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NSF News Release

Why You Need to Specify Cast Iron Plumbing for Your Home
For most of us, the biggest investment we will make in our lifetime is the purchase of a new house or condominium.

Why You Need to Specify Cast Iron Plumbing for Your Home
For most of us, the biggest investment we will make in our lifetime is the purchase of a new house or condominium. Whether constructing a new dwelling or altering an existing living space, new homeowners in the know are asking more and more questions about the materials in their new construction.

Today's homeowner is inquisitive about options such as windows, plumbing fixtures, and interior decorating themes. The value conscious homeowner is also looking beyond the frills and asking questions about the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems too.

Homeowners realize that these hidden systems, which provide for today's living comfort, are not all the same. Insistence on different electrical outlets, heating equipment, and plumbing products is often the result of prior unsatisfactory experiences. This may be from reading articles or watching TV shows like 60 Minutes which focused on failures of plastic piping. Astute owners no longer accept any old "guts" in their new home simply because someone obtained a "deal" on the material.

We suggest that you focus attention on total value when selecting a drain waste and vent (DWV) system (the permanent and crucial system which conveys waste water from the house, across the property line, to the city sewers, and vents the plumbing system gases to the atmosphere.) By insisting on a cast iron DWV system you can assure yourself the same quiet, dependable DWV service that made cast iron soil pipe the industry standard for DWV systems.

Before 1970 most drain, waste, and vent (DWV) systems used cast iron pipe and fittings. Since then, many homes have been constructed using plastic (ABS or PVC) piping systems. Because the DWV systems are hidden behind the walls, most homeowners do not know the kind of pipe they have.

Many builders and homeowners have become aware of the noise problems associated with plastic piping systems. Due to these noise problems cast iron is now specified because of it's superior sound suppression. This time proven material is again today's choice for custom residences.

Why Cast Iron?
For centuries, cast iron pipe and fittings have been used to convey waste and water throughout the western world. Cast iron pipe installed at the Fountains of Versailles in 1623 is still functioning today. Cast iron plumbing installed in the White House in the 1800s still functions flawlessly. Reliable cast iron has proven its worth over the years in many demanding applications, an historical track record unmatched by substitute materials. For a more thorough history of cast iron soil pipe and fittings please follow this link to our history page.

The Quiet Pipe: Cast iron is known for it's quiet operation. Studies done by The Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI) have shown that cast iron soil pipe and fittings, because of their dense molecular structure and rubber gasket joints, are 750% more effective in reducing plumbing noise than substitute materials. The owner of today's $200,000 house will not tolerate the noise of waste water gushing down the living room walls through plastic piping materials when the quiet alternative, cast iron, is so readily available.

Easy to Install: Did you know that cast iron DWV piping often outlasts the building it serves? Today's cast iron systems use compression gaskets and couplings which are easy to install and easy to alter for future modification. With plastic pipe and fittings, using solvent cement connections, piping has to be cut out and thrown away if mistakes are made or alterations are necessary. Some people are unaware that hubless cast iron systems fit in modern stud walls more easily than plastic DWV systems, taking up slightly less space in the wall.

Strength, Durability and Safety: If you have ever visited a residential construction site where plastic pipe is being used during the stage when the walls are being "roughed in" you probably noticed that the contractor has installed small steel plates on the studs where the piping is installed. These plates are used to protect the plastic piping from being punctured when the drywall is nailed or screwed to the studs. Cast iron DWV systems do not necessitate the use of these plates since the nails or screws will not puncture the wall of a cast iron pipe or fitting. Consider the piece of mind you will have when you move into your new home and begin driving nails into the wall to hang pictures and shelves, knowing that you specified the use of cast iron pipe and fittings for your DWV system.