Cast Iron Drain Pipe Repair: When Should You Call The Pros?March 1st, 2023
Posted by APT Public Relations
Many older homes and structures have cast iron drain pipes as a standard feature. Although solid and long-lasting, they need routine maintenance to keep working correctly. These pipes can develop significant issues when neglected, like leaks, blockages, and even total failure.
By being aware of these problems, you may take action to avoid them or deal with them immediately if they do arise. In this blog article, we’ll discuss the value of maintaining cast iron drain pipes and explain some typical issues these pipes could have.
Signs of cast iron drain pipes damage
Knowing how to spot damage early on is crucial for cast iron drain pipes. Knowing will enable you to solve the issue before it becomes significant. The following are some of the most typical indications of cast iron drain pipe damage:
- Leaks: If water is dripping from a pipe, there is unquestionably a problem. Numerous problems, such as corrosion, pipe fractures, or breakage, may be to blame for this.
- Slow drains: If your drains seem to be taking longer than expected to empty, the pipe may be partially blocked or broken. Debris accumulation, corrosion, or a change in the pipe’s location can all contribute to this.
- Gurgling sounds indicate that air is stuck in the pipe if you hear them coming from your drain. A clog or a pipe seal crack may be to blame for this.
- Musty smells: If you smell a musty smell emanating from your drains, mold may grow inside the pipes. Leaks or a buildup of moisture in the pipes may be to blame for this.
Estimating the damage’s extent
It’s crucial to assess the harm’s scope when you’ve recognized the cast iron drain pipes’ telltale indicators of corrosion. With this aid, you may choose the best line of action for the repair. The following are some methods for estimating the damage’s extent:
- Visual inspection: If the damage is apparent, glancing at the pipe may allow you to determine the severity of the issue. To do this, look inside the pipe with a flashlight or at the pipe outside with a mirror.
- Camera inspection: A qualified plumber may examine the pipe’s interior using a specialized camera to assess the level of damage. This kind of pipe inspection is non-intrusive and can be used to spot damage that is not immediately apparent.
- Hydro jetting: A qualified plumber may use hydro jetting to remove any accumulation or debris obstructing the line. Hydro-jetting can aid in revealing the damage’s full extent.
You can choose the finest course of action for repair by recognizing the indications of damage to your cast iron drain pipes and figuring out the amount of the damage. Addressing the issue as quickly as feasible will prevent more harm and probable failure.
DIY Options for Repair
Quick repairs for minor cracks and leaks
Some people try several temporary repairs as a do-it-yourself repair option if their cast iron drain pipes have tiny leaks or splits. With these remedies, you may stop the leak or crack and avoid further damage. Some quick treatments are as follows:
- Epoxy putty: This putty may patch up minor cracks or leaks in cast iron pipes. Most hardware stores carry it, and it is simple to use. Apply the epoxy putty to the leak or crack and smooth it out as necessary to utilize it. It will create a seal once it has dried, which can aid in halting the leak or fracture.
- Pipe wrap: Cast iron pipes can seal tiny leaks or cracks with this tape. Wrap the tape over the leak or crack to utilize pipe wrap, ensuring it overlaps the edges. By doing so, the tape will form a seal that may assist in stopping the leak or crack. Most hardware stores carry it, and it is simple to use.
Long-term fixes for more significant problems
You will probably need to conduct a long-term repair if your cast iron drain pipes have more severe problems, including a cracked or heavily rusted pipe. These repairs are usually more complicated and may demand specialist equipment and supplies. Long-term fixes might be:
- Pipe replacement: We recommend pipe replacement if it is highly corroded or damaged and repair is not an option. We will remove the broken pipe and replace it with a new one for this extensive repair. We recommend you consult a qualified plumber for this repair because it might be hazardous and require special equipment.
- Pipe-lining: a broken pipe can be repaired rather than replaced using the pipe-lining technique. This process entails installing a fresh liner into the pipe, then inflating it to create a new pipe inside the old one. Since this is a more complex repair, a professional plumber should perform it.
Resources required for do-it-yourself repairs
You must have the proper equipment and supplies to repair your cast iron drain pipes. The following is a list of equipment and supplies that could be required to complete this task:
- Teflon tape
- Pipe replacement or relining material
- Pipe cutter or saw
- Pipe wrench
- Epoxy putty or pipe wrap (if making a long-term repair)
Before beginning a repair, you must ensure you have all the equipment and materials. It is better to halt the repair and obtain the necessary supplies if you discover that you are missing something.
When to Contact Experts
Conditions when DIY fixes are not practical
The homeowner can sometimes repair cast iron drain pipes. However, there are some instances when this could be less practical. Here are some scenarios in which you ought to contact a qualified plumber:
- If the damage is substantial: It could be too difficult or risky to repair on your own if the damage to your cast iron drain pipes is extensive. In this situation, it is preferable to contact a qualified plumber with the knowledge and tools required to perform an effective repair.
- If you are unclear of the degree of the damage: It is preferable to hire a licensed plumber if you are unsure of the depth of the damage to your cast iron drain pipes. A qualified plumber can examine the pipes to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action for repairs.
- If the repair requires special tools or equipment: Some cast iron drain pipe repairs may call for specific tools or equipment you do not already have. In this situation, we recommend you contact a licensed plumber with the tools and supplies needed to complete the repair.
Equipment and knowledge needed for expert repairs
When you ask them to fix your cast iron drain pipes, you can be confident that a professional plumber like Advanced Plumbing Technology has the knowledge and tools required to conduct a quality repair. The knowledge and tools needed for professional maintenance include the following:
- Understanding of local building codes: A qualified plumber will be familiar with the rules and regulations governing local construction and will ensure that the repair complies with them.
- Specialist equipment: A professional plumber will have access to the equipment and specialized tools required to complete a repair. These instruments could include saws, pipe cutters, and specialized cameras for pipe inside inspection.
- Professional-grade supplies: When completing a repair, a professional plumber will utilize supplies of this kind. Compared to materials bought at a hardware shop, these will be better quality and more robust.
Advantages of hiring a qualified plumber
Employing a qualified plumber to fix your cast iron drain pipes has several advantages. Among these advantages are the following:
- Correct repair: A qualified plumber will have the knowledge and tools required to perform a correct repair. By doing this, the repair will be made correctly and will last a long time.
- Safety: A qualified plumber can securely fix your cast iron drain pipes. Doing this will help avoid any mishaps or injuries that could happen if you try to repair yourself.
- Warranty: Frequently, a warranty covers the repairs made by a qualified plumber. Knowing there is coverage for the repair is covered in case something goes wrong will offer you comfort.
- Time-saving: You may save time and effort by hiring a skilled plumber. Having the knowledge and tools necessary to repair a problem swiftly and correctly ensures no additional costs or wasted time.
In conclusion, keeping up with cast iron drain pipes is essential for ensuring their longevity and effective operation. Property owners can avoid serious issues with routine maintenance and fast fixes. When problems arise, it’s crucial to know when to contact a qualified plumber. Even if there are some DIY repair possibilities, there are some instances where it could be more practical and secure to repair by yourself.
Therefore, if DIY repairs are not feasible or advised, it is crucial to consult a professional plumber. Doing this ensures that your cast iron drain pipes are fixed correctly and will continue to work as intended for many years. If you need help determining what your problem is simply call 800-800-PIPE and the experts at Advanced Plumbing Technology will be happy to assist you.