You may have a ticking plumbing time bomb!

Orangeburg pipe is everywhere around Spokane and its lifetime is coming to an end, putting your home at risk.

Orangeburg pipe and why it matters

If your sewer system was built between 1945-1972, you have a high potential of having a sewer line pipe made of a material called Orangeburg. Also known as “no-corrode” pipe, Orangeburg is a type of bituminized fiber pipe made from a mixture of hot pitch and wood pulp. It gets its name from Orangeburg, New York, where it was originally mass-produced by the Fiber Conduit Company (which later changed its name to the Orangeburg Manufacturing Company).

Although various forms of bituminized fiber pipe have been used since the 1800s, Orangeburg owes its origins to World War II, when the iron and steel commonly used for sewer pipes were critical to the war effort. Because of these shortages, Orangeburg pipe was invented so more iron and steel could go toward producing war materials. Following the war, Orangeburg continued to proliferate because it was cheap.

How long does Orangeburg pipe last?

Orangeburg has a life expectancy of approximately 50 years. After 30 years, deformation may begin to occur. All homes with Orangeburg pipe were built before 1972. That could put your house at risk.

What happens when Orangeburg piping begins to deteriorate?

Once the product begins to break down, homeowners can expect frequently clogged lines, tree root invasion, and even total pipe collapse. Once the deterioration process begins, Orangeburg sewer pipes deform quickly, allowing tree roots to break into them and literally shred them.

How do you tell if your home has Orangeburg pipe?

If your house was built between 1940 and 1972, there’s a chance you have Orangeburg. Also, if you have frequent clogs in your main sewer line or you see indentations in the front yard that line up with where the sewer should be, it might be a sign of Orangeburg pipe deterioration. Lastly, if your neighbors have Orangeburg, you probably do too.

You have Orangeburg pipe in your home. What is the solution?

We can come out and perform an inspection with a video camera that does not require digging anything up. If we see that your sewer was built with Orangeburg piping and is showing signs of deterioration, we can talk more about a specialized solution to fit your needs. The bottom line is this material will deteriorate after a certain amount of time due to pressure and moisture. If you don’t address the problem, eventually your sewer line will fail which could cost thousands in preventable repairs. Worried you might have Orangeburg piping? Give us a call to find out at (509) 535-3447 for service in Washington, or (208) 649-9991 in Idaho.

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