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Cast Iron Plumbing – Advantages And Disadvantages

Cast iron Plumbing

Everyone is so excited and enthusiastic about little details when building a house. You want everything to be perfect and premium quality, even with minor details. If you talk to your parents about the installation, you may heard that cast iron plumbing can be the perfect choice for you. However, modern housebuilders have different options regarding plumbing systems. 

Now, what is cast iron plumbing? Cast iron was one of the most popular plumbing materials in the 1970s. Molders melt big chunks of iron and put them in strong molds to create thick, sturdy pipes. These pipes are then used in the plumbing system of the house or office. 

These pipes were popular for many reasons. Our old generation loves materials that are close to the earth and offer eco friendliness. However, with time better and lighter materials took their place and it became a story of the glorious past. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cast Iron Plumbing?

You may wonder why such a strong material became outdated. Every material has its merits and demerits. After a while demerits started overpowering the merits, and a requirement of innovation came into being. The same approach happens to cast iron pipes. Despite offering so many advantages, they start showing so many disadvantages that contractors have no choice but to replace them. 

Some of the prominent pros and cons are as follows.

Advantages Of Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes offer many perks for your plumbing system. They provide maximum durability and can last up to 50 to 100 years. Their thick walls maintain the temperature and quality of the water. Cast iron pipes can be installed underground, making them the most silent plumbing line in the house. Cast iron pipes are the perfect choice for plumbing systems as they are fire and chemical resistant. 

Moreover, it is an environment friendly material, so it is very convenient to recycle making it healthy for humans and the planet. It is naturally iron, so it resists expansion and contraction in extreme weather conditions, making it the perfect choice for smooth water flow in the long run. 

Disadvantages Of Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes have many disadvantages. Because they are made with natural materials, they start to rust and corrode inside. A constant build-up of rust can also welcome mold and mildew to grow inside the pipe which can cause a rotting odor in the whole plumbing line and drinking water. 

These pipes are made of heavy material, so replacing or repairing them after a minor problem is challenging. Moreover, with constant buildup in the pipes you may also face a backup flow of sewer water into your drinking water contaminating and causing severe health hazards for your family. 

Most plumbers do not know how to repair cast iron pipes. They often dig out all the pipes and create more mess than provide a solution. Repairing cast iron pipes also costs a fortune. Moreover, most insurance companies do not cover cast iron damage so it can be a hefty burden on your pocket.

These are just a few pros and cons of the cast iron plumbing system. You can analyze and choose to install plumbing fixtures in your house. If you are still confused and anxious about plumbing pipes, you may choose between other options in the market. 

Some Other Materials That Took Over Cast Iron Pipes

Modern contractors use different materials to install plumbing pipes in your home. Cast iron has not been used for plumbing for a long time because of its sensitivity to corrosion and water damage. You can select between multiple options and assess and choose according to your plumbing needs. 

Some of the popular choices are as follows.

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): PVC is a lightweight, affordable and corrosion resistant plastic that has become the go to material for plumbing systems. Most houseowners opt for PVC for their plumbing systems. PVC pipes are used for drains, sewers, toilets, vent systems and potable water distribution.
  • Copper Pipes: Copper is another reliable choice for plumbing pipes. It is long lasting, resists corrosion rust and maintains water temperature in extreme weather conditions. It is becoming famous because of its ability to withstand rigorous conditions. Moreover, it is also easy to install and convenient for any plumber to repair.
  • HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Pipes: HDPE pipes are unique because they are very strong and lightweight. They can bend easily without breaking and are not damaged by rust or chemicals. People often use them underground for water, sewer lines, basements and in places like farms and factories. These pipes can handle harsh environments and last long, even in rough conditions.
  • PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) Pipes: PEX pipes are quite popular because they are flexible, tough, and easy to install. They’re commonly used in homes and businesses for drinking water pipes, heated floors and heating systems. You can connect them differently so they’re handy for all plumbing jobs.
  • Galvanized Steel Pipes: Galvanized pipes used to be common in plumbing because they were strong and didn’t rust easily. But people use them less now because they can still be rusted, especially in places with harsh water. Instead, folks turn to materials like PVC and PEX taking over many plumbing jobs.

Cast iron plumbing can still be seen in old houses or by people who like the material for their plumbing system. However, you can assess the perks and disadvantages of cast iron and make a sound decision for your home. You have plenty of other options in the market. Remember, a sound plumbing system will give you peace of mind so choose carefully. 

Looking for a company that can repair cast iron pipes? Ted’s Plumbing Company has got you covered. We have a team of skilled and experienced plumbers who can replace your damaged iron pipes without massive digging and charge you the least amount. Visit us today and book your appointment now!


When did the cast iron pipes start using in the houses?

Cast iron pipes have a history dating back to the 17th century and have been the most popular material since the 1970s and early 80s. 

Why do plumbers charge more to replace cast iron pipes?

Cast iron pipes are installed underground, after digging up, you might face other problems like infestations and ground breakage. Plumbers charge more to handle these unforeseen circumstances for you. 

What is the alternative to cast iron these days?

PVC pipes are the commonly used plastic to replace cast iron in modern houses. They are lightweight, reliable, and easy to install in houses or commercial properties.

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