cast iron drainDo you live in a house built prior to 1970? If you do, chances are you are one of the many people in Ottawa who has cast iron piping as part of your plumbing system. Cast iron piping has been around since the early 1800’s. At first the iron pipe was used solely for water distribution and it wasn’t until the 1890’s that it was discovered to also be useful for drainage. The cast iron pipe revolutionized the plumbing industry allowing anyone to have the use of indoor plumbing. The piping was solid, allowed for quicker installation, and allowed for plumbing to be located anywhere in a building.

Fast forward to 2015, cast iron piping still exists and is still being installed in buildings to this day. The fire resistant properties and low cost of cast iron piping makes it one of the ideal choices for commercial plumbing installations. However at Canada Plumbing we believe cast iron piping is considered to be an inferior pipe when compared to ABS ( acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PVC ( polyvinyl chloride) as these pipes are more resistant to corrosion and allow for a longer lifespan. The main problems people are having with cast iron piping are reoccurring blockages. Blockages occur more frequently in cast iron pipe due to the rough interior condition, allowing debris and other materials to stick to the walls slowly forming the problem. Because of the metallic properties, cast iron pipe will inevitably rust from the inside out. Typically cast iron piping installed aboveground will develop pin holes where as the piping that is underground will rot out at the bottom forming large holes. If you see rust spots forming on the exposed cast iron piping or water backing up from the floor drain contact Canada Plumbing to have a qualified licensed plumber assess the issue.

The average life span for cast iron drainage piping ranges from 40 years – 100+ years. Oh ya, we know this is a huge range! However there are many factors that can affect the life of the pipe. Factors which include, where was the pipe manufactured? Was the pipe properly installed with the correct slope? What are the soil conditions that the pipe is buried in? Was the piping installed with the welded seam facing down? Do you pour lots of chemicals down the drain? And of course … how old is the piping?

Ottawa consists of many heritage building which contain cast iron piping. At Canada Plumbing we have the experience and knowledge to assist you dealing with any of these issues. If you have any questions or concerns we would be happy to help you. Give us a call today!