Probably a dumb question, but oh well.. I had a cast iron drain pipe
break under my foundation (slab, 40 years old) causing the kitchen sink
to lose the ability to drain entirely. It cost me around $3k to have
the kitchen floor jackhammered all the way through the foundation down
to the break and have that section replaced with PVC, and the concrete
Would my homeowner's ins have covered this? Furthermore, if any of you
have seen such iron pipes fail like this, am I in for having the entire
house torn up to replace the REST of the iron someday? :-( :-(
Whether or not insurance covers it is something you'll have to check
with your agent and/or policy documentation. I very much doubt it will
cover such a thing, but you can always look. Iron rusts. Rust is
relatively weak. When enough of the iron in the pipe turns to
iron-oxide (rust), it will fail. It could just clog shut (as the iron
supply pipes in my house did in a couple of places), or leak, or both.
It's possible that the rest of the drain piping will eventually fail,
but I wouldn't start tearing up the slab just to replace those pipes.
Either wait for another one to fail or for some other project involving
making holes in your foundation.
Are you *sure* it was really Cast Iron and not Galvanized Iron pipe?
Galv rots out in precisely 40 yrs <bg> but cast iron has a life
of double that. (Obviously soil conditions greatly affect all this.)
Just because one branch failed, I wouldn't be overly concerned
that the main drain (if CI) would fail too.
A better indicator may be the experiences neighbors have had/.
made worse by using drain chemicals, best way to find out if it were
covered is call company and ask.
insurance is big on sudden failure, not so big on slow failures
sure pipe wasnt terracota pipe? that collapses and breaks easy.
if one part of your under slab failed the rest is likely on its way out
That's what the plumbers said was used in this era home (for the drain
lines, not supply), and that's what they dug out - a broken 90 degree
elbow joint of heavy iron, or rust. There's some cast iron still under
the house for the main line with subsequently-added PVC joining up to
it in various places. The line out the front yard to the city sewer is
cast iron, too, and has obvious-on-camera damage that will eventually
fail it at any moment.
Oh, the joys of owning an older home..
If anyone does it in your area, you might check out the cost of
having all these old drains lined with fiber-reinforced epoxy resin.
They basically run a liner through the pipe, impregnate it with epoxy
resin, then inflate it against the walls of the pipe.
It's very strong, doesn't rot or rust, and doesn't require any
excavation if they have good access to a cleanout. That means they
can do it under or even inside a slab, and it can usually be done in
a day so you don't spend a week with the slab broken up and no
plumbing to use.
email@example.com is Joshua Putnam
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