Follow up on Sewer Line Problem


Well, about 2 weeks later and lots of consternation, questions, half baked theories, and speculation by contractors, city sewer department workers, and neighborhood kibitzers, to say nothing of my friens at alt.home.repair, here is the verdict.
Right after the sewer line was supposed to have been cleared, it was backed up again. I decided to ditch my plumber and I called in Mr. Rooter, a local franchise of a national? company that offers free TV inspection. I watched the video imagery and saw the camera go through a sea of sewage (just before lunch). But the truth is you can't really see all that much if the sewer is backed up. They said they'd jet it out so we could see more. The hose got stuck, and they thought because of a break in the line just outside the house. They said they would have dig, and an hour later they had a back hoe out front and were digging, about 7 feet down. What we found was not a break but a huge gap in the line, about 2 feet of pipe so rotted there was nothing, not even shards to be found. What I had was a cess pool outside the house. The rain from the roof had been pouring down into this corner of the house and seeping back into the basement through the sewer line, which was full of sand and sludge. They found all the cast iron pipe going into the house was also corroded beyond hope.
What they are doing is a "trenchless" sewer line replacement where they fill a liner with resin and force it through the line by air. It is quite a system and will avoid having to dig up the entire front yard. It comes with a 50 year guarantee and at 61, I can accept that. The missing or corroded parts they will have to replace, and I don't know the details there, but it will also be lined with the new resin material.
They showed me how it worked and told me it was invented in Europe where there is lots of old pipe.
Bottom line: it will cost me $6k. As my wife noted, there is no choice. I'm spending much more than that on a marble balcony and veranda on the back side of the house, which is going on simultaneously. I will enjoy them much more than the new sewer line, but in the scheme of things my money on the sewer is probably better spent.
Thanks for all your advice and interest in this matter.
--Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ouch, that sucks. I've heard of that system, but I've never seen it used. The missing parts will have to be replaced to provide a path for the tube they insert, I'd guess.
Hope it works out well in the end. Please let us know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, the pipe that had been completely corroded had to be replaced, and it served as a form for the new pipe, so that it is all one continuous tube ... two actually because they "shot" one line from the cleanout out to the city line and another in to the house. They added a backflow valve on the inside. And for the $6k they also replaced a flapper in my toilet. Everything is working well now. I believe sand and sludge that had come in from the outside break had made the downstairs toilet difficult to flush; it works well now.
The new technology has been around for some time, since the 70s I believe. It was developed in Europe and brought to the US some time ago. But most plumbers are still digging things up or patching broken sewer lines I would guess. The Mr Rooter franchises seem to be taking a lead in TV inspection and trenchless replacement.
--Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not cheap, but a lot better than trenching.
As for the plumbers, tough call. Some are not interested in new technology and/or don't have the funds to invest in equipment. Then there is the customer. A plumber told me about a piece of equipment for defrosting frozen pipes. Just clamp on a couple of leads and put the juice to it to heat them. He said people are not willing to pay a fair price to cover his cost of equipment, but don't mind paying even more when he tears up the walls.
Hope both you and the pipe last the next 50 years. Congrats on the good deal for the flapper!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DHD wrote:

Hmmm, Living in one place too long? I never do, LOL!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.