introduces mould. Water can seep out from the cracks into the walls and ceilings, and lead to mould growth. Bathrooms are especially vulnerable due to the high humidity level. When the presence of mould is not visible, but there is a mould odour, a damaged sewage pipe could be the cause of the problem.
- Pest Invasion – When leaks start to form in your sewer line, this can eventually become an easy entry point for pests and other unwanted insects to reach your home.
- Sinkhole – When sewer repair goes wrong, or sewer leakage is not addressed immediately, a sinkhole can develop; this occurs when the excess water erodes in the ground. When ponding water exists in your yard, contact a plumber right away to inspect for leakage.
Sewer system represents a piece of infrastructure that plays a vital role in directing wastewater from homes, businesses into the treatment facilities, and it, unfortunately, deteriorates over time due to combined physical and chemical factors. Since it is difficult to guarantee the cast-iron pipes structural longevity, immediate action is of immense help even when it has not exhibited visible signs of failure; this is the importance of Cast-iron pipe relining Sydney solutions. The method involves inserting a CCTV camera that can be zoomed, panned and rotated to locate pipe damages and restore it to full-functionality unless it is in unserviceable deformation and the only practical solution is to excavate and replace the pipe.
The notable advantage of this method is its ability to restore the condition of the cast-iron pipe without the required excavation, normal to traditional pipe repair. The process provides the Sydney relining solutions experts with an easy alternative to rehabilitate pipes in a day’s work, leaving property owners a more durable, completely restored, and efficient pipeline.
Who are at high risk for pipe failure, and what can you do?
Older homes, or homes with a cast-iron piping system that have mature trees in the yard are at high risk for pipe failure. It is not unusual to have a punctured pipe with tree-roots around. As they seek moisture on the ground, tree roots can impinge on cast iron pipes, leading to leaks or pipe collapse. Though the age of the cast-iron piping is not always a determinant of its longevity, experts found enough evidence leading to the conclusion that as pipes aged, rust and corrosion takes place.
Cast-iron pipes are expensive, invasive, time-consuming, and labour-intensive to install. Especially when a full replacement is necessary, that is why it is critical to communicate with the experts immediately and repair any signs of failure to maintain your sewer pipe system at the desired condition. Prevention is still better than cure. So, the earlier you take measures, the more you can prevent any costly consequences from developing.