Many of the homes located in Affton have cast iron waste stacks. The life expectancy of a cast iron waste stack system is typically 40-50 years. Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company routinely finds that homes in Affton are reaching the end of their useful life right now as homeowners are finding their waste stacks are cracking and leaking. A cast iron inside sewer lateral connects to the base of your vertical waste stack thereby allowing waste water to safely exit your home. The cast iron inside sewer lateral is typically underground and covered with concrete. As with your home’s cast iron waste stack, the useful life of a cast iron inside sewer lateral is 40 – 50 years; when this point is reached homeowners may begin to notice an increased need for drain cleaning due to increased buildup of debris due to cracks and leaks. Many realtors are aware of these issues and typically advise their clients to camera the cast iron inside sewer lateral to determine if it is still in good working condition.
In addition to replacing a cast iron waste stack with PVC, Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company also replaces lead waste arms. In older homes with cast iron waste stacks we typically find that lead waste arms are used to connect waste overflow drains running from your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet, shower and tub to the main waste stack. Typically where the lead waste arm connects to the cast iron stack will experience leaks and require replacement.
Water Line Replacement
In Affton many of the water lines throughout the homes are constructed of galvanized steel. Steel that is coated with corrosion-resistant zinc is called “galvanized.” Galvanized steel pipes were commonly used in home construction during the 1950’s and earlier. Galvanized steel pipes can be identified by the gray color of the zinc and a magnet may be used to verify it’s steel content. Unlike lead pipe, which it resembles, galvanized steel pipes are usually connected with threaded joints and are usually quite straight (although gentle bends can be made). Galvanized steel water lines tend to build up a lot of corrosion on the inside of the pipe when can restrict flow of water throughout the home. Corrosion of galvanized steel water lines occurs after the corrosion-resistant zinc wears away thereby beginning a normal rate of steel rusting. For that reason, we often find our plumbers replacing corroded galvanized steel pipes before they spring a leak. The life of a typical galvanized steel water pipe is anywhere between 50 – 75 years, however the joints typically need replacement about 30 – 40 years after installation. Lead water lines tend to be less common than galvanized steel primarily because lead was used in home construction around the turn of the 20th century.
When it comes to fixtures, we’ve seen and worked with the whole spectrum from “builder-grade”, to “custom”, and to “designer”. It’s been our experience that most builder-grade quality fixtures are used when multiple dwellings are constructed such as subdivisions and newer neighborhoods in Affton; this is because home builders understand there is a tradeoff that must take place as homeowners seek to buy bigger homes at a certain price point. Unfortunately it is the quality of the plumbing fixtures and appliances that suffer. Usually after a few years “builder-grade” fixtures and appliances will need to either be repaired or completely replaced. Our plumbers at Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company have the necessary experience when it comes to replacing “builder-grade” garbage disposals, kitchen faucets, tub and shower valves, as well as lavatory faucets throughout Affton.