© Tuscan Foundry Products Ltd 2020
Tuscan Foundry have been leading suppliers of cast iron rainwater and soil products for over 30 years. More than just a website Tuscan is built around a team of experts and that can provide advice and guidance to ensure that you get the best cast iron rainwater system for your project.
There are so many benefits to buying a high quality cast iron gutter system and our team can help you find what you are looking for and discuss the many options that need to be considered when choosing which cast iron gutters and pipes are best for your building.
Cast iron is universally recognized as the benchmark for rainwater systems and many other suppliers of alternative materials have been attempting to copy it for years. Whilst those suppliers will tell you that their ‘cast iron effect’ products are an equal to the real thing, the truth is that they fall well short of the real benefits offered by cast iron. In fact cast iron rainwater systems not offer a high quality look and feel but they have a track record of continuous use over centuries.
With ‘cast iron effect’ manufacturers primarily promoting just upfront cost savings, the real cast iron products offer significantly more benefits to users than just price.
In operation over the life of a building it will outperform and outlast other gutter and pipe materials. Also cast iron is 100% recyclable, losing none of its original properties in the manufacturing process. This makes cast iron a more sustainable material than others used for rainwater drainage. Cast iron products will last the life of your building meaning that the whole life cost can actually work out less than materials such as plastic. There is no need for iron rainwater goods to go to landfill and it will not degrade into micro particles like plastics and enter our waterways and oceans.
Cast iron rainwater products offer a wide choice of designs for both historic and modern contemporary buildings. Rainwater pipes can be round, square or rectangular and Tuscan offer eight standard gutter profiles and five standard hopper heads in different sizes. We also have patterns for a further 48 different styles of ornamental cast iron hopper heads and 28 special gutter profiles including wider and deeper half round and traditional Ogee designs.
In addition to these off the shelf choices Tuscan Foundry can also offer your project bespoke manufactured gutters, rainwater pipes and hopper heads to match your exact specification. We can produce new patterns to allow us to cast a wide range or guttering, pipe and hopper designs. A pattern is a tool used by a foundry to replicate exactly an existing casting or create a brand new design.
A rainwater pipe consists of a tube of cast iron with a socket at the top. Some sockets are plain, others have ears that allow for fixing the pipe to a surface
Pipes should be straight with a consistent metal thickness. The external finish won’t necessarily be smooth like plastic due to the manufacturing process but should be even and without any obvious defects like cracking or uneven wall thickness. The inside of the pipe shouldn’t have any obstructions that could restrict the flow of water.
Tuscan Foundry round rainwater pipes are cast centrifugally with the socket cast on as an integral part of the pipe. It is a single piece of cast iron, and in our opinion is the best way to make round pipes. There are several advantages to this method of manufacture because centrifugal casting is the only method of producing straight pipes with a consistent metal thickness and an even surface finish over the length of the pipe.
Casting the socket on as part of the process, as opposed to attaching a separate socket to a pipe, ensures the integrity of the pipe and also ensures the internal flow is efficient and unobstructed. A separate socket fitted to the inside of the pipe significantly reduces the internal diameter. Taking our 70mm diameter pipes as an example, with a socket fitted internally the pipe diameter is reduced to 58mm. The calculation, in accordance with EN 1206-3:2000, shows a 65% increase in capacity on our pipe with the integral socket.
A gutter is a cast iron trough with a socket at one end and a spigot at the other for making internal and external connections to other gutter lengths and fittings, for example outlets, that connect to a rainwater pipe. Gutters collect rainfall as it runs off the roof and allows the water to drain away from the fabric of the building into the drain pipes and then the drains.
Gutters should be straight, if badly warped this makes installation problematic. As with pipes they should have an even, consistent finish that will allow for the unobstructed flow of rainwater.
Both the Tuscan plain half round and beaded half round gutters are cast centrifugally. When a pipe is cast centrifugally it is cut length ways to form two half round gutters. The advantages of this method are that you then have a gutter which is straight with an even metal thickness and also an even and consistent surface.
It is important to remember that whilst cast iron rainwater goods offer significant benefits over other materials, there are still a wide range of variances between the quality of cast iron offered from online suppliers. One area that needs special consideration in the quality of the paint applied as without a protective coating, your cast iron rainwater system could rust. A good paint finish is vital to get the best out of your cast iron drainage system.
Cast iron rainwater products should be delivered with at least a transit primer coat ready for further coating. Cast iron gutters and pipes supplied by Tusca Foundry use an anti-corrosive, high build primer which is applied in factory conditions, and ready for painting on receipt.
A popular choice now is to have the products pre-painted and Tuscan Foundry offer black as standard in a 2-pack polyurethane high solids finish. (Other colours in the RAL range are available.) The 2-pack polyurethane finish has a life expectancy of 10 years subject to annual maintenance and correct installation procedures being followed, especially in relation to cutting and retouching.
It is important to note that variations in local environments can also affect the duration of the paintwork. In particular we also offer a Premier Coastal paint finish for locations within 5Km of the sea. This has been developed in response to the rigours of a marine environment, which has a detrimental effect on paint work on all material surfaces, not just cast iron.
In addition to the paint quality there are is maintenance which needs to be considered.
Cast iron drainage systems, like any other quality products, require ongoing maintenance. This maintenance is straight forward, uncomplicated and only required once a year. We recommend this is carried out in late autumn after leaf fall and before winter sets in.
There are four simple checks;
These inspection requirements should apply whatever rainwater system you choose because regardless of what you might be told, no gutters or pipes are maintenance free.