Orangeburg pipes, also known as bituminous fiber pipes, were a popular plumbing material in the mid-20th century due to their low cost and ease of installation. However, they are now widely considered problematic and no longer used in new construction. RAM Plumbing lists the main issues with Orangeburg pipes and how trenchless sewer repair in Tucson, AZ, can help.
1. Susceptible to Premature Failure
Made from a combination of wood pulp and coal tar pitch, Orangeburg pipes were designed to last for around 50 years. However, they become brittle as they age, making them prone to cracking and disintegrating.
When this happens, it can lead to leaks, clogs, and other issues that can be expensive to fix. Trenchless pipe lining can reinforce Orangeburg pipes and prolong their lifespan.
2. Susceptible to Damage
Orangeburg pipes can be easily damaged by tree roots, shifting soil, and other environmental factors. This can cause them to collapse over time, resulting in backups and other serious issues.
3. Environmental Concerns
The coal tar pitch used in Orangeburg pipes contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are toxic and can cause cancer. When these pipes degrade, these chemicals can leach into the surrounding soil and groundwater, contaminating the environment and posing a risk to public health. In this case, it’s best to resort to trenchless sewer replacement.
Orangeburg pipes may have been a cost-effective solution in the past, but they have proven to be problematic in the long run. If you suspect that your home uses these pipes, have them inspected or replaced by a professional plumber from RAM Plumbing.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.