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Cast Iron & Galvanized Plumbing (All photos are from real home inspections performed by Risley Home Inspections)

A look at what goes on, inside your Cast Iron drain lines:

Deterioration of cast iron pipes is normal after just 25 years, typically deteriorates quicker if standing water is allowed in pipes or at threaded joints. Wear and tear is normal in many residential pipe systems. Many older homes have cast iron or galvanized drain lines, unless they have been replaced since construction or renovation. In 1980, plumbers decided cast iron pipes were no longer the material of choice, and started using plastic pipes; such as PVC or ABS. Cast iron and galvanized plumbing materials have been used for years and years, dating back to the 19th century. But all materials have a life span. Cast iron being anywhere from 50-100 years, so many homes now-a-days can typically still have original cast iron drain lines, many in need of replacing sooner rather than later.

Issues with Cast Iron on & Galvanized Plumbing

Today, when buying a home with cast iron or galvanized plumbing, it is important to hire a home inspector to evaluate the condition of the pipes to avoid costly repairs (given average lifespan and/or condition of materials). Cast iron and galvanized plumbing lines are naturally prone to corroding and rusting from the inside-out. Closing the inside diameter of the pipes- affecting adequacy of drainage, compromising water pressure if used as supply lines, rusty water for supply lines, and eventually causing leaks from natural corrosion over time. A good sign your metal plumbing lines are prone to failure are stalactites, issues with drainage, water pressure, leaking, or rusty water.

(Top photos: failed cast iron drain lines/Bottom photos: failed galvanized supply lines)

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