HELP! !!!!! Sewer repair/replacement advice needed

I just bought a 30 year old home last month.
Last week, the sewer backed up into the tubs and toilet. After trying everything, we called Plumber A, who sent his son out. He came out (I was gone, my wifey was here)and dug a hole next to the house, where he found the sewer line to be made of that black corrugated plastic stuff, installed long ago before city annexation.
He said he cleared the line, patched the hole with a piece of aluminum foil provided by my wife, filled the hole, charged us $165. He wrote on the ticket he "pulled nothing" from the line. Also,he said he would not guarantee the work because of the plastic line.
He said the 40 foot line was likely collapsing, and would need to be replaced. Around here, that will run $1,500-$2,000.
A week later, another backup.
Wifey and I dig up the line again, and see that the plumber had punched a hole in the line a little less than the size of a dime, which he apparently ran his equipment through.
I called the Plumber A, irate, and the man justified his procedure by saying he used a small 5/8 inch bladed(snake? rooter?) to clean it to the city line. He told me using anything larger would destroy my corrugated plastic line.
I called another plumber with more than 20 years of experience, who said he disagreed, and that the blades would NOT tear up the line. He said the equipment used by the first guy was more for drains and smaller interior lines.
So, now Plumber B is on his way in the morning (for $120 bucks) to give it a shot with a larger rooter. He said he can tell by how many obstructions he hits whether or not the line is collpased or just obstructed. He can also can provide a camera down the line for $225.
My questions: Do I have any recourse against Plumber A? Am I wasting my time and money by having it cleaned again in the morning? Should we do camera?
I haven't showered in three days. Can you smell me from there?
Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
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dan wrote:

I agree with "B". See what he can do with a real sewer auger.
Corrugated pipe was never suitable for sewer work, so it may indeed be collapsed or ruptured.
Although the video charge is often money well-spent for diagnostics, you might put it in the piggy-bank fund for the new sewer line...
Jim
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Jim,
We're trying Plumber "B" in the morning.
The new sewer line WILL be installed, but it would be much better for us, financially, to plan around it and PAY for in a few months, it rather than charging it to a credit card or something now.
We just bought the house, and have had lots of expenses. Your piggy-bank suggestion is right on the nose.
THANKS!!
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Heck, save the money on the video and save the money on the second guy and just have the line repaired. Gees!, I know stuff has gone up and the cost of lumber about floors me, but around here a 40 foot line replaced or new isn't close to $1500. We put in a sewer line that is about 40 feet long (was on a septic tank) about 3 years ago for $300. Used one of those very small backhoes. Very quick except for when the operator nicked the gas line and they had to wait while the gas guys had to come out by passed the break and fixed the line. Same guys would probably charge $400-$450 today.
dan wrote:

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George,
When you say "we put in a sewer line," do you mean you did it yourself, or had it done? Are you a plumber? I'm confused, when you mention the "same guys today"......
Our city codes don't allow jacking around with the sewer lines, or digging near the street. Gotta be licensed, bonded, and the job has to be inspected.
Besides, I've never even touched a backhoe before, and our water line is lying only inches away from the sewer line.
Thanks, Dan

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On 22 May 2004 14:42:08 -0700, dan snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (dan) wrote:

a larger snake you might be able to get your money back from A in small claims court but you will probably be best served to chalk it up as one of the cheaper lessons us new home owners have to learn,....
If plumber B is also unable to clear the line I wouldn't money with the camera in this case. $1500 is probably in the right neighborhood to replace the pipe. You could get it done a lot cheaper if you dig the trench.
Steve B.
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