Have you ever woken up one morning and had a second thought about your sewer line? No, never! Although we never think about it, our sewer line is vital to our plumbing system and quality of life. Our sewer line will carry waste out of our house and into the municipal sewer main for 50 to 100 years. Much will depend on the type of pipe used, landscaping, soil conditions, flooding, the original installation, and wear and tear. When it reaches the end of its life cycle, you’ll need to install a trenchless sewer line or have the current line replaced. In most cases, installing a trenchless sewer line is the best and most affordable option. There are those lines that are beyond repair. Trenchless sewer lines are made of an epoxy resin, and according to most experts, they will last 50 to 100 years.
Orangeburg Sewer Line Lasts 30-50 Years
Orangeburg pipes were one of the sewer pipes used between 1860 and 1970. This piping is described in Wikipedia as a bituminous fiber pipe, fiber conduit, or Bermico. It is made from layers of wood pulp and pitch, also known as coal tar. In World War II, due to the shortage of cast iron, the Orangeburg pipe was highly used in its place. It was cheaper to make and has a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. They are also the least durable of all the sewer lines produced because they were more susceptible to tree roots and deteriorated faster than all the rest.
Cast Iron Sewer Pipes Will Last 75-100 years
Cast iron pipes were a very popular sewer pipe from 1900 to the early 70s. According to most experts, you can expect these pipes to last 75 to 100 years. If you have a cast iron sewer line, have your line inspected by your plumbing professional, especially if you’re doing any remodeling.
Clay Pipes Last 50-60 Years
Clay pipes typically have a lifespan of 50 to 60 years., and clay sewer lines were installed up until the mid-70s. The pipes were durable and resistant to corrosion, but they too had their drawbacks. They were hard to work with because of their weight, and transporting them was also an issue. Another problem is they were susceptible to root intrusion and leaks. But with that said, there are still clay sewer systems in use today.
PVC Is Our Go-To Pipe Today, And It Lasts Up To 100 Years
Today our go-to sewer pipe for your sewer line replacement and new construction is polyvinyl chloride, commonly referred to as PVC. In the 70s, PVC piping became widespread for sewer lines, and we never looked back. It’s lightweight, easier to install, easy to transport, cost less, leak-free joints, corrosion-resistant, and can last up to 100 years. For plumbing companies, PVC is a no brainer for sewer line replacement.
Our Sewer Line Will Face Many Challenges
During the life of your sewer line, it will face many challenges, and older homes are the most at risk. One challenge is tree roots can become a severe menace to your sewer lines integrity. When encountered by tree roots, they find their way even into the slightest breach in our line and begin to live off the raw sewage. Before long, the roots can take over, clogging the pipe completely. Those of us living in California were all aware of the shifting soil due to drought and minor earthquakes that put direct stress on our sewer lines. Additionally, our sewer pipes suffer from the misuse from what we put down our drains, such as fat, grease, food debris, paper towels, wipes, bathroom product, all of which builds up over time and clogs our sewer line.