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Why clay sewer pipes may cause issues in some homesYour sewer pipe plays a very important role in your home’s plumbing, carrying solid waste and dirty water to your septic tank or local sewage system to be processed. Sewer pipes in newer homes are typically made from plastic materials such as PVC or ABS. If your home is a few decades old, it may have sewer pipes made of clay. This might be fine, but it could cause some problems requiring plumbing services such as sewer line cleaning or pipe replacement.

 

First, let’s explain why clay was used, because it may seem like a strange practice. The use of clay pipes dates back to ancient times. When constituted and fired properly, clay can be a strong material. (Think of bricks.) Clay is also inert, which makes it resistant to chemical degradation.

 

But you won’t find clay pipes at local hardware stores these days. Nor will you see them at many construction sites. There are a few reasons for this:

 

  • First of all, clay is porous. This causes vulnerability. Tree roots can detect the moisture that seeps out from clay pipes and attach themselves to them, causing cracks.
  • Clay pipes are heavier than PVC or ABS plastic pipe, which makes them more difficult to transport and work with.
  • Clay pipes are harder to cut than plastic pipes, which can be easily cut on the fly with a saw.
  • Plastic pipes have a smoother interior surface than clay, which better facilitates the transportation of waste. Clay pipes are more likely to require sewer line cleaning.
  • Plastic pipes have a smoother exterior surface as well, which makes them more resistant to tree roots. It also means that plastic pipes can be pushed or pulled through the ground with less possibility of incurring damage.
  • Plastic pipes are cheaper and easier to find than clay pipes.
  • Clay pipes are more brittle and less flexible than plastic pipes, which can make them more likely to develop the kind of cracks and leaks that require plumbing services.
  • Plastic pipes are expected to last around 100 years, while clay pipes are expected to last 50-60 years before needing replacement.

 

All Star Service and Repair provides high-quality plumbing services whenever you need them. Whether you wish to have a free sewer line camera inspection before buying a house or you need whole-house repiping due to frequent leaks or aging materials, we are here to help in Salt Lake City, UT. Our team comes prepared with industry-leading tools to get the job done right. Each of our technicians are licensed, insured, and have over 60 years of combined experience. We have never run into a job we can’t complete! All of our plumbing services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 10-year warranty. If there is ever a problem after we finish, trust us to make it right! You will receive a free estimate before we begin any work, and our technicians go over every facet of the job to make our services as transparent as possible.