If your home was built sometime around the mid-70s to the 80s, your sewer system is most likely made of cast iron pipes. Cast iron pipes were popularly used because of their durability. Cast iron pipes can last between 60 and 100 years when properly installed and maintained. But they have their downsides as well. 


Like every other kind of sewer pipe, cast iron pipes occasionally get clogged with grease, sediments, and debris. This situation usually leads to foul odors, slow-draining water, or backed-up water in your home. Many homeowners use chemical cleaners to get rid of clogs in their sewer pipes, but these cleaners contain corrosive chemicals. Hence with repeated, prolonged use of chemical cleaners, your cast iron pipes have reduced durability and you may be needing a sewer pipe replacement sooner than you expect. 


So, what can you do instead of using chemical cleaners? Pipe descaling is the professionally recommended technique for removing debris and clogs from cast iron pipes. Pipe descaling is generally harmless to the integrity of cast iron pipes and helps to ensure your pipes function at full capacity for as many years as possible.


What is Pipe Descaling?


Pipe descaling is the use of specialized machines to scrape away the heavy build-up of debris and clogs found in the inner walls of your sewer pipes. Your sewer and drain specialist uses a super-fast, high-speed rotating tool attached to a long cable that traverses your pipes to remove the debris attached to the walls of the pipes. Descaling cast iron pipes helps to extend the life of your sewer pipes, which is more affordable than pipe replacement.


Essentially, pipe descaling uses a high-speed abrasive cleaning to restore the pipe to its original diameter. Your sewer and drain specialist may also add hydro-jetting to the descaling process to flush out abrasive debris. This combination is usually used to prep sewer pipes for epoxy relining. If what you need is pipe relining, the sewer professional will typically conduct a thorough descaling of your existing pipes to remove all debris from the pipe walls before a new relining installation.


How Safe is Cast Iron Sewer Pipe Descaling? 


In case you’re worried about the effect of pipe descaling on your pipes, you can confirm from your sewer and drain contractor how safe the process is. Generally, pipe descaling is a very safe pipe-cleaning method. Pipe descaling is very safe for homes with pipes that are decades old. This is because it uses a very low water pressure to scrape off clogs and sediments from the walls of your sewer pipes. 


Some even say it is as safe as hydro-jetting, which is another form of using pressurized water for sewer line cleaning. This is because hydro-jetting uses between 350 and 4000 psi of water pressure while the soft bristle high-speed abrasive descaling brush is somewhere around 35 to 45 psi.


Besides, the professional will first conduct a sewer camera inspection to understand the nature of the clog in your pipes and advise you what the best line of action is. If descaling won’t be good for the health of your pipes, the contractor will also let you know after the preliminary camera inspection. In that case, they’ll advise a more suitable method for unclogging your sewer pipes. 


What are The Benefits of Pipe Descaling?


Pipe descaling comes with a host of benefits for cast iron pipes. You should consider hiring a professional to conduct pipe descaling on your property especially when the traditional methods fail or you need a method that helps to sustain the lifespan of your cast iron pipes at optimum functionality. 


It is Cost-effective


Compared to a complete pipe replacement or relining, pipe descaling still comes out top as the most preferred and cheapest drain-cleaning option. Your pipes can likely last longer if you descale them at the right time.


It is Very Safe


Pipe descaling is very safe, and as such is highly recommended for cases when you think your pipes might suffer damage that will worsen the situation during cleaning. Pipe descaling is, in some cases, a better option than hydro-jetting and snaking. You can be sure that your pipes will be free from cracks and damage when you opt for descaling. 


It Prolongs the Life of Cast Iron Sewer Pipes


Cast iron sewer pipes typically last longer when you maintain them well. Part of the maintenance is using a safe drain cleaning method like pipe descaling. Usually, cast iron sewer pipes can last for as long as 60 to 100 years. Pipe descaling does not use high water pressure like hydro-jetting, and it cleans your pipes thoroughly, restoring their original diameter and allowing them to function at optimum capacity for many years.


It Improves Your Sewer Drainage


Descaling cast iron sewer pipes brings about an overall improvement in your drainage. Remember that your drain system does a lot of work every day. As the wastewater flows through the drain pipes, it carries along with it a lot of gunk and filth, some of which stubbornly stick to the inner walls of your sewer pipes. With continued use of your drainage, you’ll notice that the build-up of these gunk and debris will begin to slow down the flow of water out of your sink or bathtub. 


This is bad for your home and could lead to worse conditions in your sewer drainage and your home. The good news, however, is that pipe descaling is very effective in removing all that filth from your pipe walls, therefore freeing up the space for the unobstructed flow of wastewater out of your home or office building. 


Getting the Best Descaling Specialists for Cast Iron Sewer Pipes


If you want to keep the annoying stench of your sewage system away from your home, you need to call a professional that understands the ins and outs of the pipe descaling process. The earlier you can detect a slow-moving drain and address it, the better your drainage will be. 


At N.W. Sewer & Drain, we have a team of trained and ready sewer and drain specialists to handle every drain issue you have. We serve residential and commercial properties in the Greater Seattle area as well as Western Washington outlying cities such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Renton, Lake Forest Park, Bremerton,  Mountlake Terrace, Auburn, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor, Marysville, Everett, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Bellingham, Anacortes, Edmonds, Arlington, and Bothell. Contact us today at 206-931-7728 to schedule an inspection of your pipes.


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