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Thread: Replace 63 year old Cast Iron drain lines or no?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member rocafeller05's Avatar
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    Default Replace 63 year old Cast Iron drain lines or no?

    Hello all. Newbie here with a question...

    Im getting ready to finish my basement and Im in torn in 2 pieces whether I should replace all the existing cast iron drain lines with PVC.

    Some details:

    -Cast Iron looks to be in good condition
    -Is 63 years old
    -Will be buried behind basement walls when basement is finished.
    -Major change out with about 100' total piping and fittings.
    -I plan on being in this house another 35 years, at least.

    Questions:

    -If this was your house would you leave it or change it to PVC?
    -Will this be something to come back to haunt me 30 years down the road if not changed?


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member rocafeller05's Avatar
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    Default

    Anyone?

  3. #3
    Plumber MichaelBukay's Avatar
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    have you ever had any main-line blockages? get a guy to come camera the line. Prob about $200.00 but worth it. They will give you a dvd/vhs of the sewer line. If it's all clear just keep it cast iron, unless you have the extra money to replace all of the line with pvc.

  4. #4
    Plumber Winslow's Avatar
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    If it's within your budget I'd change it now while you have the chance. A lot cheaper then opening up walls and ceiling later.

  5. #5

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    I would find a good sewer guy with a camera inspection and decide from there.I have cast iron sewer pipes that are a lot older than yours with no problems at all.If replacement is in your budget I might lean towards replacement,but after inspection I wouldn't be afraid of cast iron.
    Politicians are like diapers. You need to change them often……for the same reason.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Vertical lines with water flowing through them have few problems even at that age. Horizontal lines get stalagmites and stalactites in them, and "dry" vent lines can corrode and split. 2" drains can close down because of rust buildup on the pipe walls. In other words, there is no way to tell the condition of your piping, and cameras cannot always access trouble spots. I would not change it if it were my building, but it is a personal preference for your situation.
    Last edited by hj; 01-19-2013 at 07:48 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member rocafeller05's Avatar
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    I cut open the 4" horizontal CI drain line this Saturday to tie in my new washer location. Lets just say that my 4" pipe is now about a 2 3/4" ID pipe. CAKED!!

    I plan on ripping it all out and replacing it with 4" PVC. I just dont want any headaches 25 years down the road and then have to rip open walls to replace it.








    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Vertical lines with water flowing through them have few problems even at that age. Horizontal lines get stalagmites and stalactites in them, and "dry" vent lines can corrode and split. 2" drains can close down because of rust buildup on the pipe walls. In other words, there is no way to tell the condition of your piping, and cameras cannot always access trouble spots. I would not change it if it were my building, but it is a personal preference for your situation.

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