What Is The Difference Between A Cast Iron and PVC Sewer Pipe?

Leone Plumbing's Sewer Pipes Replacement Service Sewer pipes are one of the important components of a good plumbing system. The most popular choices are cast iron and PVC sewer pipes. With these options, which pipe is better? Before you pick which pipe to use, make sure to know the difference so you can determine which material is best for your needs.

Facts About Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes have a long history of usage dating back as early as the 1600s. Most old buildings still hold cast iron pipes for many decades (even centuries). Cast iron sewer pipes can withstand the test of time. The famous fountains of Versaille in France hold the oldest water supply system using cast iron from the late 17th century which is still in use up to this day! With its long history, we can say that durability is the main strength of a cast iron pipe. The fountains of Versailles in France holds some of the oldest water supply system (including sewer pipes) using cast iron from the late 17th century.

Facts About PVC Pipes

PVC pipes have been used for 80 years in plumbing and construction. It is relatively young compared to cast iron pipes. This material is made from plastic and has many benefits. It is popularly used because it’s lightweight and most of all, versatile. PVC pipes are also durable and resistant to corrosion and increasing temperature.

Important Comparison Points Between Cast Iron and PVC Sewer Pipes

Flexibility
A cast iron is indeed a strong material. But when a blunt force is applied, it can become brittle and break. PVC on the other hand is much more flexible and resistant to blunt forces and does not break easily.
Friction In Water
Friction can fluctuate water pressure. PVC pipes are much smoother than cast iron pipes. That means, there is less fluid friction and flow rates are consistent with PVC pipes compared to cast iron.
Cost
PVC pipes are almost half the price of cast iron pipes. Since the material is lightweight, installation is much easier which can also lower the labor cost.
Fire Resistance
Cast iron pipes can resist high temperatures and won’t melt easily. The heat threshold of PVC is 450 degrees which can melt in the event of fires.
Noise
Vibration can produce sound (noise). A cast-iron pipe is thick and dense and does not cause too much vibration when water flows through. Since PVC pipe is lightweight, it could vibrate due to water flows which result in noise.
Corrosion
Over time, a cast iron is subject to rust and corrosion and requires regular maintenance. That is not the case with PVC which can withstand rust and corrosion since it’s made of plastic.
Adjustability
Cast iron pipes are adjustable compared to PVC. The fittings can be adjusted even after the installation. However, with PVC, the portion of the plumbing system has to be replaced should there be changes needed.

Between Cast Iron And PVC Sewer Pipes, Which Are Better?

We highly recommend using PVC pipes for modern plumbing systems. The reality for most home and business owners today is that sewer waste contains much more than pure running water like the fountains of Versailles. Grease from the kitchen as well as other sewer waste can lead to significant corrosion and a shorter life expectancy in cast-iron pipes. Leone Plumbing therefore highly recommends using PVC pipes for modern plumbing systems. If you are unsure of the option, contact us today for a consultation.                                                      

Photo Credit: Versailles Fountain – Ernelina at Pixabay

 
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Joan Wania
Joan Wania

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

Two different days of service included a severely clogged bathroom sink drain being cleared of decades of accumulated sludge. The action needed was more than a simple drain clearing with chemicals or a plunger. I was and am very satisfied with the degree of efficiency and persistence on the part of the two individuals who worked to resolve the clog. Water has continued to flow without any delays in the sink emptying. No leaks occurred under the sink after everything had to be pulled apart to clear the clog.

The second need for service involved a basement water back up resulting from days of heavy rainfall. Water was coming in from the floor drain and through the concrete floor. In addition, the old sump pump was working but severely deteriorated and near ready to fail. New larger drainpipes replaced old ones and a sump pump was acquired and put in place. Water was extracted with a wet vac and all areas were mopped up. Subsequent heavy rainfall has not been problematic.

I am grateful for the immediate response in both instances. The need for plumbing services happened just a couple weeks apart. In both instances, service was immediate, efficient, effective and courtesy was exemplary. I am grateful for all kindness and efficient service.

Great job! Thank you, sincerely.

Robin Bellamy
Robin Bellamy

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

My experience with Leone heating and plumbing was great. The technician was professional, polite and informative. He represented the company well. My issue was resolved in one trip. I would recommend Leone heating and plumbing to anyone in need of a plumber.

Chris Walsh
Chris Walsh

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 months ago

Woke up with no hot water. Needed in a hurry and was done before lunch. Easy to work with. Thx.
Andy