Hi, we had a backup and the plumber snaked and discovered that there is a
break in the pipes below the house. His estimate to repair (via
jackhammering thru the foundation, etc) was pretty high (really high in
I have been told that there is a new method of repairing something like this
by using a sort of angioplasty for plumbing. They find where the break is,
insert a balloon with some heavy duty cement on it and inflate it at the
break, thereby sealing it up. The advantages are that the foundation doesnt
have to be broken through, they can trench it. Does anyone know anything
about this? What is it called? Any of the chains of plumbers do this or
does anyone know of anyone in Central Texas that does it?
Thanks in advance.
Please email me directly with answers if possible.
dave at katedave dot com
Here's one reference:
I would also look at alternate routing of the house sewer.
For example, abandon the sewer under the house and
run a new line *around* the house. Many questions to be
answered for that approach, but worth a look over jackhammering.
i had that problem about 5 yrs. ago.. concrete slab house, brick
home.... the washer would always overflow when emptying.. i rented one
of those snake from hardware store and it came up with mud on the tip..
a sure sign of a broken drain pipe... i could then smell sewer gases in
the house which were coming up when the drain was filled with water and
went to an area behind one of the bathtubs(ther is an area under the
tubs that is not cemented like the rest of the houe... its so the
plumbers can remove the tub and work on the trap under the tub if
needed.. this area flooded and would later go down.. well anyway i
called around and looked in the yellow pages and saw where some plumbers
had ads in there where they said: will work with your insurance
company" i called them up and expained what i had and was told that if
i have a brick house on a concrete slab that the under slab drain pipes
are suppose to be attached to metal bars that are attached to the
underside of the slab and this is whats holding them up and one probably
broke and the pipe dropped and this is the cause of the leak..... i
called my homeownere insurance agent and the lady there said, Oh we dont
cover that, it seems just like normal wear and tear on a house... i told
here that i wanted to put in a claim as i thought that she was incorrect
on this.. and she was i got a call the next day from the reginal office
telling me that they do cover it and told me to get a plumber to come
out and check it... i called one and he got a man out with a video
camera who put the snake with the camera on it down the drain and found
where it was leaking(he also came into the hose with a sensor, it looked
similar to a metal detector(but was a frequency sensor to pick up the
frequency coming off the camera head.... he then went into the back yard
with me and wrote up an estimate of $2500 and told me that the insurance
company will probably pay $2000 and i would pay the rest... it was like
$100 per foot to dig and a few dollars for stainless steel bars that
hold up the pipe and the replacing about 5 to 10 ft. of pipe(which was
cast iron) to the new plastic pipe and some fittings on the ends....
he charged me $200 to do the camera work, i paid him directly..... no
one from the plumbing comp. came out, i called them every couple of days
and got tired of waiting on them.. called the camera man back up and
told him about them not coming out and asked him if he worked for the
company or was subbing out?? he told me that he works with about 25
different companies as he has his own camera equipment(its real
expensive stuff)... and he got me another company.. the sent a crew out
in two days to dig a hole on side of the house and then along the drain
line for about 30 feet or so( i did not get down there as i hurt my back
about1 month earlier and it hurt to just walk around... the diggers, 4-5
brothers, came in the morning at 8 and were picked up at 4 pm by their
older brother in a pickup truck.... these boys worked the whole time...
it took about 2 days for them do clear a path for the plumber to come
out and see what they had to do.. they did it and the diggers came back
and then refilled the hole after putting most of the mud back under the
house... all the mud could not get back in..(it was a pain with all this
clay mud in my area),, rough digging.... bottom line is the people did
not break up any concrete inside my house, with the exception of one
hole to attach the kitchen sink to the drain(about a 4 in. hole and they
put a plastic pipe down it and patched it up with concrete.... the rest
was all done under the house... My house is about 35 ft. deep by 60 ft
wide and the kitchen is on the back of the house.. they dug a 3 ft. hole
by the kitchen window and then dug in the area about 30 feet to make
sure they did not miss anything..(its the more they dig, the more they
make)... they only had to go dig under the slab about 3 to 5 feet from
what i understand and i would have done it myself if my back was not
hurting... they charged me $4600, the insurance company paid $4000.
which was mostly for the digging, they told me that if i had a raised
house and the pipe broke from soil subsidence then they dont cover that,
but it was like the metal rods that hold the pipe in place were broken..
i then told the insurance company that what if i dont have the metal
pipes that hold the drain.. she said that they will still pay for the
digging to find out... and they did.... i dont think the materials were
more than a few dollars for the plastic pipe and the fittings to attach
it to the metal pipe, but the rest was for labor(alot of labor).......
hope this helps.
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