I am hoping that some of the knowledgeable people on this group can answer some questions regarding older cast iron drain stacks. Some months ago our insurance was non-renewed because the insurance company refuses to insure homes with cast iron in them. The reason given for this rule is that they "rot out from within and burst", we weren't even covered for sewer backup/breakout under that policy anyways. Fast forward to now, we have a new insurance company (a farm mutual), and their inspector didn't even note the cast iron drains even though he knew that was why the other company had dropped us.
Right now we are in the middle of renovations, and incidentally the walls that contain the stack are being re-cladded with drywall and as thus the stack is currently fully exposed from basement to attic. If we were to replace the cast iron with ABS, now would be the time to do it however I doubt this is a task I could do myself. I imagine the cast iron is heavy (even if half of it has rotted away) and well... it would not be a pleasant job. I have received a quote to replace it (materials+labour) for about $900.
So the question has become, is it worth replacing? Is it really going to spring a leak someday? Is it going to 'burst' like the first insurance company said, or will it start as a slow leak and progress?
Some details: The total vertical section of the pipe is about 2 stories plus attic, the pipe becomes horizontal at the basement ceiling and runs for about 15' until it drops down about a foot to the cast iron sewer that goes out to the septic tank. The pipe is probably about 50+ years old.
Thanks in advance
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