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Cracked cast iron sewer pipe

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  • Cracked cast iron sewer pipe

    My condo neighbor had water damage, and it was found that the vertical 3" cast iron sewer pipe (8 ft long) had a crack all the way lengthwise, and the crack expanded (not just rusted) to 4-5 mm (3/16") wide.

    How does such crack ever happen? Does having a water softener affects cast iron corrosion?

    I though these houses (built in 1978) had all ABS drains. When I looked at my drains, they appeared ABS. That damaged pipe also looked very smooth on the outside, I thought it's ABS, too, but the plumber told me it's cast iron.

  • #2
    Re: Cracked cast iron sewer pipe

    Poor quality cast iron, chemicals, heavy usage, improper handling or installation can cause that scenario.

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    • #3
      Re: Cracked cast iron sewer pipe

      Alex, there are a number of reason why the cast iron, no hub pipe splits. It not uncommon and ive written many times about it.

      The fact that it had a 3/16" split top to bottom, would tell me it has little use or it would have showed up a lot sooner.

      My feeling is lack of use causes the pipe to rust and dry. Then get wet and rust. The build up of rust against rust causes an expansion against eachother and splits the pipe open. This has been the best explanation ive got based on years of seeing this. I see it more often on vent lines and storm , yard drain lines than waste lines that are used on a regular basis.

      Its always amazed me that a pipe that is not flexible can actually spring open.

      As an engineer does this make any sense Alex?

      Rick.
      phoebe it is

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