Cast Iron and clay Piping
Cast iron and clay piping can last fifty years and more when installed correctly and is not abused. Cast iron, when exposed, can easily be checked for deterioration or wear. Depending on how the pipe was manufactured and installed will also help to determine how fast it will wear. Seamless cast iron is always the best choice and quality, but very hard to come by and not cost effective. Install the seam facing up when the pipe is installed on the vertical, as not to prematurely rot the seam. So often we will run into a thinned out cast iron pipe rotted out at the seam.
Removing cast iron piping.
Warning. When you cut your cast iron pipe, dangerous sewer gas will enter into your home, living and work area. Take adequate precautions, also read whole blog.
Removing cast iron pipe is generally not an easy job and is best left for the professionals. If you are going to attempt it yourself, make certain that you take your safety into consideration first. Cast iron is very heavy and is now full of pathogens and possibly hepatitis, don’t get hurt, don’t get cut don’t get anything in your eyes, nose or mouth, even on your skin. Plumbers although not immune to sewage have experience working with it and have built up some immunity over time.
Remove the pipes in small sections, this will make your day easier and safer. Support the piping along the way and throughout the whole process. Adding support to vertical sections of the cast iron pipe is always a good safety tip. Theoretically, the vertical section should already be supported, but in practice do not count on work done by some-one else and the stability of older piping and clamps.
Repairing cast iron piping
Depending on your local code requirements will determine what type of repair you will have in front of you. Some local municipalities and fire regulations insist on cast iron only. If you will be replacing cast with cast, you will have to invest in some expensive tools like snap cutters (soil pipe cutters). Repairs to cast iron pipe is always best left to a professional, there is usually not a lot of room for a mistake or misalignment. A small mistake could mean you now have to jack hammer concrete to make the repair.
Prepare for fresh air and rest
People don’t realize what a service plumber puts themselves through each time they open up a pipe or remove a toilet. And you have just been inhaling sewer gas and methane and working with and around raw sewage as well, welcome to our world. Your body will need some rest from stomach flu like symptoms or even head and body aches. Depending on how much sewer gas you inhaled, you may now have some respiratory symptoms. Pathogens are thriving inside your piping system, parasites, viruses and bacteria, E. Coli, salmonella, pinworms, cholera, amoebiasis, hepatitis.
Give yourself some time to recuperate and watch for signs of flu like symptoms. Your body is in a minimum state of mild shock and now has to fight off what you have allowed into it.