An oval shaped Orangburg pipe in a pile of dirt

Fixing Problematic Orangeburg Sewer Lines

Does this pipe look a little oval to you? That’s because it is! This is Orangeburg sewer piping dug up from a Baltimore home and is a typical specimen for its age. Believe it or not, this was one of the better sections we removed. Orangeburg piping needs replacement once problems start to appear. Read on if you’d like to know more about why this happens and what we can do for your home if you’re facing these particular sewer issues. 

What is Orangeburg pipe?

Orangeburg pipe is a unique style of plumbing installed from the 1940s through the 1960s. It is a type of fiber pipe developed in response to material shortages brought on by World War 2. While revolutionary and affordable during its time, it does not hold up well. This pipe is common to sewer lines around Baltimore but is usually found throughout Lutherville, Timonium, and Pikesville and on septic systems installed around the 1950s and 1960s. 

Why do sewers with Orangeburg piping need to be replaced?

So what happens to Orangeburg piping that makes removal and sewer replacement necessary? Two typical problems start to cause backups and clogs in residential sewer lines.  

First, Orangeburg is not a super strong pipe and never was. It is easy to slice through, even with a dull shovel blade. Because it is not very durable, these pipes tend to crush and flatten if buried at the depths of many Maryland sewer lines. The substantial weight of the dirt squeezes this piping flat until your wastewater and sewage can no longer pass through.   

Second, Orangeburg starts to unravel and separate inside because of its layered fiber construction. Once this process starts, ridges inside the pipe begin catching toilet paper and other things you send down your drain. Unfortunately, drain cleaning only speeds up this “delaminating” process as the sharp point of a drain cable bores through the pipe, making holes and more ridges that catch debris.  

How are Orangeburg sewer lines replaced?

Orangeburg piping is replaced just like any other problem underground drain pipe. First, an excavator digs a trench, exposing the line. Second, the problem pipe is removed and replaced with new piping, such as Schedule 40 PVC. After replacing the piping, our excavator backfills the dug-up area, and your plumbing can drain again.

What about trenchless methods for Orangeburg sewer replacement? Are there any options that save your yard? Unfortunately, Orangeburg piping is not always a good candidate for trenchless sewer replacement. Pipelining is not a good option because it will not restore the degraded Orangeburg to its factory shape or functionality. However, pipe bursting may be possible if the sewer line is relatively open.  

Orangeburg sewer line solutions

If you live in a home with Orangeburg sewer problems, you have affordable solutions available. While you can limp your sewer along with maintenance, you will need replacement sooner rather than later. If you would like to talk to us about a sewer replacement plan for your home, we’re here to help.

We offer many solutions to get your drains back in business, such as:

When you are ready to schedule a brief no obligation phone consultation, give us a call. We’re here to help with decades of company experience fixing problems just like yours.

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