Can I replace my own sewer pipe?

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I'm wondering what it would take to replace the section of sewer pipe from my house to the right of way. We have very sandy soil and no trees in the front yard to be concerned with. I'm thinking it's about a 30' foot run, but I don't know how deep it is. I'm in western NY about a mile south of Lake Ontario. The town has already replaced their section of the sewer with PVC and I'd like to do the same with mine.
Is this something I could do with a couple of shovels, some help and a lot of time or is heavy equipment absolutely required?
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how deep is the main? did you look when they replaced the main line?
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As I said in my OP - "I don't know how deep it is"
The best I can say guesstimate is this:
The exterior vent for the exhaust fan in my basement bathroom is in the same corner of the house as the sewer pipe. Outside of the house, the vent is about 3 feet off the ground. Inside the house, the floor level cleanout is about 7 feet below the vent. I guess that puts the sewer pipe at least 4 feet underground.
In addition, the frost line for building decks, etc. around here is 42", so I assume it's at least that deep.
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wrote:

As I said in my OP - "I don't know how deep it is"
The best I can say guesstimate is this:
The exterior vent for the exhaust fan in my basement bathroom is in the same corner of the house as the sewer pipe. Outside of the house, the vent is about 3 feet off the ground. Inside the house, the floor level cleanout is about 7 feet below the vent. I guess that puts the sewer pipe at least 4 feet underground.
In addition, the frost line for building decks, etc. around here is 42", so I assume it's at least that deep.
***********************************************************
And it only goes down from there.
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Bob F wrote:

After you find out the true depth and whether you will be allowed to do the work:
Ask the state/local utility locating service to mark the location of the other utilities for you.
If you have city water, the service line for that was often laid in the very same trench with the sewer (though perhaps at a different depth). That means you must be *very* careful digging!
A trench, especially in sandy soil, will need shoring up to prevent collapse. Plan on what you will do in the event of rain as well.
Do the homework; this can be a very big job.
Jim
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This is the most important caveat in this whole thread. You know your trench will be at least 4' deep and sloping downward. To proceed without shoring is foolhardy. Even here in central Illinois, by law, a trench in our stiff clay soil must be shored up.. A few weeks ago, one of our local contractors with a reputation for low bids and cutting corners got nailed $100K IIRC, for not shoring up a sewer trench and piling the material too close to the dig (to save $$). Since you will spend quite a bit to rent or buy shoring materials, your most sensible option is a competent contractor. Good luck.
Joe
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Hi, Frost line depth at least. Couple shovels won't do! and having sandy soil you may need lots of gravel to keep the line stay put.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

You can probably do it. Sewer pipes are usually pretty deep, though. Whether you're allowed to do it by the city is another matter entirely.
My son, with a neighbor's help, replaced his. It was a lot of digging and the use of a pneumatic chisel for busting up the clay.
Me? I'd have rented a bobcat for a day.
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Can you dig down 4 or more feet with a bobcat?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Sure just make sure you get the backhoe attachment or rent one of those small track hoes....
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but you can\'t make them THINK"
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Not in a day. LOL! Better get a real backhoe on the job.
s
Can you dig down 4 or more feet with a bobcat?
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Nobody knows local local dirt better and time needed than your water dept, call them. Maybe the last foot is rocky clay.
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What makes you think yours needs replacing. With no trees and sandy soil it may last forever.
If it aint broke.....
Jimmie
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re: "If it aint broke....."
But it just might be.
The back story here is that the town used to come to my house at least once a year to snake the sewer and clear the roots. They used to have to come into the house because there was no cleanout in the yard. Based on the amount of snake they used, the blockage was always in "their" section of pipe. A few years ago, they replaced the pipe from the right-of-way out and added a cleanout in my yard. We didn't have a backup until a few months ago when my basement toilet starting erupting whenever ane upstairs toilet was flushed.
The town came and snaked their section, but it was clear. $165 later, a plumber pulled a big chunk of roots out of my section. Last week (just once) I lifted the lid on the basement toilet and found water all over the seat and lid, which means it must have erupted at least once. That could mean more roots and a temporary blockage.
That's what making me start to look into replacing my section.
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well theres a easy solution to your problem, its worked well for me for over 10 years. someday I should replace the line, but its deep, and under a wall driveway and sidewalk, plus the roots are in every joint but one even under the house. the biggest job is moving alll my business stuff out of the basement and garage to replace the indoor lines. terracotta pipe.
I dump a 25 pound sack of rock salt in my basement wash tub, add lots of hot water and stir with shovel till much of it dissolves. then go to work so the sal;t water can lay in the line undisturbed....... for 12 hours. later normal use of water in the tub dissolves whats left, and futher kills roots
kills the roots fast, tends to clear minor jams like you have fast. i believe the roots curl up and die.
its worth a try, dirt cheap experiment, let us know how it works
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Question regarding rock salt and/or copper sulfate:
Since roots are getting into the line from some type of vegetation (my neighbor has a small dogwood tree about 30 feet from where my line runs, I have bushes across the front of the house) is the "death to the roots" limited to those inside the pipe or do the roots suck up the poison and carry back to the plant?
I want my drains to work, but I don't want to slowly kill any bushes or trees.
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the salt and I have been doing this for 10 years, hurts nothing but the roots in the line.it works fast here, if i see things getting slugish, i dump in the salt and leave for the day. by next morning problem gone.
My line sits directly below a large maple tree and some other trees and bushes.
copper sulphate can kill the trees, a friends neighbor used copper sulphate and killed 2 beautiful sycamore trees over a 100 years old.
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He's got a flush toilet in the cellar... flush the rock salt.
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Christopher A. Young
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If it's more than a foot deep, you'll want a backhoe. And it's more than a foot deep.
s

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in my state i needed a homeowner permit from the health dept and it had to be inspected before it was filled in.the man there told me about the drop on the pipe and where to put the cleanouts. we had new sewers come thru here at the time. i rented a small kabota backhoe 16 inch wide bucket with a bucket on the front also . i dug 160 feet long in one morning used the bucket on front to lay in 4 inches of gravel , mine was a sloping yard so i only had to use transit along side of the house where flat to get slope right but found out a level would have worked too. they told me 1/8" -1/4" drop per foot was needed. laid the sc 40 pipe in and the inspector came and blew smoke in the line to be sure of leaks and that the roof vent was open. then said fill it in.so i did . it helps to get your gravel and pipes on hand before digging . you can use rubber sleeves with stainless hose clamps on it for connecting to your house pipe if its cast iron or different size than your new pipe. with sand soil,you may have to dig it wider than you normally would . no i wasnt a pro ,but i watched a few go in before i decided to do it myself. replaced my nat gas line once too,but thats another story.. lucas
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