Expert Professional Consultation | 5 Star Plumbing

Orangeburg Pipes and Their Disadvantages

Is your house built between the years 1945 and 1972? Are you experiencing often clogged drains, lawn indentations, or unequal green patches in your grass? If  YES, then your house may have a high chance of possessing a sewer line pipe called Orangeburg. 

The Orangeburg pipe period has been a financial gain for plumbers and a financial loss for residential and commercial building owners. Since the 1970s, the latest Orangeburg pipe installations are going to start to break down soon. Ignoring them could cause a huge sewage backup.

What is an Orangeburg Pipe?

Orangeburg piping is called after the town where it originated: Orangeburg (NY). It’s a pipe made of wood pulp and wrapped with coal tar. As a result, this makes the material extremely brittle and light. According to some people it bends and absorbs moisture like a tube of toilet paper. Orangeburg pipes last up to 50 years but they tend to deform after 30 years. Houses and offices with this kind of pipe may be at risk. 


How Can I Tell If I Have Orangeburg Sewer Pipe?

If your house or office building was constructed 40 years ago, there is a high possibility that it was built with Orangeburg piping. Since most of the pipes are installed underground, they can still be difficult to identify. Here are some other ways to tell if you have Orangeburg piping:

  • Your city officials or homeowners association will note if your property has this type of piping, thus, checking your real estate documents is a must.
  • It’s common for Orangeburg pipes to drain slowly and reek of sewer smells in your house.
  • Your lawn forms patches and dents that look greener than the other sides, and even foundation sinkholes that distorts the pipes resulting in tree roots to shred and mangle.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Orangeburg Sewer Pipes?

When the pipes start cracking up, you’ll have tree root incursion, clogged drain pipes, and worst of all total pipe breakdowns. If your Orangeburg sewer is cracking or leaking, pay attention to these warning signs:

  • Mold troubles
  • Slow draining
  • Frequent toilet clogs
  • Unpleasant smell of sewer inside the house
  • Lawn plots that appear greener than others
  • Hollow spots in the lawn
  • Sinkholes in the base

How are the Restoration and Replacement Done?

In most cases, onsite inspections can determine severe damage within the pipes that would only require rehabilitation through trenchless sewer pipe lining, a no-dig process, or also called cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining. It repairs the damaged pipes and restores them without the need to manually dig on your residential or commercial areas. However, if the Orangeburg pipes have already ovalized, they need to be replaced with durable pipes to prevent future line problems.


Professional plumbers can evaluate your house or building pipes and check their current conditions. If breakdown is highly possible, they can take some action to make appropriate repair and restoration to hold off further damage. Trenchless pipe lining is one of the best ways to fix your old Orangeburg pipes.

Alongside working Orangeburg pipeline repairs, trenchless technologies can also extend your pipeline’s life span and help avoid costly future repairs. We’ll fix your Orangeburg pipes in a way that you’ll not only save money but also benefit from a long-term solution. 


If your Orangeburg plumbing has already deteriorated, then this is the right time to switch to PVC pipe at least to cut some plumbing costs. All you need to do then is to purchase PVC pipes and have the whole drainage line replaced.

Replacing Orangeburg can be pricey, and insurance doesn’t usually cover it.

To check out more about trenchless technology or replacement procedures used in restoration and repairing of Orangeburg pipeline systems, contact 5 Star Plumbing for an Orangeburg pipe lining consultation.