NEWS

MILLIONS OF HOMES CONTAIN FAILING CAST IRON PIPES


Cast iron was widely used for piping until around 1975, when PVC piping became the material of choice.

Cast iron pipe has an average life span of 50-75 years under ideal conditions. In less than ideal conditions, cast iron pipes may only last 25-50 years. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average age of a broken water main in the U.S. is 47 years. For homes 50 years or older, this means that their pipes are nearing their breaking point.

Nationwide, an estimated 76 million homes have cast iron pipes that must be replaced. In Florida alone, 2.4 million homes have this problem.

CAST IRON PIPE FAILURE CAUSES

All pipe materials break down over time from a variety of causes. The most frequent cause of pipe deterioration is corrosion. Common sources of corrosion are hydrogen sulfide and other acids. Salt and moisture-rich environments—like those found across much of Florida—can accelerate corrosion. In Florida it is common for pipes to fail prematurely, in 25 years or less.

Other sources of pipe corrosion include:

  • Toxins

  • Chemicals

  • Turbulence

  • Organic growths

  • Clay soils

  • Acidic sewage

  • Improper installation

  • Construction activities

BAD PIPES DEGRADE WATER, HOME VALUES

Bad pipes can also harm Florida’s aquifer and reduce home values.

Each month, residential homes leak more than 216 million gallons of raw sewage into Florida’s water supply.

Home market values can be reduced by 20% or more due to cast iron plumbing systems that fail inspection.


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