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dangerIf you have Orangeburg pipe in your home, you might be aware of the issues that it might have. When it was first introduced it was a suitable type of pipe (especially considering the circumstances surrounding it), but it's since proven a less effective method than it should be.

Orangeburg pipe is also known as bitumenized fiber pipe, which in regular terms means that it's asphalt-soaked paper. Roofing professionals know it as tar paper, and it's basically the same stuff (just obviously bigger and rolled into a tube). Orangeburg pipe was born out of World War II, where iron and steel were critical to the war effort. Because iron was so scarce, Orangeburg pipe was invented so that more iron could go to the war effort.

This sufficed as a solution, but now there are problems coming up with the pipe. It seems like a no-brainer now, but if you soak paper (even tar paper) with water for long enough, it'll start to deform. Add pressure into that from the soil above the pipe, and it's not surprising that the pipes are taking a beating.

Can Your Orangeburg Pipe Be Repaired?

It's a difficult thing to say because Orangeburg pipe's main defect is that its structural integrity is the part of it that fails most often. The pressure of the soil above the pipe eventually will collapse the pipe, meaning restricted flow (and eventually a stoppage). The pipe was meant for a specific time and purpose.

You might think that you'll need to replace the Orangeburg pipe to repair it. It's certainly an option (but not the best one). Replacing the pipe with a metal alternative means that your sewer lines will stay sturdier and your flow won't reduce. For a long time, that was the only solution to the problem.

Trenchless Technologies

However, with trenchless technologies we have a different method of performing repairs on Orangeburg pipe. While the techniques were invented to provide an alternative to destroying your landscape and making pipe repair an easier and more pleasant task. However, it's been found to be a great solution to replacing Orangeburg pipes, as well.

Because we're trying to preserve or rectify the shape of the Orangeburg pipe so that flow can continue, pipe lining makes for one of the best ways to ensure that your Orangeburg pipe remains usable for years after. We take the liner and feed it into the pipe, inflate it, cure it in place, and then you've got a lined and more permanent pipe in the place of the easily deformed pipe.

The Difficulty

However, we have to let you know: not all Orangeburg pipes can be repaired. If the pipe has collapsed beyond a certain point, there's no way to rehabilitate the pipes and line them so that they'll remain permanently. From there, you might have to use traditional replacement (or a trenchless alternative) to put new pipe in the ground.

That's why having Orangeburg pipe is a risk. While it served its purpose in assisting the war effort, it's a bad idea to keep it around in its current state. Otherwise, it will just continue to collapse until it causes you a problem. If you're aware that you have Orangeburg pipe, then it will pay you to get it lined as soon as you can.

Call Us For Assistance!

If you need help ensuring that your Orangeburg pipe continues to serve its purpose long after its life should have been over, give us a call. We're here to assist and we've done this a million times before. We'll use video inspection to ensure that your pipe can be lined and then we'll line it. We even have some other tricks up our sleeve if you need it replaced. Just give us a call and we'll get you started in the process!

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Topics: Trenchless Technology