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What is the average life expectancy of cast iron pipe?
Friday, July 6, 2018
How long does cast iron pipe last?
The average lifespan of cast iron drain/sewer pipe is 50 to 70 years, with an average of 60 years. It is easily recognized by the thickened female “hub” at each pipe segment connection. Rust eventually eats through cast iron, primarily from the inside out, as shown in the photo below. Because corrosion is accelerated by moisture, pipe with light effluent flow and installed in a dry environment can survive 20 to 30 years longer, and cast iron in an extremely humid, wet environment can sometimes fail as soon as 40 years. Cast iron began to be replaced by plastic PVC and ABS plastic pipe in the mid 1970s, and has not been used for new construction since the 1980s.
Here’s a graph comparing the life expectancy of cast iron to other types of pipe used in residential plumbing.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post ”How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about PLUMBING PIPES:
Cast Iron Pipe
Orangeburg (bituminous fiber) Pipe
PB (Polybutylene) Pipe
Commonly Used Pipes By Decade
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