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Question DetailsAsked on 8/6/2014

I'm currently doing a full remodel of 1960's home. Should I replace all the cast iron plumbing under the slab?

I'm currently doing a full remodel of 1960's home. Should I reroute and replace all the cast iron plumbing under the slab with PVC. There's no leaks right now. But since I'm taking everything to studs, I assume this would be a good time to do the work. I would hate to put in new floors and there's a leak couple years from now.

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3 Answers


Tough call - because you are talking a bunch of bucks to do it, but also if you wait and then have a problem down the road means tearing into new flooring, assuming you are doing flooring on the slab. I have seen a LOT of cast iron well over 100 years old and in great shape - but also some deteriorated pretty good or grooved by the flow and chemicals in 30-40 years.

I am just not sure what I would do in your situation - I am going to assume it has to be under the slab rather than in the basement ceiling because there is a bathroom or other drains on the bottom slab level.

I think if I was leaving the slab bare or just laying carpet over it, I would have it routed out and a camera run done to inspect its condition (probably $300-500 range depending on length of run to street), then leave it if it looked good. If I was putting really fancy flooring down or the basement was going to be high-end remodelled, I would probably replace it now if doing a full ($50,000 plus range) remodel, but not for just a minor update remodel.

Of course, I personally would not replace with PVC - I would go with cast iron again, but that is personal preference and I know how to do cast iron joints right - most current plumbers I have seen cannot put together a proper cast iron or ductile iron joint.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Visual inspection by camera is a good suggestion - find out what condition it's in now. This should cost $200-300, in my area.

If it isn't in terrible shape, an option might be to line it with this epoxy resin stuff that is pressed against the walls by a long balloon - which would cost perhaps $1500-3000. As LCD pointed out, cast iron can last a LONG time. So first find out where you stand today then plan accordingly.

Answered 6 years ago by Jefferson


Jefferson is right on the $200-300 for a camera run only to the street - the ballpark price I gave assumed the line had not been routed out for a long time, so would need routing first to clean it full-diameter with a scraper blade so you can actually see that the conditon is, because an old line will usually be pretty much coated with grease and soap scum so you cannot actually see the pipe at all.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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