Should You Replace Orangeburg Pipe? What You Need to Know

Modern PVC sewer pipe being installed in place of Orangeburg pipeOrangeburg pipes were a common building material in New Jersey that rose in popularity from the early 1940s to 1972. They were used as an alternative for sewer lines because of the cast iron and steel shortage created by World War II.

At the time, plumbers and homeowners highly regarded Orangeburg pipes for many reasons. They had a lightweight design, were easy to cut with regular wood saws, and were two-thirds the cost of cast-iron pipe. For this reason, many of the older properties in NJ utilize Orangeburg pipes.

Over time, Orangeburg pipes have demonstrated that, due to their construction, they are not able to reach their life expectancy of at least 50 years. Because of this, more homeowners are replacing their Orangeburg pipes with more modern and reliable materials.

Arrow Sewer & Drain provides expert sewer and drain services, along with plumbing services, throughout north and central NJ. To help homeowners decide about pipe replacement, we offer insight into the potential dangers that loom with Orangeburg pipes and the reasons replacement could be the best option for your NJ property.

What Are Orangeburg Pipes?

Orangeburg pipes were manufactured from wood pulp and pitch with asphalt all pressed together, creating a thick tar paper product. Because of its construction, Orangeburg pipes deteriorate in the ground and collapse as they age, causing a variety of issues, including sewer stoppages and the flooding of homes and businesses, all of which can lead to structural damage.

As a homeowner or business owner in NJ, replacing sewer pipes can seem like a drastic and unnecessary precaution. However, choosing not to replace Orangeburg pipes can lead to several severe consequences. Reasons Orangeburg pipe replacement may be in your best interest include:

More Efficient Options

Even if Orangeburg pipes reach their maximum life expectancy (50 years), they still can’t compare to other, more efficient piping options. Because of the time frame in which they were constructed, the Orangeburg pipes in many homes are nearing their expiration date. Homeowners would be wise to replace their pipes now before they are faced with serious plumbing issues down the road.

Lowered Property Value

A home’s property value is determined by more than just its curb appeal and floor plan. A property’s crucial components, such as the condition of its plumbing, contribute to its overall value, as well. Because of the known risk factors associated with Orangeburg pipes, homeowners may experience a decrease in property value until they have the pipes replaced.

Higher Maintenance and Repair Costs

Property owners who choose not to replace Orangeburg pipes may need much more frequent maintenance services and sewer repairs. As these services add up, you may realize you’re paying more than a replacement would have cost.

Environmental Impact and Regulatory Compliance

Orangeburg pipes have been known to fail in as few as 10 years. While they are cheaper than other building materials, their failure rate, and the negative impact they can have on the environment, are why they have been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.

Don’t Wait to Have Your Orangeburg Pipes Replaced

Some homeowners and businesses may avoid replacing sewer pipes because they think the project might be inconvenient or costly. However, failing to replace Orangeburg pipes may result in greater challenges and added expenses down the road.

With experience in residential plumbing and commercial plumbing, Arrow Sewer & Drain offers a wide range of professional plumbing services, including pipe replacement. Clients in north and central NJ, including Edison, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties, concerned about the condition of their system should contact us today to speak with a representative and learn more about the effects of Orangeburg pipes and the benefits of pipe replacement.

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