There were and are roots in the pipe under the street - the lateral from
the main line is clay, and roots are there. In this city, the homeowner
is responsible for the lateral and if there is a problem that needs to
have the street torn up for access, the owner pays for this.
My bad line was first discovered perhaps 15 years ago. The line had roots in all joints, 150 feet or so. They wanted 15 grand to replace the entire line including under the house/
I had the line snaked, and at most a couple times a year, early spring before the trees leaf out. dump a 25 pound bag of ROCK SALT in my basement wash tub, add very hot water, And mix with a shovel:)
This kills the roots but leaves the big mature trees around my home un harmed.
tree root killer can kill trees, it happended to a friend, cost him 2000 bucks to remove 2 trees
On Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 6:35:30 PM UTC-5, Charles Bishop wrote:
well i can report i have a video tape of the roots entering the pipe at every joint. in the 20 years i have been doing this the only problem i had was the one time i got lazy and the line clogged. added salt water and line was open in hours.........
heres a idea just try it, iits not hazardous, and cheap too. just a few bucksfor 25 or 50 pounds.
my theory when you do this, i always use the hottest water possible.
i set the thermostat as hot as it will go.
the hot water with salt enters the line, as a steam cloud like hot shower, so it works on the entire linre........
its cheap enough to just try. most your out is a few bucks for the rock salt
The pipe is about 3 feet deep at the house end, and 6' deep at the
street end. In addition there is a slope with an abrupt "curve" down
near the street end, which makes me think the pipe is more than 6' deep
at the top of the curve down.
Of course, I'd rather do the work myself, with laborers than pay
plumbers' rates to do the digging.
See another post for a full description of the work.
I'm not a plumber, just a home owner.
If a pipe has roots in it, that's a sign it's not watertight.
The roots will keep coming back, each time quicker and thicker.
I think it would take quite a while for the snake to fully degrade
the pipe, but the roots will degrade the pipe each time they
It's not clear to me why 50 feet of pipe would take 17K to
replace or add a liner.
When I had a similar problem with gutter drain pipes,
I dug them up and replaced the bad section. Total cost was the
price of the new pipe.
Of course the gutter pipes were only a few inches down although
I did end up uncovering a part of the system that was 3 feet down.
The liner should be a lot cheaper than replacement.
I'd rather have the pipes replaced because that new PVC stuff
lasts just about forever.
There are chemicals you can pour down the drain that kill
roots. Not good with septic tanks. I like to actually fix
problems, it's part of owning a home, but chemicals would
be way cheaper and might serve as a temporary solution.
Get multiple opinions / estimates. If it must be replaced, save
yourself a bundle of $$, hire some laborers to dig it up. Plumbers
charge you their regular hourly rate for excavation.
If you excavate, buy the pipe, remove the old pipe and simply pay the
plumber to install and connect the new pipe, you should be able to do
it all for $3k - $4k.
More info in another post on the cost, but that price is about what I
thought. The (E) pipe is deep though, roughly 4' on average (3'-6') over
the 50 feet. So, a long, skinny, deep trench - lotsa work?
3ft is about the limit for hand dug trenching.
I just dug one about 30ft long by 2ft deep for a lamp post.
Not real hard. I'm 70, but in unusually good shape.
Yes, read your update post.
The 17K seems reasonable.
Chemicals can put off the time the job needs to be done.
Flood the pipe when using chemicals.
The roots are looking for water.
If the pipes normally have an inch of water in them
that's where the roots will be.
Someone mentioned that you could kill a tree.
Once or twice a year, I think you're just going to
kill part of the roots. The tree can survive that.
This is likely a 4" drain line??? Roots will be all around and through
from any direction is possible/probable; they won't just be located in
one part of the pipe necessarily.
It'll be awfully difficult to pour enough water down the pipe to "flood"
it and if did unless it is blocked or nearly so, the chemicals will just
be flushed straight on through to the main anyway, doing minimal good on
A regular dosing on a quarterly basis will have a decent chance of
keeping growth from getting out of hand if they're once removed again.
