As a civilization, we’ve been developing ways to move water from one place to another since even before the Roman aqueducts. Cast iron pipes are just one of these methods, and their use dates back to the 17th century when only the wealthiest of the wealthiest could afford such an innovation. Cast iron pipes in the U.S. date back to the early 19th century and became relatively common for use in indoor plumbing by the 1930s.
At the time, cast iron pipes were the strongest material available and could stand up to full capacity water pressure. They were created using molds and were held together with screws and joints. The problem with cast iron pipes is that they are nearing the end of their life expectancy. Yet, they are still in place in many older homes since they didn’t go out of vogue until the 1980s when PVC pipes took over. PVC pipes are cheaper to make and have the strength and durability for long-term use.
Old cast iron pipes are vulnerable to tree root damage, resulting in dangerous black water and contamination from rust, fungus, and bacteria, which can cause illness. So if you’re wondering how to unclog cast iron pipes and are seeing black water in your home, the issue may not be a clog. Not to mention damaged pipes can cause serious problems with standing water inside and outside the home, which draws more hazards like mosquitos. Broken or damaged pipes also give rodents and roaches access to your drinking water and home.