PVC Pipe vs. Cast Iron Pipe

9 responses

  1. nick
    September 3, 2014

    I'm in the process of cutting out and replacing some rusty, leaky cast iron pipes that are clogged solid, so the assertion that they are somehow clog proof doesn't add up.

    • Tim Carter
      September 4, 2014

      Well, perhaps they're full of grease or they were abused. The point I was trying to make is that cast iron has a rich history of not producing expanding scale on the inside of the pipe like galvanized iron.

  2. Ronak
    March 5, 2015

    in the content here where is the comparison between Cast Iron and PVC Pipe ??

  3. Tommy
    March 27, 2015

    Thanks for the info, but I feel the article was lacking. We're in the process of deciding to spend thousands of dollars redoing some plumbing and the obvious choice is PVC. Plumbers are certainly pushing for that. They say cast iron will last 40 years whereas PVC will last a lifetime. I have my suspicions about that, and like you feel that cast iron must have some pros.

    A lot of times, I feel like a guy will try to sway you to go the route thats easiest for them to install (or do it how they always done it instead of trying a new way...which in this case would be old school), rather than doing it the way it will last the longest. Thats what we want to know about Tim. The details. Why does the title say Cast Iron vs. PVC and then contain zilch about PVC? Tell us about schedule 50 vs scheudle 80 PVC, and how 80 would stand the test of time? What are the negative aspects of PVC besides sound and no long term testing (hasnt been around as long as cast)? How do each resist tree root intrusion, and handle the cold elements in the midwest?

    I've always enjoyed your articles and videos. Would highly appreciate if you could do an update and provide us with some more details. Especially since most modern plumbers will be looking at us like we're crazy if we suggest Cast Iron! Thanks

    • Tim Carter
      March 28, 2015

      There's no need for an update. Cast iron has stood the test of time for hundreds of years. For me it's a sound issue. PVC is just too noisy. Cast iron costs more no doubt, but just use it for the stacks if necessary to cut down on noise. PVC can be used for branch arms and all venting.

  4. Mike
    April 16, 2016

    still waiting for my comment to be posted. . . .

  5. Jim
    May 4, 2016

    Cast Iron Pros: Tough, resistant to being cut or impacted (unless you notch it and hit with a hammer). Can be abused with a drain snake without scraping off the pipe wall. Long lasting unless you put a lot of chemicals down it or run concentrated stuff like urine from a flushless toilet. Then it will corrode quickly. Quiet

    PVC Pros: Low cost, light, fast and easy to install, smooth inside so it's not likely to get plugged up. Totally corrosion resistant unless you dump something like straight painters solvent down it. It's been around for sixty years and should give you a minimum of 50 years service.

  6. eric
    May 31, 2016

    Thanks for the article. We are redoing a house built in 1916. The cast iron was in perfect shape! We are only removing it because we felt it could be prone to cracking during the demolition process. However, I am concerned about the use of rubber gaskets vs the old lead. I can't image the rubber will last 100 years just as the current pipes did.

  7. Amelia
    October 7, 2016

    I have to decide between PVC and metal by next week, the cast iron pipe in my house is last probaly 100 years, the plumbing keep telling me no one using cast iron anymore, I dont know the plastic pipe will hold till 100 years the cost is just about $1000 higher, I think I'll go with metal , it's for the sewer main pipe.

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