What Is the Life Expectancy of Concrete Sewer Pipe?

Posted on April 29, 2022

What is the life expectancy of concrete sewer pipes? People usually ask this question only when the sewers malfunction, but it’s a question that people should ask because utilities like sewer pipes are an unseen yet essential part of any metropolis or town. After all, it keeps things safe, clean and functioning. 

Of all the materials used to make sewer pipes, concrete is the go-to choice for contractors. This is because it’s resistant to rot, readily available, and can be made from eco-friendly materials.  

In addition to its life expectancy? But how does concrete sewer pipe life expectancy compare to the life expectancy of a clay sewer pipe? To a steel sewer pipe? To a plastic sewer pipe? 

What is a concrete sewer pipe, and why is it used?

A concrete sewer pipe is also called a reinforced concrete pipe (RCP). It’s a type of piping that’s usually used to direct the flow of liquid ( like water, sewage, etc.) underground. They typically make RCP from composite materials with an element to strengthen it like steel. They reinforce it with steel to compensate for the concrete pipe’s low ductility and tensile strength.

Concrete sewer pipes come in diameters ranging from 12″ to 144″. It also comes in different shapes like standard, elliptical, and arch, depending on where they’ll use it. 

Builders and engineers typically choose to use RCPs over other types of pipes because of the following reasons:

  • They can handle a gigantic volume of liquid in terms of volume
  • It is durable and can withstand many environmental stressors 
  • Can operate efficiently under high-pressure conditions
  • Have a long service life compared to other pipes made of different materials
  • Resistant to the incursion of soil or roots
  • Has high joint performance

What is the concrete sewer pipe life expectancy?

The estimated material service life (EMSL), as well as the functionality of RCP (or any buried sewer pipe), is affected by the following factors:

  • Sulfate, Chloride, or acid corrosion
  • Fire resistance
  • pH level
  • Electrochemical corrosion of steel 
  • Ability to resist abrasion
  • Ability to resist soil and water

Considering the above factors, a concrete sewer pipe’s life expectancy is about 75 to 100 years with good maintenance.

But sewer pipes can also be made from clay, cast iron, and plastic pipes. How does the life expectancy of these materials compare to concrete pipes? 

  • Clay sewer pipe life expectancy (vitrified clay pipes): A few centuries 
  • Cast iron pipe life expectancy: 50 to 75 years
  • Plastic pipe life expectancy (Polyvinyl Chloride Pvc Pipes): 50 to 70 years
  • Carbon steel pipe life expectancy: 40 to 70 years 
  • ABS pipe lifespan: 50 to 70 years

Where can you find concrete sewer pipes? 

In addition to finding concrete sewer pipes in sewer systems, RCPs are also used in storm drains, irrigation systems, and culverts.

Want more information on concrete pipes and products?

Do you want to know more about the life expectancy of concrete sewer pipes? AmeriTex’s friendly team is ready to answer your questions about pipe specifications, life expectancy, applications benefits, and more. Contact AmeriTex today.