Cast iron pipe repair is a serious issue for anyone who owns a home built before 1975. Is it possible to DIY a repair job? In this article, we discuss how to fix a leaking cast iron pipe and when you should contact a professional plumber.
If you home has cast iron pipes, listen up. Sooner or later, your pipes are going to leak. It’s not a question of if but of when, and when it happens, you need to be prepared. Want to learn how to fix your leaking cast iron pipes? Curious about when it might be time to bring in someone who knows what they are doing?
Here’s everything you need to know.
How Do I Know if I Need to Repair My Cast Iron Pipes?
If you find leaks coming from your wall or floor, it might be time to check for cracks in your pipes. This damage allows water to seep through the iron and wreak havoc on your home.
2. Mold or Mildew
Similar to leaks, cracks in your pipes can allow excess moisture inside of your home. Humidity creates the perfect environment for fungus to grow.
3. Pungent Odor
Your sewer waste is supposed to be completely contained—the smell of sewage shouldn’t be permeating your house!
How to DIY Cast Iron Pipe Repair
Before you begin, it’s important to understand that there could be risks if your cast iron pipes have deteriorated. Cast iron is heavy and requires special clamps to hold it in place. If your cast iron is unstable, do not attempt to repair it on your own. Call a professional.
If, however, you only need to patch a small hole, here’s what you need to do.
Things you may need:
- Putty knife
- Plumber’s epoxy or repair paste
- Wire brush
- Hammer and chisel
Locate the Leak
In any plumbing job where water is leaking, the first thing you need to do is find where the water is coming from. Follow the water back to its source on the cast iron. For pipes that run horizontally, it may be helpful to know that most of the corrosion usually takes place on the bottom of the pipe.
Turn Off the Water
Once you have located the leak, turn off the water to prevent damage and so that you have a dry pipe to work with. You may need to turn off your home’s main water supply line.
Patch the Leak and Allow It to Dry
Now comes the cast iron pipe repair. There are a few possible scenarios in which a DIY repair job is appropriate for most non-professionals: small holes and leaking joints.
For small hole repairs, dry and clean the area around the hole with the wire brush, then apply the plumber’s epoxy. Refer to the instructions to see how long you should let the epoxy dry before using the pipe again.
For leaking joints, dry and clean the area around the leak with the wire brush, then use the putty knife to apply the repair paste. Again, check how long it will take to dry before allowing water to run through the pipe.
When to Contact a Professional for Cast Iron Pipe Repair
In some cases, the above repair methods will not work. For major corrosion problems, you may need to replace entire sections of pipe with PVC piping. If the problem is widespread, you may need to replace all of your home’s plumbing.
If you need to talk to a plumber you can trust to get the job done, get in touch with Custom Plumbing of Arizona today.