The Problem with Clay Pipes

The Problem with Clay Pipes

Clay has been used to make sewer pipes since the time of the Babylonians, around 4000 BCE. You may be surprised to learn that modern sewage systems still can use clay pipes, and this material still can hold up against many modern plumbing materials. Modern clay pipes are air-dried for 24 hours before they are fired in a kiln for 50 hours. The end result is a ceramic-like pipe, which is often encased in concrete to prevent tree roots from intruding and protect them from damage as the ground shifts and settles.

Clay Sewer Pipes in Modern Use

Clay has stood the test of time as a plumbing material, but any modern plumber can attest to the drawbacks that using these pipes may have. They can be an environmentally friendly option, and are not degraded by acids the way cast iron pipes are. Because of their stable nature, these pipes can last for decades. There are plenty of reasons that clay sewer pipes are not an appropriate choice, however.

The Cons of Clay Sewer Pipes:

  • Hard to work with: PVC pipes are more easily handled than clay pipes. Light weight and smooth surfaces make it easier to connect and lay pipes, and they often can be more securely connected.
  • Difficult to transport: Clay pipes are heavy and can take a considerable amount of resources to transport. Moving and installing these pipes can require heavy-duty transportation and expensive shipping costs.
  • Susceptible to leaks and damage: Clay is inflexible and can grow fragile with repeated damage. Shifting ground can crack or break clay pipes. Tree roots can work their way into loose fittings and joints, breaking them open or crumbling aging pipes.
  • Low tensile strength: Clay pipes are difficult to crush due to the compressive strength, but low tensile strength, which means it will snap under extreme pressure. Shifting ground can snap pipes. Commonly, clay sewer pipes are encased in concrete to increase their strength, but this increases the time and cost of the installation.

Why Use Clay Pipes?

Clay pipes are not commonly used in modern home construction, but if you have an older home, you may already have clay pipes installed. If your home is in need of an upgrade, contact a qualified plumber. They can advise you on which plumbing options are best suited for your home and needs.

Our Sugar Land plumbers at Trademark Home Services can help you select the upgrades you need for your home. Our team is highly trained and fully certified. We pride ourselves on affordable, high-quality workmanship backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Don’t wait! Contact our team at (281) 819-5852 to request a free inspection today.