For Orangeburg pipe and sewer lines (the pipe standard in homes built from the mid-1940s to early 1970s), 30-50 years is the generally accepted life expectancy. For many homes, particularly those built in the 60s and 70s that have not yet been updated with more durable pipe materials, this means Orangeburg pipe failure could occur at any given moment.
What should homeowners do when their aging Orangeburg pipes fail? It’s only a matter of time until breakage or collapse occurs, given their lifespans. What’s the most affordable way to repair or replace Orangeburg pipe when the time comes?
The right solution for your broken Orangeburg pipe depends on a few key factors, which change based on circumstance. Things like pipe depth, the type of break and its extent all affect what solution is best suited for your home. In this blog, we outline these solutions, as well as their pros and cons based on situation.
The Traditional Dig-and-Replace Method
In conventional Orangeburg pipe renovations, the damaged pipes in question would have to be manually excavated and replaced with entire new segments of pipe. While this is fine for shallow pipe lines (such as those less than 1-2’ below yard surface), it can become tricky, and pricey, with increased depth or when surface level fixtures (driveways, sidewalks, etc.) are involved.
Often, the most expensive component of traditional pipe repairs isn’t the repair itself, but the remedial landscaping tasks, lawn damage and heavy labor that is typically required.
The bottom line: dig-and-replace pipe repairs are well-suited for shallow Orangeburg pipe lines, or for pipe replacements in which bursting or other non-invasive techniques could prove problematic. Traditional repairs cost anywhere from $50-250 per foot of pipe, with a project average between $4,000-13,000.
Modern Solutions: Pipe Lining Application
For situations where Orangeburg pipe runs below driveways, sidewalk or other fixtures, or is fairly deep underground, dig-free pipe lining can be an affordable alternative to manual dig-and-replace repairs. Completed via application of epoxy-resin liners within existing pipe (hence the industry term, “cured-in-place pipe”), these repairs often take a matter of hours, and eliminate days, if not weeks, worth of unnecessary labor.
Pipe lining’s effectiveness depends mainly on how severe damage is to your Orangeburg pipe; if breakage is significant or widespread throughout your pipe, another trenchless solution, pipe bursting, may be the answer.
The bottom line: trenchless pipe lining can cost significantly less that dig-and-replace Orangeburg repair, in that landscaping and extraneous labor tasks are largely avoided. Orangeburg pipe lining costs roughly $160 per foot, and can result in a mere $3,000 to $4,000 for small- to moderate-sized projects.
Modern Solutions: Trenchless Pipe Bursting
Pipe bursting is the trenchless alternative to manual pipe replacement, in situations where lining the existing pipe would not restore damages fully; this is often the case for collapsed, deteriorated Orangeburg pipe.
Using steel, conical bursting heads, which are attached to new pipe lines, trenchless specialists can replace your collapsed pipe entirely, without digging out the entire pipe line. The cone bursting head fractures and displaces the old pipe line, while simultaneously laying in place new pipe, all through small entry and exit points; this preserves both your yard and your wallet, and is the most efficient way to fully replace severely damaged pipe.
The bottom line: non-invasive pipe bursting costs marginally more than pipe lining, but is well worth its price tag since digging up driveways or sidewalks is avoided entirely. It’s the only way to full replace damaged pipe without intensive digging.
The right repair solution for your broken Orangeburg pipe depends on the pipe’s location and depth on your property, the damages involved, and any landscaping or lawn damage that could result.
As the price of Orangeburg repair, like many other home renovations, is entirely circumstantial, we recommend getting in touch with a trenchless plumbing expert in your community to discuss options before settling on a solution.