Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-29-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Share |
Default

Help!!!


Hi folks,

I'm renovating a foreclosure I purchased back in January. I had the house inspected for my FHA lender; the inspector found nothing significantly wrong other than the obvious grunge and neglect. The house was built in late 2005 by a reputable builder in the area. I am in the final stages of the work and it should be ready for occupancy in the next thirty days or so.

My family came over this weekend to help me with some final cleaning and "second pair of hands" chores around the home. My mother cleaned and flushed two toilets upstairs within a few seconds of each other. Immediately thereafter I noticed an odd, vociferous noise emanating from the utility room where I am certain one or more waste lines exist. This noise sounded almost mechanical like a lawnmower or shop vac running in another part of the house. As well, the toilet in the downstairs half bath bubbled and had risen to near overflowing and would not flush afterwards. Within a few minutes the half bath toilet self drained. I asked my folks to watch the toilet as I flushed both upstairs toilets again; the same bubbling and water rising problem occurred.

I've been working on this house part-time over several months intermittently and I've used the toilets on average a couple of times over each 4-8 hour work shift without incident.

Before I call in a plumber I'd like to see what some of the resident experts have to say. Unfortunately there's a host of incompetent and dishonest tradesmen running rampant in my area. Thusly I believe I should educate myself as much as possible before I cut a check for work I may or may not need.

Any ideas as to what the problem is would be greatly appreciated.

PS - I should have mentioned that this house is well and septic - both were deemed fit by the home inspector. I sure hope he wasnít mistaken!

Thanks in advance!!!

Mov

movick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 11:32 PM   #2
Journeyman Plumber
 
Ron The Plumber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 1,994
Default

Help!!!


The mainline needs to be cleaned out, that should solve the problem.

__________________
Fix it right the first time, so you won't have to fix it a 2nd time.

2008 Oregon Specialty Plumbing Codes
Ron The Plumber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default

Help!!!


Ron,

Thanks for the quick reply. Is cleaning the main line a DIY deal? If not, what do you think I should expect to pay for this service?

Thanks again!!

Mov
movick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Termite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Default

Help!!!


Cleaning the main line can be a DIY undertaking, but you could potentially do damage with the wrong technique/tool. I'd suggest paying someone to do it...There's a lot of "feel" involved in doing it.

Depending on who you call and what time you call them, I'd guess somewhere in the $150-200 range, plus or minus.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
Doing it myself
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Crescent City, CA
Posts: 3,692
Send a message via AIM to Alan Send a message via MSN to Alan
Default

Help!!!


shop around. Some shops will charge a fortune. Call roto rooter first, and shoot for someone cheaper than they are.
__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 02:15 AM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default

Help!!!


I gave RR a call - dey out dey minds!!!!!! They want $250.00 for the first hour & $175.00 each hour thereafter!!! Frig em!!!

I have a referral plumber coming Thursday morning who is supposed to be reasonably priced. If he too is insanely high, I'll trow him a couple o' bux to tell me what to do and give it a shot.

You'd think snaking a sewer pipe required a NASA team at these prices!!!

Mov
movick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Default

Help!!!


Its not the preferred way but I have cleaned out a few main lines using a garden hose, a good cheap one that is stiff works good. I trace the line to get as close to the clog as I can, push the hose in with water running, using a rag to block the opening, A bladder would work but I like to try pushing the clog along with the end of the hose. As for mechanical snakes, they are great but you need to pay attention or they will wrap around body parts.
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 840
Default

Help!!!


I have a 50' sewer tape with a 2inch roller ball on the end. Punch it thru a clog if possible. run as much water as possible,,,as it will take, and leave remainder ON the roll.. then flip it around and around,,,when she flips inside the pipe the sharper edges are cutting crud off the walls. IF you cant get thru the clog,,,I wrap a piece of barbed wire around the end,NOT to be lost inside, then reinsert and get to clog,flip around a few times and pull her back to find IF its tree roots or ladies stuff plugging.

Also used to have good luck with the hose end thing that swells when you turn on water,,,jam in as far as you can and turn it on,,,it pulses and builds tons of pressure where a sewer line sees NONE!!

never had a rotor router guy in my life,,,generally cheaper to replace the whole darn line than those clowns charge for supposedly 'cleaning' it only to have them back time after time.(maybe not so much IF its underground and under floor). had a RR guy want 200 bucks to clean 10 foot of 2" washer drain that was OLD galvanized,,,I just laughed,,,how much would 10' of 2" plastic pipe and a couple fittings cost back 20-30 years ago??(point made!!)
4just1don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 07:32 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Near Philly
Posts: 1,986
Default

Help!!!


