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Replace or Repair Your Ductile Iron Pipes before It’s Too Late


General Introduction


Nothing lasts forever, not even pipes. Being an essential part of a water system, ductile iron pipes serve the function of transporting water throughout a working system. These pipes are the “upgraded” version of what was more commonly used: the cast iron pipe. As with most metals, they tend to corrode overtime and may even cause a health hazard if left untreated. In addition, corroding pipes leads to leakage and will sever any water supply in any water system. Two viable options are either to repair damaged pipes or do a complete replacement. Either way, repairing your pipe system will be costly and the work will require heavy-duty maintenance. As the old saying goes “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. However, you will be able to save large amounts of money through careful inspection of any of your pipes and then fixing any problems that you encounter.


Cast Iron and Ductile Iron Pipes


With most pipes being in the ground, they are covered by soil. Almost all soil contains a pH scale which determines its acidity. With this it creates an acidic environment which surrounds your pipes and causes it to corrode overtime from the outside. If you live or operate a business with pipe properties that date to the early 1900s, there is a good chance that most of the pipes will need to be replaced, if not so already. Buildings as early as from the early 19th century have mostly cast iron pipes built through them. If you know that any structure you might live or operate in was built around and after the 1970’s, there is a very strong chance that the pipes used were of ductile iron pipes which are an upgraded version of cast iron pipes.


What to Consider Before Making a Choice


Before coming to any major decisions, if you are ever in doubt it is highly recommended that you call upon an expert who can check your pipes for you. As replacing entire pipe systems can be extremely expensive, the plumber or whoever is inspecting the pipes should check for corrosion and water flow. Signs of failing pipes can be seen through limited water flow due to rust flakes which develop overtime from the insides of the pipes rusting from corrosive sulfuric acid, as well as reduced quality of water supply due to chemical contamination. Since we have the corrosive properties of soil itself from the outside including the effects of sulfuric acid from the inside, it’s a two way battle. No matter if it is cast iron pipes or ductile iron pipes, they will eventually corrode. This is why we need to enforce the fact that the inspector or plumber is someone who really knows pipes inside out. Their careful judgment and your decision will determine the amount of money spent on repairs or replacements. You might even have to destroy building parts in order to reach the pipes themselves.


Final Words


If you plan on doing any renovations towards your home or work area and have money to spend, replacing pipes will prove to be an excellent benefit. You should also take a look at other pipe material alternatives such as PVC or galvanised steel to find the ideal balance of pipe life expectancy, reduced risks and cost saving measures. Furthermore, you should also take into consideration that either by replacing old pipes or even maintaining them will prove to be costly. Choose wisely.