I've never had a customer call me and say "I've had a plumber come out every few months and snake my PVC drains and I would like you to descale the lines or cut my floors open and replace them.” I do however make lots of money every year doing that to iron.
The fist picture is a picture of the seesnake screen. In the lower left hand side you can see a 3/4" wide rift that has opened up from the iron rusting out. The "canyon" goes for about 35 feet. After thanksgiving I'm going back out to discus saw cutting the floors and putting in PVC for the kitchen and descaling the rest of the house. There are hundreds of houses in this condition in my area. I've noticed that I see this ten times for frequently on houses with no-hub vs houses with lead and oakum. The old cast is actually better at withstanding corrosion.
I like installing Cast Iron .. its a more professional job. I mean still to this day there are some jobs we still have to caulk and pour lead . mostly NYC Schools and housing ... But i do believe PVC dosnt get like that inside at all. I admit i hated PVC when it first came out. probably like the old timers hated No Hub,, But it does make things easier.. and quicker.. Time is money. But if I price out a job and the GC wants iron I now charge a lot more then I used to..
In defense of cast-iron: I recently video-inspected a commercial building-drain that was well over 100 years old and still in good working condition. Impressive.
Cast-iron in tall commercial buildings is the way to go, much better load-bearing and fire-resistant than PVC.:thumbsup:
I have seen drain lines where the PVC pipe pulled out of the joints due to expansion/contraction issues, that has never been a problem with iron. I have yet to see a building with 120 year old PVC stacks, but I have seen hundreds of them with iron stacks.
I agree that old cast is better than the newer no hub. I see many 30 year old homes with no hub that are already rotting out and across the street there are homes with pvc that I never get cold out to except maybe to jet some grease out.
KTS, what type of systems did you see the pipe pullouts in? I've never seen that before and you've got me curious now?
I dread cast iron mains with galvanized branches. None of the fittings sweep. It is so hard to clear 1-1/2" branches. I have seen old cast in good shape, and old cast in bad shape. A lot restaurants in suburban Cook County with cast mains rot out at the bar area because of the soda and beer dumped in them, without enough water to wash down behind it.
I got called to fix a 1 1/2 inch pvc water main that came apart after it had been installed for 10 years. Never leaked previous and then blew apart after digging it up and pumping out the water i found it was a dry fit. Dry fit happens occasionally on a glue pipe like pvc but you really would have to be inept to not pour a joint in cast.
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