I have a cast iron drain pipe from my house to the lot line where it
transitions to the town's PVC pipe (with clean out) that goes out to
I have a partial blockage so I had the line scoped by Mr. Rooter.
There is a mass of hair-sized roots hanging from the top of the pipe
at the cast iron to PVC junction. The town says it's my problem even
though they introduced that particular junction when they added the
clean out about 7 years ago. I may make a few phone calls, but I doubt
I'll get any relief.
Mr. Rooter gave me 2 estimates to line the pipe:
$2100 (tax included) to line a 4' section near the clean out which
will seal the junction. That comes with a 5 year warranty.
$4100 (tax included) to line the entire pipe from the house and into
the PVC, approximately 40 ft. That comes with a 25 year warranty.
There are other junctions with push-seals along the 40' length, but
they all appear to be solid. No roots, no separations, etc.
Obviously the full liner would be more cost effective, but that's a
chunk of change.
Does anyone have any experience with having a drain pipe lined? A 25
year warranty seems to imply a pretty "permanent" fix, but of course
the company has to be around to honor it should something go bad.
Dig up the line yourself, then call a plumber to replace
the cast iron section of piping with PVC into the house
to match and attach to the city provided connection...
The roots must have gotten through the Fernco coupler
used to connect the two types of piping to each other...
If you only line the 4 foot section that is currently damaged,
then the laws of the universe dictate that the next problem
you experience will be 2 feet beyond what you repaired
and thus not covered by warranty...
Have you priced out replacing the line with PVC by a
real plumber ? Mr. Rooter is rather gimmicky, why
would they offer to dig up and replace a pipe for
$1,800 when they can try to convince you to line it
for $4,100 ?
Call a real plumber for a quote -- he digs it up and
you dig it up...
It depends a LOT on where those roots are coming from. Digging my
sewer pipe up would be a MAJOR undertaking, as some fool planted a
maple tree basically dead center over the pipe 38 years ago. It's only
30 feet to the street but you would pretty well have to pull the tree
out by the roots to get to it.
A neighbor had the root issue maybe 10 years ago... he had the roots
chopped out, then started using some sort of (unknown to me) root killer
every month or so... he was just talking about it the other day and
claims to still be trouble free.
Will call and find out what root killer he uses if anyone's interested.
While a concentrated salt solution might work, I would be a little leery
of it. That salt really eats up stuff.
Also, I really know little about this, but remember hearing/reading that
some tree roots are much more salt tolerant than others... as always,
Remember, Google is your friend, good luck!
Spending $2K to fix one joint area with only a 5 year
guarantee doesn't sound like a good idea to me. And
for $4K, I would think you could get the entire line
replaced with PVC, so lining the whole thing doesn't
sound too good either. The exception being if digging
the ditch is going to require extensive work because of
driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, etc.
I think the other avenue of investigation is what kind
of connection they used that caused the problem.
Fernco? And what the experience has been with
tree roots and that type of connection. If you knew
that type of connection is always susceptible to tree
root problems, then maybe you can find an alternate
solution that is not. Ferncos are cheap and easy and work well, but
maybe there is a better solution for say $200
that isn't susceptible to tree roots. It could also be
that the connection
is not the problem, but that it wasn't installed properly.
Like they could have forgotten to tighten the clamps.
Might be worth digging down to find out what is really
going on. I'd hate to spend $4k because some guy
with his butt crack showing didn't tighten the clamps.
Another solution might be to dig down, investigate, and
place something around that joint as a root barrier.
Exactly what that might be, I don't know. I'd be
tempted to pour concrete around it, but obviously
that ain't gonna meet the plumbing code.
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