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Do You Really Need Sewer Line Replacement…Or Can It Be Descaled?

The cast iron plumbing on your property, and the sewer line in particular, is several decades old. You’ve been dealing with frequent clogs and backup, and you have to call for plumbing services frequently. Finally, a plumber breaks the news to you: the cast iron sewer line is too old, is clogged with mineral scale, and needs to be replaced.

…Or does it? We’ve often been called for second opinions on this topic and were happy to break it to the customer that the cast iron lines are not yet in need of replacement. In some cases, it may be possible to descale the lines so that they’re good as new!

How does scaling affect a pipe?

Hard water, a term you’ve probably heard before, is what causes the scaling in the first place. This is when the water has a large mineral content, which creates scale that can clog up appliances, amongst other effects. One of the worst problems that can occur as a result of these mineral deposits is with the pipes themselves.

As water drains to your sewer pipes, scaling can collect on the pipes and grow in volume, effectively reducing the volume available within the pipes, which can cause a lot of issues with your plumbing.

When is descaling the right choice for pipes?

It is possible for a professional plumber to descale your pipes when frequent clogging thanks to mineral buildup becomes an issue. At this point, it’s best to call a plumber to consult with and ensure scaling is the problem and can be remedied.

You can also schedule descaling before it becomes a major problem for your pipes. At this point, it’s a lot easier for a plumber to get the problem under control. Descaling sooner can extend the life of your pipes.

So why do other plumbers tell you to replace?

Not every plumber has access to the expensive descaling equipment used to keep pipes working for longer. Unfortunately, you might call in a plumber who looks at your pipes, notices the scale, and tells you the only option is to replace the pipes. However, this may not be the case.

If a plumber tells you your pipes need replacement, and they are only a couple of decades old, try calling another company for a second opinion. Ask whether they offer pipe descaling. If they have the equipment, they’ll be able to give you an honest opinion about whether pipes can be descaled.

When will they need to be replaced?

Often, sewer lines are replaced too soon thanks to scaling that could be removed with the right equipment, or even powerful hydro jetters. However, eventually, your sewer pipes will need replacement. Once the pipe material begins to corrode, a major sewer leak is possible, and it’s important to replace the sewer line ASAP. This typically happens after about 50-70 years.

For more information on descaling your pipes, contact our West Palm Beach, FL sewer cleaning experts at Admiral Plumbing Services, LLC.

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