Last week we had our sewer back up in our bathtubs and sinks, etc. We
called a plumber who came right out and cleared the pipes of tree
roots. He told us that the tree roots were coming through pipes from
other yards in our neighborhood. He suggested we call a plumber who
had equipment with a camera attached so they could look down the pipes.
He said he had been experiencing this situation quite a lot since
Verizon had started installing their fiber optic cables. Apparently
Verizon has broken a few main sewer pipes in the Keller, TX area. The
plumber said if we could get the pictures of the broken pipe...Verizon
would have to do the repair of the main line.
Has anyone else ever heard of this?
I am new to using Groups and last week I did post the same question
from home. Today I am at my office and was looking to see if I had any
responses. I could not find my initial submission so I decided to do
it again. I am just learning, so I hope there are people out there who
will have a little patience with me and possibly offer suggestions
In that case: here's the previous post with its answers:
I would tend to agree with one of the comments that getting Verizon to
pay for it is unlikely, but I suppose it's worth a shot depending on
how much you'll have to pay to get a camera sent down the pipe.
Also, I think there's some confusion as to what the actual problem is
(or are there two?): roots from neighbors trees or Verizon's digging
and breaking the sewer line? I think expanding on this a bit would
help others give you some better answers.
Of course it's possible but tree roots have a tendency to find openings
in the cracks and faults in your sewer pipes. Once the do they will
come back year after year. Was Verizon digging in your immediate area?
Even if you can show a crack, that isn't enough proof that Verizon did it.
Large tree roots and shifting foundations can crack pipes. If Verizon had a
crew digging near your sewer line, then it might be worth it to hire someone
with a camera and contact Verizon. Otherwise, you're probably wasting your
time, because Verizon can be a real hard nosed company to deal with.
If roots got in there once, there's a good bet that you have at least one
crack. Either have it dug up and replaced, or have someone install a sleeve
inside the old pipe. It's better to dig it up and replace it, but in my
area, they make you get a permit from the board of health, and most of the
time they make you install a sand mound septic system for $12,000 to
$20,000. If that's the case, then a sleeve is the better option.
I also saw your first post. I did not respond as I felt you did
not give enough information for a clear answer of any type. You
did not tell what your sewer line is made of, what trees are in
your yard, how long you have lived there, how many times you have
had to rod the sewer, how old the system is, how deep the system
is (basement with plumbing?) Here are a few thoughts.
Yes, they can send a camera down the pipe. This will cost 200-500
dollars depending on length of sewer, your location, and other
variables. This is your nickel, no one else will pay this
expense. The camera can find and determine damage, mud, sludge
buildup, bellied pipe, tree roots, etc. It can also show the pipe
to be basically sound.
Trees and shrubs will send roots extraordinary distances to reach
water. Some types of trees are worse than others. I can think of
no way to decide which tree sent the roots short of a DNA test or
some other pretty fancy lab work unless it is an easily identified
wood/root type which is beyond my expertise. Most things coming
back on sewer augers are pretty nasty, chewed up, and I've never
spent much time trying to figure out much beyond something like:
roots at 3 cables, that's about 45 feet, I bet its that xxx tree
over there. Its kinda a matter of "who cares?" or "so what?".
Sewer pipes can be:
-Orangeburg type - tar impregnated cardboard. Surely these have
all collapsed by now, haven't they?
-Clay tile - usually bell and hub type with a rubber seal in the
bells. These can crack.
-Concrete tile - similar to clay tile, though some of the really
old stuff was not bell and hub, trees love to find these.
- PVC pipe- state of the art and most normal current install.
Less prone to root penetration.
- Cast iron- considered by some to be the best. This can be bell
and hub or no-hub.
Roots can get into all these systems, some more than others.
Cracks and pipe damage can be due to utility work(I use a big
yellow locator that says CASE on the side of the boom), pipe
material/design, age, ground pressure, heavy traffic, excessive
ground water, deep freeze causing ground heave, and sometimes just
because it wants to.
If you have root problems, they often repeat in the spring and the
fall. We have had good luck dosing problem lines with copper
sulphate. We dose the problem lines once in the spring and once
in the fall. The trees seem to get the message and not send roots
that direction to the point that we have quit treating them. This
is the method I would suggest in your case, at least until the
root problems and sewer cleaning become excessive. I think once a
year or more would be excessive.
If a utility company broke a pipe, they are responsible to repair
the pipe. The pipe will only be broken in a fairly small place if
they were crossing it. I would think you would know if they had
broken your sewer line in a matter of hours or days. Have you had
backhoes or boring machines in your yard or block immediately
prior to your sewer problems?
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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