Cast Iron Pipe Systems 101

If you look inside a house that is around 100 years old and hasn’t been completely renovated, then you’ll likely still find the cast iron piping system that was installed when the house was built. Most modern houses today are, instead, fitted with PVC pipes. It has become the norm of modern-day plumbing, but is it the best option?

Cast iron pipes are still recommended by lots of plumbing experts, including us, so let’s look at why they were phased out in the first place and how you can benefit from replacing your PVC pipes with cast iron ones.

When did PVC become so popular?

Cast iron used to be the standard material for piping in homes. In the 1950s and ’60s, this started to be replaced by PVC pipes. One of the main reasons for this was convenience; back then, cast iron pipes were made in a relatively slow process. So, when PVC piping came along, able to be cut within seconds, it seemed like an obvious choice.

There were also certain risks that came with cast iron piping at the time, mostly the fact that it could rust, which would result in restricted water flow inside the pipes and even clogs. The materials and manufacturing process have come a long way since then, so cast iron pipes are no longer at risk of clogs and leaks, and the time it takes to produce them is comparable with PVC pipes.

What are the benefits of cast iron pipes?

If your home has PVC pipes fitted, then why should you replace them with cast iron pipes? Here are a few of the benefits that cast iron can offer.

Less noise

The complaint that most people have about PVC piping is the excessive noise. Can you hear whenever someone runs water or flushes a toilet in your house? Cast iron is a lot thicker and denser than PVC, so it effectively dampens the sound of water passing through the pipe so that you can barely notice it.

Longer lasting

The fact that cast iron pipe is still standing in some houses from the early 20th century is a testament to their durability. PVC pipes have been found to last around 25-40 years, while cast iron pipes typically span 80-100 years. Cast iron pipes can be more expensive, but since they are more than likely to last your entire lifetime, you benefit from cost savings in the long run. The need to repair or replace your pipes will be much less likely.

Better safety

What happens to plastic in the event of a fire in your home? Your pipes will burn and melt, not only destroying your piping system but also releasing toxic fumes into the air. This is another area where cast iron pipes win out. They are completely heat-resistant and will not release any gases when exposed to heat.

We highly recommend cast iron pipes to our customers. So, if you’re planning a home or bathroom remodel, contact us for more information about having cast iron pipes installed around Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, and Guilford Counties.