Cast iron used to be a very common product used for piping. Water in and out of homes was typically pumped through cast iron previous to the last century.

An Older Style of Plumbing

The cast-iron style of plumbing has been around for about three centuries. Cast iron used to be the best option for good high-quality plumbing. Unfortunately, as cast iron ages it gets worn out and starts to crack and break. Along with that, cast iron does not hold up to tree roots very well and doesn’t bend and flex like more modern plastic plumbing. Cast iron is definitely an older style of plumbing that was more common back in the day. Therefore, it is likely to need to be replaced in any older style home.

Signs its Time to Replace

Cast iron plumbing was used as an older style so it is likely that if your home has it that it is getting worn and ready to replace. The most obvious sign that a replacement is needed is leaked. If you have leaks anywhere in your house or outdoors then it needs immediate replacement. Water damage can happen quickly and can be super damaging. Along with that, if your water is discolored when it comes out of the tap it needs to be replaced immediately. That means that there is some wear or rust somewhere in the line. That can be super unhealthy. Also, pay attention to any weird smells. That is another obvious sign that there is some rust or wear along the waterline. Also, if your sewer is backing up then it needs immediate attention. There is obviously a break or damage somewhere. These are just a few signs that your cast iron pipes are getting worn out.

Is It Still Used?

Cast iron plumbing is very rarely still used today. The more modern plastic plumbing has many more perks and is cheaper. So the plastic plumbing world has basically taken over. However, on occasion cast iron pipes are still used for mild amounts of plumbing. However, they are not typically used for any plumbing of potable water. This is just because they rust and have problems that can be unhealthy for anyone drinking the water.

Purchasing a House

Purchasing a house is a massive decision and you always want to make sure that you are getting the best deal. How can you know if a home hast cast iron plumbing? How can you know if it is causing problems in the home? And lastly, what does it take to replace the plumbing? It is something you should ask your realtor about. They likely can ask the current owner or find out through the city. Along with that, it is important to run the water. This just ensures that it is working right and flowing right. So if you run the water at your potential house pay close attention at the beginning and make sure that the water coming out is clear. If it is brownish than that could show a problem.

Trees and Plumbing Lines

Most of the time, when you see mature trees in your yard this is a good thing. They can be beautiful and put off nice shade for outdoor get-togethers. However, these trees can wreak havoc on underneath plumbing. Roots love the water that flows through the lines and can grow around and through the lines causing large breaks. So it is important to pay attention and to the location of your piping and your shade trees.


Plumbing is very important when it comes to owning and maintaining your home. Enjoy these few facts about plumbing that is cast iron.