If your home was built between 1945 and 1972, you need to be aware of the complications and concerns regarding Orangeburg pipe. This bituminized fiber pipe was used for residential sewer lines for nearly three decades and was marketed as a no-corrode pipe option, thought to be ideal for sewer lines. But in reality, the mixture of hot pitch and wood pulp was anything but reliable in sewer pipe applications. The desire was to focus all the available steel towards production for the war effort. And in that case, the creation was a success. But the longevity of Orangeburg pipe was far from the expected 50 plus years.
The Complication Of This Questionable Pipe
Today’s plumbing experts only shake their heads each time they come across an Orangeburg sewer line. The product appears to be nothing more than a tar-covered toilet paper tube. And just as you might expect, when subjected to water regularly, the material starts to soften, collapse, and break down. Many older homes suffer sewage backups and floods when the pipe collapses or crushes and blocks the flow of water and waste to the city sewer system.
Do You Do An Orangeburg Sewer Line?
If your home was built in the Orangeburg era, it is possible. In some cases, the builder’s documents, city, or real estate records would list this material. There are many common issues that homeowners with an Orangeburg sewer line experience, including:
- Frequent and stubborn sewer line blockages
- Indentations or settling in damp areas of the yard
- Lush grass growth in a small area of the yard
- A sudden pipe collapse
- Frequent toilet backups
- A foul sewer odor in the house
- Constant mold issues
- Sinkholes near the foundation
If you are experiencing any of these issues at your home, there is a good chance you have an Orangeburg sewer line. But you can be sure by calling (540) 507-2904 to schedule a camera sewer line inspection with the pros at Assure Plumbing & Septic.
Solutions For Orangeburg Issues
Even if your home was one of the last to have this questionable material used, it is nearing the end of its somewhat unrealistic life expectancy. So the best option is to have the sewer line replaced. But before you start to worry about the cost and destruction to your yard, consider a trenchless pipe replacement method.
If the Orangeburg pipe is still somewhat intact, a replacement liner can be installed inside the existing pipe with very little damage done to your property. The resin liner is coated with epoxy and then inserted into the existing pipe. Next, an inflatable bladder is used to enlarge the line and hold it in place to allow the epoxy to fuse with the damaged pipe. Once the epoxy cures, the bladder is deflated and removed, leaving a single-piece liner that functions as a new sewer line. And unlike the Orangeburg pipe, the new liner will live up to the 50 years plus life expectancy.
If the existing pipe is severely damaged, a process called pipe bursting can be used. This technique uses the old pipe to guide a bursting tool that breaks up the Orangeburg pipe and pulls a new line in its place. Again, the new pipe is a single seamless piece with no joints. This is the perfect non-invasive option if your old sewer line runs under sidewalks or your driveway.
To learn more about solutions for your home’s less than desirable Orangeburg sewer line, call (540) 507-2904. The licensed plumbers at Assure Plumbing & Septic will provide you with as many cost-effective solutions as possible for your outdated sewer line.