Replace with Ductile Pipe? Ductile Iron Pipe Has Its Advantages

Sewer Service
March 4, 2020

by David Balkan

Ductile Iron Pipe Flange End

Replacing your sewer line and need to know what type of pipe to use? In certain situations, ductile iron pipe provides a wide array of advantages. Unlike cast iron pipes, ductile iron pipes are made with various coatings and linings that have been designed to prevent rusting and corrosion. Generally, ductile iron pipes are used for the distribution and transmission of potable water. However, because of its unique properties, it is sometimes the material of choice for house sewer replacement work. For instance, ductile iron has the ability to bend or flex without causing any breaking. This is unlike cast iron soil pipe.

Ductile Iron Pipe Flange End

At one point, extra heavy cast iron pipe was the latest and greatest advancement. However, the life expectancy of ductile iron pipes could be far greater depending on a variety of factors. Today, one of the most reliable and dependable pipes that can be used is ductile iron pipe. Due to the unique qualities and the spheroidal form of ductile iron pipes, it has proven to be superior to cast iron pipes. Another factor is the cost, as it does cost more then cast iron pipe. In addition, it requires greater skill and time to install. With that said, these 3 factors do add to the overall cost of sewer work when utilizing ductile iron pipe.

To restate the benefits, the additional strength and toughness that exists in ductile iron pipe makes it more dependable than cast iron pipes. Both cast iron and ductile iron types of pipes have the unique qualities that make them an attractive option. However, ductile iron has more architectural processes and essential casting improvements.

Ductile iron pipe is frequently required for 2 particular conditions:

  1. Extreme vibration, such as in close vicinity to a subway or elevated train track.
  2. Unstable ground conditions, such as filled in ground, or swamp land.

An Aging Infrastructure

In many communities there is a recurring issue: there is no water and this is not the first time. Why is there no water again? Well, it could be because the water pipes in the community were installed as long ago as 1877. The pipes are not rusting, but they are breaking up into small parts due to impact and decay. Take a minute and just think about this; water pipes that are needed in a community and are used on a daily basis could have been installed well over a hundred years ago.

Who will suffer in the community because of the old infrastructure? Everyone will suffer. Teachers and students may have to leave school early, businesses may have to close early. Homeowners’ daily routines will be interrupted, and they will be at risk for illnesses if they use the unclean water. Of even more concern, is the affect this disruption will have on medical facilities and their patients.

When a plumbing team begins to dig and find the source of the problem, it is not uncommon to simply touch some of the old pipes and watch it fall apart right in front of you. This is particularly true when orangeburg pipe is encountered. Generally, the only reason many old pipes are still together is because of the rusting, or the surrounding soil holding them together. After realizing that there is a major problem with the pipes, decisions have to be made. In most cases someone makes the decision to go a different route, and replace the old pipes with a different material.

Ductile Iron Pipe Advantages

There are various reasons why ductile iron pipes have become the best choice for piping. Here are some of the reasons why many piping projects will include ductile iron pipes:

  • Concerns with the overall cost of the pipeline system
  • There are environmental or ground settling concerns
  • Concerns with the lifespan of the piping system
  • Ductile iron pipes can provide more than 100 years of performance because it is not subjected to any type of degrading.
  • Ductile iron pipe will not be negatively impacted by weather-related changes or pressure.

Sewer systems are always facing a significant amount of pressure, but ductile iron pipes are still able to move water with no hiccups. The strength of ductile iron pipes ensures that there will not be as many leaks and other problems that were occurring with other pipes. This is because the joints are held together by retaining glands, which resist leaks that other materials do not. Communities that make the decision to use ductile iron pipes will discover that they will not have the same problems and frustrations they had when the lower quality pipes were installed.

If you would like more information on ductile iron pipes and how it can be used in cities and communities, please contact Balkan Sewer and Water Main today.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

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