Cast iron is a strong, non-malleable alloy made of iron, carbon, and silicone. It has been used for a long time for various items, like kitchen pots and pans, bridges and buildings, but also plumbing systems.
Cast iron pipes are relatively uncommon nowadays, with cheaper, easier to maintain materials like PVC taking over, but some older houses still have cast-iron pipes.
If you are reading this article, then you may be wondering if it’s time to replace your cast iron pipes.
Let’s find out!
The Life-Span of Cast Iron Pipes
When you think about cast iron items, the first thing that probably comes to mind is how it’s used for pans and pots that are usually passed from one generation to another. Cast iron pans require special maintenance and cleaning and they must be seasoned properly before use.
We mention cast iron kitchenware because it might give you the wrong impression that cast iron pipes are equally long-lasting, but unfortunately, it’s not the case. This is because cast iron pipes will be affected by all the water and waste running through them. Cleaning and maintenance are also done differently.
This being said, the average lifespan of cast iron plumbing is up to 50 years. You should be able to find out easily when your cast iron pipes were made to determine when they need replacing. However, it all depends a lot on how well they have lasted through the years.
Signs That You Should Replace Your Cast Iron Pipes
Leaks in your cast iron pipes are one of the most common signs of damage. Leaks are usually signaled by a drop in your water pressure, infiltration of water in the house, sudden green patches in your garden, or water puddling around your house. Have this checked right away if you suspect such a problem and ask a professional to assess the overall health of your plumbing system.
Another sign that it’s time to replace your cast iron pipes is the presence of rust in your water. Have your water checked if you notice a weird color to it, as it might mean that your pipes have rust build-up on the interior walls, which can quickly lead to the collapse of the plumbing system and more expensive repairs.
Noticing a bad odor in your home can also be a sign of damaged pipes, as gases from the waste pipes are released where they shouldn’t, and not directed through a vent system in your roof. If this odor is paired with the presence of mold, call a plumber right away.
If your home has a cast iron pipe system and you suspect it’s getting closer to the end of its lifespan, call the specialists at Anytime Plumbing Inc. to have your pipes checked and to determine if they need replacement.