Same Family, Same Quality, Since 1949
Old Orangeburg Sewer Pipe

Unless you're a plumber, you may be unaware that Orangeburg piping was used predominantly in drain and sewer applications before the late 1970s. Although it was last used decades ago and is considered outdated in many plumbers’ books, many residential areas in the United States, especially in Arizona, still have them. Therefore, preventative measures, such as Orangeburg pipe repair and replacement, may prove more beneficial than waiting for systems to fail.

Orangeburg Pipe Repair and Replacement @ Mesa Plumbing Company

When it comes to Orangeburg pipes, failure is just a matter of time. If you are fortunate enough to have no problems with it, consider yourself lucky. Even while there are some things you can do to maintain or repair your line, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of having to replace the sewage line at some point in the future. So, if you notice any of the following red flags, call Mesa Plumbing Company for unparalleled Orangeburg pipe repair and replacement services.

  • Persistant Blockages
  • Lower Water Pressure
  • Lawn Dampness
  • Lush Grass Concentrations
  • Sudden Pipe Collapse
  • Biological Penetration
  • Bubbling/Gurgling Noise
  • Mold Issues
  • Foundation Sinkholes
  • Sudden Rise in Water Bill
  • Clogged Toilet and Drains
  • Foul Sewer Odors

Frequently Asked Questions about Orangeburg Sewer Pipes

Whether you're looking for Orangeburg pipe repair or replacement, working with a qualified Orangeburg pipe expert like Mesa Plumbing Company is the first step. Nevertheless, even after making the right decision of contacting the professionals, you might still have a few questions about this form of piping. We’re here to answer those questions for you.

  • What does an Orangeburg pipe look like? An Orangeburg pipe contains layers of ground wood pulp fibers and liquefied coal tar pitch, making it look dark brown or nearly black when finished in tube form. However, it may darken over the years due to its bituminized fiber structure.
  • What is Orangeburg pipe made of? As answered above, the Orangeburg pipe, also known as Bermico, is a bituminized fiber pipe produced from layers of crushed wood pulp fibers, then compressed with and joined by a water-resistant adhesive. These layers are stacked on top of the other to create the pipe. After that, the pipe is saturated with a coal tar pitch that has been liquefied.
  • How bad is the Orangeburg pipe? Since the Orangeburg pipe is so fragile, it can easily shatter or develop leaks. Quite frequently, aggressive tree roots are to blame for this problem as they break through the pipe and damage it or cause the whole line to collapse. Most pipes have a life of around 50 years, but they show signs of degradation after 30 years.
  • Are Orangeburg pipes illegal? Orangeburg sewage pipes were never fit for use as sewer pipes in the first place. However, nowadays, installing liners into residential sewage systems is the "modern" version of the Orangeburg pipe. Apart from Orangeburg pipe repairs and replacement, installing both new and old versions is illegal in the United States and some other parts of the world.
  • Are Orangeburg pipes hazardous? Having Orangeburg pipes running below your residential or commercial space might be dangerous, particularly if the pipes are older. In most cases, an Orangeburg pipe has a lifespan of up to sixty years when properly maintained. However, after thirty years, they can start to show signs of deformation, causing serious problems if neglected.
  • When was the Orangeburg sewer pipe used? From the early 1940s until 1972, most residential and commercial structures developed in the US used Orangeburg pipes for their water and sewage lines. However, the Orangeburg facility was closed in the same year, 1972. The history of Orangeburg pipes is really interesting, but unfortunately, the pipes themselves do not fit well in the modern world.
  • How to replace the Orangeburg pipe? Digging up your Orangeburg pipes and replacing them with new ones using a traditional approach is time-consuming and costly, followed by $1000s in unexpected repair costs, tearing up the beautiful front yard, and an unusable sewer line until fixed. Therefore, we recommend camera inspection and reinforcing your aging Orangeburg pipes with trenchless repair technology to eliminate the need to tear down your home and yard to replace these pipes.
  • Can Orangeburg pipe be repaired? Yes, trenchless repair technology may, in many instances, be used to repair Orangeburg pipelines that have deteriorated or been damaged. When previously controllable damage transforms into collapsed and ruined Orangeburg pipes, it is at this point that other, more radical options need to be explored, such as complete replacement.
  • Can Orangeburg pipe be lined? Yes, Orangeburg sewer pipe can be lined, making it an effective repair method for pipes that have suffered light to moderate damage. The method entails fortifying the system and hiding fractures, fissures, or breakages through the lining. Simply put, an epoxy-coated liner is inserted into the pipe, making it possible to add up to fifty more years to the pipeline's lifespan by constructing a new, more robust pipe within the existing Orangeburg pipe.
  • What is Orangeburg pipe trenchless repair? Reinforcing aged Orangeburg pipes with trenchless technology eliminates the need to tear down the home and yard to install new pipes. Orangeburg pipes may be restored to their original condition and survive for almost fifty years with trenchless technology, which repairs damage caused by cracks and tree roots. With this type of Orangeburg pipe repair, homeowners may save time since it just takes a few hours to finish the task.
  • How much does Orangeburg sewer pipe replacement cost? The cost of replacing the Orangeburg sewer pipe might fluctuate depending on where you live, the size of the pipe that needs to be replaced, and how far your home is. However, the traditional dig-and-replace method costs around $80 – $200 per foot. Trenchless pipe repairs are generally less expensive, costing about $110-$150 per foot, while PVC replacement cost around $150-$200.
  • Which cities in Arizona have the Orangeburg problem? If your house is located in Arizona (the Grand Canyon State) and was constructed somewhere around the late 1940s, there is a possibility that you have Orangeburg pipes flowing through your sewage system and drains. Some common cities in Arizona where Orangeburg is a problem include Apache Junction, San Tan Valley, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Golden Canyon, Mesa, Higley, Scottsdale, Sun Lakes, Queen Creek, Chandler, and Tempe.
  • Does the government subsidize the cost of replacement? Currently, the government doesn't provide funds for replacement costs. On top of that, the coverage for sewage lines provided by conventional homeowners' insurance plans is still somewhat restricted. However, if the damage was unexpected and caused by a risk covered by the insurance policy, the homeowner's insurance will be liable for the repairs and replacement costs.

