Drain Tile Maintenance

I live in a residential subdivision that is about 12 years old.
A fair number of our neighbours are being told that they should have the drain tiles examined with a camera, which requires some digging and lifting up of sidewalk tiles in some cases. It's apparently a "preventative maintenance issue". The company is are offering a "group discount" - usual price $750 reduced to $500.
We're mostly seniors and this sounds like a scam to me - does anyone know? Any helpful information will be most appreciated. I've lived in many houses over the years and have only had drain tiles checked when purchasing an older home. Thank you.
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It would be unusual for any sanitary sewer install done in the last 20 years to be anything other than PVC. There is a chance it may have been done in cast iron in an area with archaic codes. In either case there are no "tiles". It is possible to have a camera study done if you have been having problems. The camera can help in finding problems like root penetration, crushed / damaged / bellied pipe, or build up of deposits inside the pipe. Depending on your area, I would think a simple camera inspection to be more in the $100 -$200 range, call an independent plumber for a quote and have it done if it will make you feel better. I can think of no reason to break out a section of sidewalk unless the riser to the main is in the front yard and something has gone wrong with the riser (unusual with a professionally installed system). Trees and bushes like to try to invade any sewer system, but PVC resists the attack better than other systems If you are not having problems, I can think of no "maintenance" type service that could or should be performed on a PVC system.
________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Maintenance, a properly instaled system is mantenance free. I have one apx 85 yrs old. If it does not drain it is clogged from poor instalation. Wait till it fails and save your money.
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m Ransley wrote:

How will you know it failed if you dont inspect it? You could wait till you walls or floor crack I suppose.
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sue wrote:

Sure sounds like a scam to me. The phrase "drain tile" is very suspicious too. If the houses are 12 years old, there should be nothing wrong with you drain pipes. That's practically brand new. Even if there is, you'll know it. Beware anyone who goes door to door, or otherwise tells you that you "need" something. That caution goes double for seniors.
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Drain tile is the (usually exterior) perimeter drainage system and has nothing whatsoever to do with the drain-waste-vent system you are thinking of. Drain tile will either flow to daylight or to a sump.
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Doug Boulter

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snipped-for-privacy@scrippy.com says...

Red flag #1: The "contractor" is going door-to-door.

Red flag #2: Bullshit excuse to do unnecessary work.

Red flag #3: Company is willing to offer a "special discount" just to you.

Red flag #4: You suspect that it's a scam.
It's a scam, plain and simple. Politely tell the contractor to get lost. Reputable contractors do not go door-to-door trying to find work. If they're good, the work comes to them.
As to the "preventative maintenance" and "camera examination", it sounds to me like a complete and total waste of time. Your weeping tile and sewer drain should need absolutely no regular maintenance.
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Get his full name, address, phone number. Then call the hotline for fraud at whatever agency in your state handles consumer protection.
Bob

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Lets see here , fairly new subdivision, retired seniors, door to door sales for developing a market by inducing fear of a most likely unfounded situation. You should contact the city, these guys might be breaking several laws. Some states have double penalties for ripping off elderly. Some cities have mandatory registration and hours on door to door sales. City -state lisence, insurance, and possibly fraud are a few thoughts. Im sure city officials would steer you in the right direction.
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sue wrote:

I live in a residential subdivision that is about 5 years old.
My 'drain tiles' don't appear to have been properly installed. We get lots of dirt/sand in our pit, and our floor has cracked. Fortunately the installer put cleanouts around perimeter of basement where the outside pipes enter the basement. (Perhaps they are not technically drain tiles, but every plumber in my house still called them that for simplicity I suppose).
When I opened the cleanout it was full of same. Camera inspection later showed the pipes had an uphill slope and that is why they collected sand and clogged up. Fortunately this all happened 1 month before my home warranty expired. Saved me several thousand dollars as they had to bust up the floor and relay those pipes that were mis-layed just 3 years ago when the house was built. (original installer did the repairs)
So if you see anything like cracked or damp walls or floor, drastically reduced water volume, feel safe getting inspection. However, I would INSIST they install cleanouts. IF they are going to dig up the ground and charge you $500 for this, they need to install cleanouts so that next inspection and cleaning will not require digging. Even if the cleanouts happen to be on the outside of your house.
My first camera inspection cost me about $200, so $500 with digging is not unresonable. The work itself seems resonably priced, the question is if you need it or not. If you get a cleanout installed with it, then its all good in my book.
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A cloged system wont drain, an improperly installed system will clog. The specifications are known, the proper size and amount of gravel must surround the pipe, pipe socks are used in sandy areas. If their system is clogged it isnt draining, if it was poorly installed the subdivision has a major suit against the builder. A properly designed and installed system is maintenance free.
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m Ransley wrote:

My system was not properly installed yet it did drain and quite a bit as well. But there was tar weeping into one drain, and every cleanout in the basement was full of sand except the two closest to the pit. The sewer backflow valve access pit was full of water, and some cement we layed had moisture lines along the edges.
If there are no signs forget it. Maybe take this as an opportunity to check for the signs of a system problem. I guess I'm coming around to the scam view. The camera is used to locate known problems, not fish for potential ones. If there is a problem it should show in some way. albeit it will be a damaging way, but if your watching and catch it soon enough should be just fine.
They should offer to inspect for potential problems before they offer to dig and insert a camera. Kind of like offering othroscopic surgery to see if you have arthritis in a joint you are not having pain in.
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