The pink tile isn’t the only thing they should be ripping out for this bathroom renovation. Cast Iron drain lines can end up being a major expense in an older home. Most housed build before the mid 70′s have cast iron drain lines instead of PVC or ABS.
PVC is white and ABS is black, both are plastic and have a much longer life expectancy than cast iron.
It’s difficult to predict a life expectancy for cast iron drain lines. We see a lot of it that is 80 years old and still functioning properly. There is also quite a few commercial buildings that were built in the 1980′s in which the cast iron has failed. Cast Iron is a lot different to work on that plastic drain piping. Usually it’s not ideal to only replace a small section of cast iron and can often lead to the complete renovation of a bathroom.
Most of the sewer backups that require a drain cleaning company to come out are due to cast iron drain lines. The underground cast iron cracks over time and allows for root penetration. The roots are the most common cause for sewer backups. Lots of older homes throughout Kansas City require yearly cleaning to remove excess roots. Eventually all of these houses will need to replace the cast iron all the way out to the city sewer.
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