May I ask how your son even knew exactly where his sewer line was?
Most owners dont have the slightest idea where the sewer line is or
how deep it is in order to dig to replace it. You can have a plumber
locate it for you but around here in California they charge $300.00
just to find it for you.
Virtually every sewer connection I have seen in houses/buildings under
construction over the past 60+ years run straight out to the sewer
line in the street, or up the back property line where the sewers are
run in the back lot line. I have never seen one run diagonally out to
the street or back lot line, as that would require more digging and
I'm glad you said "virtually every" as opposed to "every". Mine runs out
at an angle of about 30 degrees and is a long run to the sewer as I'm the
first house on that line and it is the shortest distance. My next door
neighbor a couple of hundred feet away is on another line going in the
opposite direction. He is also uphill from me and the highest point on that
I had the same plumber as Ed.
Actually mine runs on an angle to allow for the under basement drain run.
My original tap was on the other side of the lot but some one screwed up the
mains installation and it was not deep enough.
My sewer line runs at about a 45 degree angle from the corner of my
house to the town's connection which is under the town-owned portion
of my front lawn. (We don't have curbs)
I live on the curved end of a street, so my house (and my neighbor's)
were placed on the lots "crooked" so that the front's line up with the
rest of the houses on the street. If they ran the sewer pipe straight
out of the house, my portion of it would end up under my neighbor's
My neighbor's pipe is run at an even smaller angle, under his
driveway, to the town's portion of his lawn, which is connected to my
It's kind of strange the way our lots are set up. If you stand in
front of my house, what appears to be all my lawn in actually partly
owned by the town with a small angled slice owned by my neighbor. When
I mow, I always mow his small section, but he never returns the favor
by mowing all of mine. I'm sure I've mowed the equivalent of my lawn
on his side of the property line many times over in the past 25 years.
The least he could is mow my lawn once a year or so. ;-)
No, there was no mistake.
As I said in my earlier post, the houses were put on the lots at an
angle so that the fronts of our 2 houses line up with the fronts of
the rest of the house on my street.
Our 2 lots were the last 2 lots in a very old neighborhood to be
developed. They were actually kind of park for the rest of the street.
When I moved in 25 years ago, an elderly neighbor, God rest his soul,
told me that one of the horseshoe pits was where my kitchen table now
With the lots at an angle following the curve of the street and our
houses crooked on the lots, part of my neighbor's lot is on the east
side of driveway, which is where my front lawn is. There's a walkway
that runs between our houses to the backyard and the lot line splits
the walkway at an angle that continues across the lawn to the street.
If I stand at the east corner of my house and walk towards the street,
I'm on my property for about 8 feet and then on I'm his.
On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 12:11:20 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) email@example.com"
Just another data point: mine runs out the back of my house at a 45
degree angle, takes a 45 to run parallel to the back for about 20'
until it's clear of the end of the house, does a 90 and goes straight
to the street. Reason: house originally had a septic tank out back. In
fact it still has a septic tank, but it's not connected to anything.
We have been getting lots of those solicitations from the water company.
I can understand why because there is big money to be made selling
"insurance". First it was generalized marketing. Recent ones have
fluffed it up to scare folks. Now they have pictures of a backhoe
digging up a lawn and claims like "it just cost your neighbor in
"Smithville" $13,000 to repair their water line...
At that rate, I'd have paid for $4500 over the years and not needed it yet.
I'd rather use my money for other things or put it into a "house repair"
account for when things do happen. That insurance company is making money
off of you can paying employees.
The electric company installed a new pole down from my house. They drilled
right through my sewer line and it backed up a few weeks later. Total cost
(paid by them) was $1350 for the repair.
My old house, the sewer line was broken when I bought it, it was
maybe two feet deep and made of 2' sections of 4 inch clay tile pipe. I
dug up about 15 feet of it and shoved three inch plastic sewerline in
into the old pipe hearing it crunch through the root balls at each of
the old joints until I got it most of the way to to the alley, then
plumbed it back to the old line coming out of the house. So far it's
worked for 20+ years. And my old steel water service line developed a
leak about 15 years ago, I dug a new trench by hand all 50 feet of it
taking my time and soaking the ground each night. I replaced it with
3/4 inch PVC from the meter and through the old hole in the wall into
the basement. Not a big deal really if you take your time and know what
you are doing. And park cars around to block the view so the city
doesn't bother you when you are doing it.
The problem is that I am not capable of doing any of this type of repair
work. I also live in a very small town and finding someone to do this
type of work can be a challenge when an emergency comes up.
Still, I appreciate your feedback and will still research this matter.
I have a number of different residential properties -- a few that I own and
a few that the company where I work owns and that I oversee. I/We only have
the sewer/water policy on one of the properties.
The main reason that we got the policy on that property is that it is a very
old property and the sewer line runs out to the street right under a HUGE
old oak tree at the curb. In fact, I am surprised that we haven't had a
major problem before now. If they do have to replace the line, my guess is
that they will have to relocate it to bypass the tree and tie it into the
main at a different location. So, for that one property, it seems like it
is worthwhile to have the policy in place.
For the other properties there is no real obvious risk of damage, and access
to everything is fairly easy. So we decided not to pay for a policy on
Another advantage of the policy that I do like is that they have a reduced
fee charge for routine drain cleaning if there is a sewer backup.
Apparently, if there is a backup, we call them and they send out a drain
cleaning service for a flat fee of $50, even if it is during off hours etc.
That's a lot less than it would cost for us to have to call someone out to
snake out the drain, and for $50 it's worth paying someone else rather than
for me to have to try to do it myself (which I have done in the past). We
have had several backups in the drain line in the past, mostly due to the
way it is pitched, and sometimes due to the tenant-ocuppants flushing paper
towels etc. down the toilet.
I am pretty sure that the policy does say that if they have to break out the
concrete sidewalk to fix the line, replacing that section of the sidewalk is
our responsibility. But that's not a big deal to replace a 4x4 section of
Based on what you wrote about the neighbor's tree and the fact that you are
not able or would not want to do the repairs on your own, I think that it
may be worthwhile for you to just sign up for the plan and have one less
thing to worry about.
That was in line with my thinking too. A lot depends on if it's 50
year old lines
or 4 year old ones. And if there are large trees nearby, sidewalks
that have to be dealt with, etc. You also need to carefully read
the policy and
see what it covers, limits, etc. If it's relatively new lines, short
and an easy replacement
path, no way I'd buy the policy. But if it were 300ft of 50 year
old lines, with sidewalk, etc
and all that was covered, then I would buy it.
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