How to Prepare for Plumbing Pipe Replacement for your Properties
How to Prepare for Plumbing Pipe Replacement for your PropertiesHow to Prepare for Plumbing Pipe Replacement for your Properties

How to Prepare for Plumbing Pipe Replacement for your Properties

Property Managers face many repair challenges today, especially in South Florida where a large majority of condominiums were built prior to 1985. One of these challenges is aging plumbing systems. If pipes are not properly maintained the cost for repair and/or replacement can be very expensive. Read on for common types of pipes in South Florida, and what your options are for repair when the time comes.

Common Types of Pipes

Cast Iron Pipes

Here are some key advantages of cast iron pipe:

  • Cast iron drainage pipes offer durability and can support 4,877 lbs per linear foot.
  • Cast iron piping reduces noise due to its density, which is an important selling point for condominiums, apartment buildings and hotels.
  • Fire-resistance is another key factor of cast iron pipes as they will neither burn or contribute to the spread of fire.

The main disadvantages include:

  • Cast iron piping is expensive.
  • Cast iron has a relatively short lifespan of 25-35 years (in South Florida).

PVC Piping

PVC versus Cast Iron has been a hot topic in the pipe manufacturing industry for years. However certain advantages are clear and include:

  • Longevity
  • Cost efficiency

However certain disadvantages are clear as well and include:

  • Non fire-resistant, additional fire-stopping measures required upon installation.
  • Carcinogenic fumes when exposed to excessive heat.
  • Not as strong as cast iron.
  • Noisy water transportation (not ideal for multi-story residential buildings such as condominiums and hotels).

Conventional Sewer Replacement

Replacing conventional pipe is a major undertaking for condominium buildings. Replacing those pipes means tearing out walls, tearing out custom floor finishes and slab, relocating tenants, extensive mess, expense, etc.

Trenchless Pipe Lining Sewer Repair

Pipe lining (also known as Trenchless Pipe Lining or Cured-In-Place-Pipelining) is the process of repairing sewer pipes without digging or destruction. Basically, an epoxy saturated felt liner is inserted into the pipe which is inflated, cures in place and leaves behind a brand new pipe.

The advantages of trenchless pipe lining include:

  • Sewer repairs to be made without tearing out walls or floors.
  • Saves your building 30-40% of the cost of traditional sewer replacement.
  • Trenchless sewer repair allows for residents to stay in their home during repairs.
  • Can be completed in a fraction of the time involved with traditional sewer replacement.

If your building was built before 1985, you need to start budgeting for pipe repair/replacement now to avoid dishing out costly assessments in the case of sanitary sewer failure. Your first step to diagnosing the condition of your sanitary sewer would be a comprehensive video inspection.

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