Your sewer pipes are often the same age as your home. Due to materials used, King County recommends getting a side sewer inspection done whenever you buy a home. These inspections are comparatively inexpensive and can provide protection against potentially expensive repairs that you will be responsible for as a homeowner, should problems arise.
The average life-span of a side sewer system pipe is about 60 years, can be more or less depending on materials used and installation methods used. For example cast iron pipes should last at least 30 years but in many cases can last 100 years or more. The main disadvantages of this type of pipe are that they are extremely heavy and they have a high cost. Additionally when they are exposed to acids such as occur with cooking they deteriorate rapidly.
PVC side sewer is more resisitant to common side sewer issues such as tree root intrusion. The cost is reasonable and it is easy to work with, the life span is expected to go beyond 50 years easily if properly cared for. The disadvantage to PVC is that it cannot withstand environmental stress well. You want to make sure that it is not exposed to severe temperature extremes and is installed correctly, as the PVC cannot tolerate weight as well as some of the other options.
Vitrified Clay is another material that has been used for Side Sewer applications. Its Life expectancy is about 50 years, and its use has widely been replaced with PVC as it has a better price point and is longer lasting. There is updated vitreous clay that is much longer lasting that doesnt have the issues with being porous like the Clay from the mid and early 1900's. Many homes in the greater Seattle area have had to deal with or are dealing with the effects of the old style clay pipes failing as the homes age.
Concrete pipes have been known to last well over 100 years! Its durability makes it attractive to homeowner's and in commercial applications. One disdvantage is that in extremely Low PH environments the concrete can be effected. Primarily issues with concrete pipes are due to improper installation.
Aces Four has over 40 years doing Seattle sewer repair and installation work. You can be confident we have the experience you need to ensure the health of your side sewer. Whether buying or selling a home, make Aces Four your call for Seattle Side Sewer Inspection.Read Mike D.'s review of Aces Four Construction on Yelp