Your home’s plumbing stack is one of its most vital components. It serves as the main hub where your property’s plumbing fixtures branch from. It is the pipe system that wastewater and sewage flow into to be expelled into the sewer line below your house. It also vents any noxious gas through a ventilation system in your roof. If you have an older cast iron plumbing stack, you need to watch for these warning signs that a replacement will soon be necessary.

6 warning signs your cast iron plumbing stacks need to be replaced:

  1. Slow drainage. If your toilets or sinks have started to drain slowly, and normal unclogging procedures aren’t working, you could have sediment buildup that is clogging your pipes.

  2. Discolored water. If your faucet or toilet water is brown, orange or otherwise discolored, your cast iron pipes could be significantly rusted. Cast iron is known to have rust issues, so this should be checked by a professional plumber immediately.

  3. Wet spots. If your interior walls start to show wet spots, your plumbing stack could have sprung a leak. Since the pipe diameter of a plumbing stack is fairly wide, a major leak could be a huge problem. Don’t wait for minor leaks to turn into significant damage when the pipe bursts later.

  4. Bad odor. Your plumbing stack is normally an airtight system, with noxious gas expelled through a vent system in your roof. If you consistently notice a foul smell in your home, a leak in your plumbing stack could be the culprit. This is a potentially dangerous problem and certainly lowers the quality of life for residents. It is something that needs to be dealt with promptly.

  5. Mold. If your interior walls are showing signs of mold, a leak in your plumbing stack could be providing the moist environment. It really could be leaks in any of your piping, but the situation would be especially dire if it were the stack.

  6. Barnacles. No, not the barnacles you’d find on a ship. It’s just another name for tiny rust spots appearing on the pipes of your stack. These spots weaken the structural integrity of the metal and lead to leaks, or potentially something worse. It can be difficult to notice this if your plumbing stack isn’t normally exposed, but if for any reason you see these spots appearing, you should call a plumber. This issue can then be resolved without a leak actually happening.

Bieg Plumbing always replaces cast iron plumbing stacks with modern PVC pipes. PVC is extremely durable, resistant to rust and more versatile when it comes to accommodating future renovations. If you’ve noticed any of the signs above, or know that your plumbing stack is 60 or more years old, have one of our certified professionals assess the situation. Catching problems early is crucial to preventing severe issues. We’ve seen it all throughout our decades of operation in the St. Louis area. Contact us today and we’ll help fix any of your plumbing issues properly and quickly.

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