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A brief overview of the potential problems that may occur due to having pitch fibre pipework as your drainage system.
Pitch fibre is made of wood cellulose fibre impregnated
with carefully refined inert coal tar pitch, under vacuum
and pressure (about 25% fibre to 75% pitch by weight).
Pitch fibre pipes were once considered as an ideal solution for for drainage systems. This was due to the fact that they were much cheaper and also much easier to handle than the traditional clay pipes. Pitch Fibre Pipework was used extensively in the 1960's and then it's popularity gradually began to decline.
It's important to use very high standard drainage material, combined with expert knowledge to ensure excellent quality drainage systems.
Pitch fibre pipework is a very poor drainage material to use, this is due to the fact that pitch fibre pipework has a limited and somewhat uncertain lifespan. It is difficult to say how longit will last as each run is different.
Although pitch fibre pipework was considered suitable for foul drains and sewers,
it was not considered suitable for drains running large
amounts of hot water or for wastes containing pitch
solvents such as fats, petrol, oil etc.
Somerset Drainage Specialists have encountered numerous different problems that can occur with pitch fibre pipework, which has been used for foul drainage.
Here are a few examples of these problems :
1. Over time the pipework can deteriorate
due to its age, weakening weight stress, being laid poorly also
and chemical erosion.
2. Pitch fibre pipework is prone to deterioration
from within as blistering may occur which cause obstructions and
eventually result in the pipe closing up.
3. Leaking pipework can attract tree and shrub
roots which results in further damage to the pipework.
4. The pipework can become porous, which allows water
to seep out. As a result of this the subsoil that surrounds the pipe is washed away causing subsidence.
5. The normal forms of pipe maintenance that are carried out
on pitch fibre pipework may actually cause further
damage due to its delicate nature.