We have this in my neighborhood, and my neighbors tell me it is between
$5,000 to $8,000 to replace the orangeburg (cleanout to city sewer
line). Takes a couple of days from start to finish.
This is bringing in an excavator and digging it up, I haven't heard of
anyone doing a reline job around here.
Another possible option may be to sign up for one of those sewer line
protection plans depending on where he is located. Sometimes they are
offered by water companies such as American Water. I think they cost about
I usually do not sign up for those plans, but I did on just one property
that I have. On all of the other properties, I skipped the plan. The one
property where I signed up for the plan is one with a "problematic" existing
sewer line. By that, I mean that the sewer line runs out to the street
right under a HUGE oak tree and I think it is just a matter of time before I
have a problem and I have to replace the sewer line (even thought it is a
cast iron sewer line). Also, this sewer line apparently has a low spot just
outside of the house but under a slightly raised porch. The line tends to
get backed up once a year or so.
The way that the sewer line protection plan works is that if the line gets
clogged, I can call them and they send someone out to clear the line. The
cost to me is $50 for each such event. That's less than it would cost me to
hire my own person to do it. And, in the past, I often found that I was not
able to clear the line myself even though it has easy access in the
basement. I use one of those 50-foot flat metal drain cleaning tools, not a
rotating "auger"(?) type. I would have to rent one of the rotating auger
machines since it has to reach out to about 40 or 50 feet, and the cost of
renting one is almost the same as the $50 sewer protection line plan cost --
plus I would have to then do the work.
The point is just that for what I call a "problematic" or risky sewer line
that may be susceptible to root intrusions etc, it may be worth signing up
for a sewer line protection plan.
In the event that the sewer line does later need to be replaced, they cover
a lot of the cost up to some maximum amount.
On Monday, November 7, 2016 at 11:01:50 AM UTC-5, TomR wrote:
That's an interesting possibility. Do they require an inspection before
signing you up? Or limit what they pay in the first several years?
Otherwise this sounds like healthcare coverage where you can sign up
anytime and pre-existing conditions are covered, which is a recipe for
disaster for the provider. Either disaster or it would have to cost a
lot to cover the johnny-come-latelys with big problems.
I wondered the same thing when I signed up, but I didn't ask any questions.
I just went ahead and signed up. They didn't ask me any questions.
I think the plan is worded that it doesn't start or take effect until 30
days after the sign-up. I assume that is to prevent people from signing up
one day and then using the plan a few days later to correct an existing
problem. I thought that I had remembered the plan saying something about
pre-existing conditions (not sure), but on a quick look, I couldn't find
that wording in the "Terms and Conditions" for my plan.
In my case, I think the plan is worthwhile even if somehow they were to try
to deny me coverage later on regarding a complete replacement of the sewer
line due to an alleged pre-existing condition or whatever. But, that's only
because I encounter clogs frequently enough (maybe once a year or so) to
make the $50 fee per unclog episode worthwhile. Plus, it is not an
owner-occupied property, so I like the fact that I already have a company
lined up to take care of the problem for me if the occupants call me with a
clogged sewer line.
And, to be honest, I think the sewer line protection plan company would have
a hard time denying me coverage now for an alleged pre-existing condition
because I have had the plan for 2-plus years already.
For the OP, his line is clear now and it is working. So, my guess is that
if he signs up now, he will be covered in the future despite whatever type
of sewer line he has now and whatever the current condition of the line is
regarding the root issue or whatever. If I had what he has, I would just
sign up for the plan quick, fast, and in a hurry. My guess is that he
already paid way more than 50 bucks to his plumber to get his sewer line
unclogged this time around. And, I assume that the roots will do their
thing again, and maybe even within the next 12 months. If that happens, he
will have paid about 130 bucks for the plan for the first year (mine is
$10.70 per month). And, I assume that's about what he had to pay the
plumber for this unclog job, if not more.
My plan is through American Water. Here are some links to info about my
plan, but I think the plans may vary by location, company, etc.
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