Orangeburg Pipe Problems in Central PA

Orangeburg Pipe in Camp Hill

Today we are going to show you a type of pipe that is notorious for deformation, corrosion, and complete failure in many drains and sewage lines. The name of this pipe is called “Orangeburg” pipe and we find it in a large number of Camp Hill, New Cumberland, Mechanicsburg, and Harrisburg Area homes.

Orangeburg pipe gets its name from the original manufacturer of the pipe which was in Orangeburg, NY where the bituminized (asphalt) pipe was constructed mainly from layers of wood pulp and pitch or a petroleum tar. Orangeburg pipe is essentially layer upon layer of thin wood fibers held together with adhesive tar. You can see the layers of pipe in the picture below of a piece of Orangeburg Pipe that we have pulled apart for you.

World War II and Your Sewer Line!

After the end of World War II the United States saw a housing boom that began to require more economical building materials that could keep the cost of housing down. That’s how Orangeburg became such a popular type of pipe used in the connection of many Central Pennsylvania homes to municipal sewer lines. This was great for the housing industry, helping them to construct and sell a large amount of homes in a lot of our local neighborhoods, but it turned out to be a lot worse for residents of homes in these areas.

Orangeburg Pipe in 2013…

If you live in Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, New Cumberland, Dillsburg, Harrisburg, or surrounding towns and areas, and your home was constructed in the late 1950’s to 1970’s, there is a high probability that your home’s sewer lateral was constructed with Orangeburg Pipe.

Since Orangeburg pipe is constructed from mostly tar and many layers of wood fiber (paper), the pipe begins to deteriorate and corrode just like in the picture above. After a few decades of waste and water flowing through the Orangeburg pipe, it starts to fail and takes on an egg shape rather than the circular shape a pipe should be. This can cause your sewer lateral to belly, or even completely collapse causing a total failure of your home’s sewage system.

What to do if you think your home has Orangeburg Pipe.

If you know that your home has Orangeburg pipe, you should consider replacing the pipe before it causes your home sewage issues. This pipe is highly unreliable the older it gets, and eventually breaks down and deteriorates. The best solution to replace failed Orangeburg pipe is to replace it with a high strength PVC or ABS pipe.

If you don’t know if you have Orangeburg pipe in your home but your home was constructed during the time when Orangeburg pipe was being widely used, you have your sewer drains inspected with a drain camera to know what your pipes are constructed of and to see if your pipes are beginning to belly or crush from deterioration and corrosion. At least if you know your pipes are going to need replaced soon, you can be prepared for when they finally do need repaired or replaced.

Pronto Plumbing can inspect your homes drain lines to see if they are constructed from Orangeburg pipe and to detect any problems such as root infiltration, pipe belly, partial pipe collapse, full pipe collapse, or shifting in the connections in your drain lines.

If you know your drain lines are damaged and need replaced soon, you can plan for the replacement and not be shocked one day when your sewage pipes have fully failed and stopped functioning properly.

Call us TODAY at 717-470-8201 and one of our Drain Experts can help you determine what the cause of your sewer and drain problems is and the best options available to you in order to prevent further issues.

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