While the world of plumbing and drainage may have moved on from pitch fibre piping, plenty of the stuff is still in use around the country. So if you find yourself in need of pitch fibre drain replacement or repair, call No1PHD.
Pitch fibre drains are something of a hangover from the mid-twentieth century, produced as a cheaper alternative to more conventional drain materials, such as clay, and before plastic was more commonly used. Pitch fibre drains are not manufactured anymore, but the sheer volume of pipes that were laid means there is still miles and miles of the pitch fibre in use today. Replacing underground piping is no small task, so these drains have largely been left in place until such time as replacing them became a necessary evil. But whether you need yours replacing or simply repairing, No1PHD has the drainage expertise to take care of it.
Pitch fibre pipes are made from a mix of wood cellulose and inert coal tar pitch, typically found in properties built between 1950 and 1970. When they were first introduced in the 1950s, they were lighter and more cost-effective than their clay counterparts, making them an appealing option. They also typically used asbestos to strengthen the pipes, though the harmful properties of asbestos are nullified by the coal tar pitch as long as the pipe is not tampered with. Pitch fibre drains are generally up to the task—they wouldn’t be left in place in such large quantities if they weren’t—but they are more susceptible to breakage than their clay and plastic counterparts. Fortunately, No1PHD have all the expertise necessary to handle it, however, you choose to tackle the problem.
Given the nature of the asbestos usually present in pitch fibre pipes, it’s often best to leave them be if there are no problems. They are not as resistant to disturbances as plastic or clay, and if any connecting fibre pitch pipes are damaged, they would have to be replaced also. If you are experiencing problems with your pitch fibre drains, however, then replacement isn’t your only option. Pitch fibre repair can often be quicker and less costly than a replacement. It’s also worth noting that replacement drain pipe will typically involve a disruptive excavation in order to reach the pipe. Of course, if you want to go ahead with replacing them regardless, No1PHD are fully equipped with the tools and expertise to handle both repairs and replacements.
There are a number of options for repairing a fibre pitch pipe, the ideal method being dependant on the type of repair. The pipes can be relined from within, covering any cracks and holes with a felt lining. It can also be patched from the outside. In severe cases, there are also products such as Brawloliner, which is essentially an elastic tube that lines the pipework. Ideal for repairs in awkward places, such as near joints or bends in the pipe. Repairs are generally preferrable to replacement for the reasons mentioned above. These methods of repair have been tried and tested, and are as reliable as any replacement pipe.
While we recommend leaving the pipes alone if possible, blockages do occur. Due to the nature of the pipe itself, attempted unblocking can result damage to the pipe, especially with bad blockages that require some of the more involved unblocking methods to free up. This can necessitate repair or replacement as outlined above. The best approach to a situation like this is to first undertake a CCTV survey for the affected pipe before taking any action. This ensures that your No1PHD professional knows exactly what the situation is, and can make the best recommendations for how to proceed.
We understand there is a lot to absorb regarding all the various quirks of this unique drain pipe. That’s why we’re happy to have a professional, with all the expertise that entails, talk you through the various options and procedures. Just give us a call on 08006906777 and speak to our drainage and pitch fibre drain experts and arrange a callout.
After noticing that the house was unusually cold, we found that the heating wasn’t coming on and that our hot water had also failed. We called the team at No 1 PHD who dispatched an engineer to investigate. After discovering that the culprit was a faulty boiler part, they ordered in a new part and got it fitted as quickly as possible. The guys were great, and we couldn’t be happier.
For days, we’ve noticed a foul smell coming from outside and a gurgling sound coming from one of the drains. Whenever it would rain, the area around it would flood slightly and take ages to drain. We tried buying drain unblockers, but none seemed effective. Eventually, we turned to No 1 PHD and were left wondering why we didn’t do this sooner.