Is this an asbestos waste / soil pipe?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by LauraTheExplorer, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. LauraTheExplorer

    LauraTheExplorer New Member

    I am updating my bathroom and the new toilet I ideally would like to shorten my waste-pipe slightly to fit the new pan.

    I know some soil pipes are made out of asbestos, but not sure whether that was limited to asbestos-cement or whether there are also pipes made out of asbestos-plastic (i.e. like Bakelite Cisterns).

    You can see a picture of mine here: - my guess is that this is plastic, but I can't say for sure as limited experience with asbestos.

    Can anyone confirm that is definitely plastic please?
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Looks more like a pitch fibre pipe, but could be plastic.
  3. LauraTheExplorer

    LauraTheExplorer New Member

    Thanks KIAB. I know Anglian Water is not exactly HSE, but they seem to think here that Pitch Fibre can contain asbestos. Have you heard of that in the case of soil pipes of this type please?

    Also anyway for me to confirm whether it is pitch fibre or plastic please?
  4. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Well known that pitch fibre pipes contained asbestos in various amounts, it was used as a reinforcement for the pipe.
    Pitch fibre was used up to the early 70's.
  5. LauraTheExplorer

    LauraTheExplorer New Member


    I've got no experience of pitch fibre so have no idea how to identify it.

    This soil pipe is black, hard, about 4mm in thickness and looks like it was cut by a fairly rough saw - tbh it looks just like plastic! Anyway to tell them apart? Thanks
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    It could be plastic,hard to tell from a photo,as I'm on phone.:(
    The rough saw cut could make it look like fibres.
  7. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Don't go scratching but just push sharp point of knife in. If its soft it's plastic. If nothing happens its not plastic and back off.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  8. LauraTheExplorer

    LauraTheExplorer New Member

    Thanks, it was soft enough for me to poke a knife in, lightly score it with a Stanley knife blade and cut a tiny sliver off the end of the soil pipe with a Stanley knife. It looks like plastic.

    See here:

    Unless you think otherwise, I think that's a case closed - it's plastic.

    Thank you for your help.
  9. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Well-Known Member

    The pitch fibre pipes were buried in some installations and due to hot water and fats would delaminate and deform..hence blocking easily.
    KIAB likes this.
  10. Dave does Gas

    Dave does Gas Well-Known Member

    Looks like plastic but cant really say for certain from a photo. If you have the slightest doubt have an asbestos test done, it will cost about £80 and you will know for certain either way
    KIAB likes this.

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