Tempe Orangeburg Sewer Pipe - Interactive Map

As stated above, there are several cities in Arizona where Orangeburg pipe is a prevelant in older homes. The Tempe map below is just an example. Please contact Mesa Plumbing Company by phone at (480) 832-1660 or by using the form below if you suspect you may have a problem.

Tempe Interactive Map of Orangeburg Pipe

Orangeburg Pipe Replacement @ Mesa Plumbing - the Process

  • Step #1 – Locating the Orangeburg Pipe: First things first, we track down the Orangeburg pipe's terminals. The first end lies where the drain water leaves your home, while the second links the drain line with the municipal waste management system. For your information: the Orangeburg pipe is black in color, not orange, and after decades buried below, it is rather fragile.
  • Step #2 – Digging the Sewer Line: After getting close to the property's foundation and determining the line's depth, our trained personnel use excavation tools to dig up the designated ground areas. We make sure to reduce the likelihood of errors, such as cutting into power, cable, phone, gas, and water lines during the digging process.
  • Step #3 – PVC Replacement: After locating and excavating the Orangeburg pipe, it's time to move on to the third step: replacing the entire drainage system with PVC pipes—the best alternative for other hefty replacement procedures. Note that during the replacement cycle, we make it a standard part of the job to verify the local size laws to ensure that the pipe has the appropriate diameter and length.
  • Step #4 – Pipe Seating: The most difficult component of the PVC replacement process is properly seating the PVC sewage pipe. The process produces a fully-sealed surface, which is easy to clean. We work to ensure that the pipeline is appropriately positioned and covered with crushed rock. After that, we press the dirt down over the rocks using a compactor to make the surface level.
  • Step #5 – Covering the Ground: We only use state-of-the-art equipment to apply the top layer covering. Once the soil settles above the crushed rock formation, we start planting grass.
  • Step 6: Testing the Levels: Finally, we check the correctness of the sewer pipe levels with the ground. This final step helps us ensure there are no water leakages and poor pipe placements. On top of that, we also monitor the top surface level with the ground for long-term sustainability.

Why Hire Mesa Plumbing for Orangeburg Pipe Repair and Replacement?

Over the years, Mesa Plumbing Company (MPC) has developed a reputation in the east valley of the Phoenix metropolitan region in Arizona by consistently providing clients with the greatest quality service at the most affordable rates. This is all part and parcel of our years of experience in the field. We've been in operation since 1949 (that's 73 years)—the time when Orangeburg pipes were quite popular. This experience ensures that we are far more efficient than any other company in the same space.


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Customer Comments

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Arizona Cities Served
Apache Junction - Chandler - Fountain Hills - Gilbert - Golden Canyon - Higley - Mesa - Queen Creek - San Tan Valley - Scottsdale - Sun Lakes - Tempe