Ask Vince #5 Orangeburg and tarpaper pipes

Sewer, Orangeburg pipes, tarpaper pipes

QUESTION: I live in a home that was built in 1950. My neighbor told me that he had to replace his sewer line because it was made of tarpaper that broke down. Our home has occasionally had sewer backups. Were tarpaper pipes used a lot in the Sacramento area and how can I know if I have the same tarpaper pipes?

ANSWER: “Homeowners are increasingly experiencing problems with tar paper sewer pipes,” according to Vince McDonald of McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. “Commonly called Orangeburg pipes, the material was widely used in the greater Sacramento area between 1940 and 1970. During and after World War II other materials were in short supply and cost more to buy and install”.

“The Orangeburg Manufacturing Company produced sewer pipe built up from paper and sealed with bituminous tar, to be installed without gaskets and sealed with more tar. These connections were never very watertight and over time most leak even more. In addition, the layers of paper start to separate from one another inside the pipe, forming blisters that swell and obstruct the flow of sewage.

“It’s amazing that tarpaper pipes have lasted so long! I remember my father talking about installing these pipes when he was a young plumber in neighborhoods like Land Park, Hollywood Park, Tahoe Park, and Curtis Park. The best way to assess the situation is with a TV Camera sewer inspection available from many licensed plumbing contractors. The only real cure for leaky tarpaper sewer pipes is replacement.”

More Information and Solutions forOrangeburg pipes or tarpaper pipes in Your Sacramento Home or Office

Old Sewer Lines

If your house has a sewer line, you are responsible for maintaining the line extending to your home from the street. In old houses, the sewer lines are often made from tar paper, cast iron or clay. Additionally, they can frequently collapse or become clogged and corroded.

A house built between the ‘40s and the ‘70s might contain sewer pipes made from a very low-cost product that was constructed with layered tar paper, wood-fibers and resin. Tar paper pipes are so inadequate that a shovel can easily penetrate them. Furthermore, the weight of dirt, tree roots and compacted soil can compress the fiber pipes and create a backup.

In most cases, if your home is 20 years or older, it is important to call a plumber to make sure that your pipes and sewer lines are made of long-lasting materials and are structurally sound. Protect yourself from major headache and financial despair by staying ahead of the game and contacting a licensed plumber even before the first sign of trouble.

Contact McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sacramento to Fix Your Problems with Orangeburg pipes or tarpaper pipes

Since 1957 McDonald Plumbing, Heating Air Conditioning has been providing repairs due to Orangeburg pipes or tarpaper pipes to Sacramento residents and businesses. We also serve Sacramento and the surrounding communities with a full line of plumbing, heating and air conditioning repairs such as tankless and regular water heater installation and repair, air conditioning installation and repair, home energy audits, home comfort systems, sewer and drain cleaning, sewer and water line repair and repair of slab leaks.

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of government of Sacramento County. It is at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California’s expansive Central Valley. With an estimated 2011 population of 477,891, it is the sixth-largest city in California and the 35th largest city in the United States. Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento metropolitan area which includes seven counties with an estimated 2009 population of 2,527,123. Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area, as well as the 27th largest in the United States. In 2002, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University conducted for TIME magazine named Sacramento “America’s Most Diverse City.


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