IMO, the drain could have tree roots in it or be cracked/collapsed and running a hose down it won't do much good for that. Best get it done by a pro.
bob22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
Member
 
RippySkippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 1,233
Default

Help!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by movick View Post
This noise sounded almost mechanical like a lawnmower or shop vac running in another part of the house.
Consider one other thing. You mention a noise. Do you know if the house has a grinder pump installed to 'lift' the effluent to the septic tank? If it does, besides cleaning the main line, it's possible the pump has gone out if it's sat unused for a while, or maybe something is in the holding tank rubbing on the impeller.

Just a thought....
__________________
when it comes to breakfast, the chicken is dedicated, the pig is committed.
LMASD
RippySkippy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 12:09 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default

Help!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RippySkippy View Post
Consider one other thing. You mention a noise. Do you know if the house has a grinder pump installed to 'lift' the effluent to the septic tank? If it does, besides cleaning the main line, it's possible the pump has gone out if it's sat unused for a while, or maybe something is in the holding tank rubbing on the impeller.

Just a thought....
I don't believe that is the case as the waste line routes below grade through the 4' crawlsapce below; I'll mention it to the plumber who is coming tomorrow morning nontheless. I never heard that particular noise until another person flushed the upstairs toilets while I was downstairs in close proximity to the utility closet. I did however notice a hollow wind-like noise after flushing the downstairs toilet emanating from the same location on several occasions. I assumed it was the result of a lousy plumbing job Ė probably incorrect venting.

This property was a foreclosure and I hope the maniacs who owned the house new didnít deliberately flush objects into the waste line. This house was built in late 2005; as I mentioned earlier, I find it odd that a home of only three years of age, occupied for a maximum of 14-18 months would require a waste line cleaning so soon.

The home inspector who cased the house for my lender was a nice guy, but he should have checked the plumbing more thoroughly knowing the property was a foreclosure.

Thanks for the suggestions fellas!

Mov
movick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 06:11 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 650
Send a message via AIM to Marlin
Default

Help!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by movick View Post
You'd think snaking a sewer pipe required a NASA team at these prices!!!

Mov
No but it requires several thousand dollars in drain cleaning equipment to be kept on hand.
You need a place to keep it which costs money.
You need a reliable truck to get it from where it is stored to the job which costs money.
You need to pay for gas and repairs to the vehicle which costs money.
You need to pay for insurance on your vehicle, on your shop, and on your buisness as well which costs money.
You then need to pay your employees which costs money.
You then need to pay taxes which costs money.
You then need to pay health insurance, vacation, and other benefits for your employees which costs money.
In the case of larger companies you may have someone working in the shop answering phones and doing paperwork who does not go on calls which costs money.
Plumbing isn't always easy, some knowledge only comes with time. Good employees tend to make good money. A company can hire a college student for ten bucks an hour or someone with fifteen years of experiance for thirty, sometimes more. Which one do you want working in your house?

Their are almost never eight billable hours in a day either. On a good day six hours will get billed out. On lousy ones it can go down to four. That time spend driving, cleaning trucks, and doing other work is not usually not billable. Plumbers for the most part are not pulling these numbers out of their butts and getting filthy rich.

You can hire Hank the Handyman for a hundred bucks who will come over with a rented rooter. If he damages your house dragging the rooter through it, damages your sewer line (damage here can be thousands of dollars), or floods your house don't expect him to have insurance to take care of it.



And if you want to DIY most Home Depots rent rooters. Be careful with it though.

Last edited by Marlin; 07-02-2008 at 06:15 PM.
Marlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 10:33 PM   #13
JDC
Plumbing Contractor
 
JDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 392
Default

Help!!!


Quote:
I gave RR a call - dey out dey minds!!!!!! They want $250.00 for the first hour & $175.00 each hour thereafter!!! Frig em!!!
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
JDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2008, 07:26 AM   #14
Licensed Master Plumber
 
mstplumber's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 211
Default

Help!!!


Not to pile on, but the prices you were quoted seem both fair and pretty average, for all the reasons Marlin stated so well. It costs a lot of money to operate a legitimate plumbing company.

You certainly could rent a sewer machine and try it yourself, but if you have never used one before that might not be a good idea. Although one of my business focuses is teaching people how to do their own basic plumbing repairs, I also try to point out when that's not a good idea. Major drain cleaning is one of those skills that really is best left to someone with experience. Any sewer machine that is worth using can be a fairly dangerous piece of equipment. The potential for injury for an inexperienced person is pretty high, not to mention the chance of damage to the house or piping. As hokey as it might sound, drain cleaning involves a lot of "feel" and that only comes with experience.

You also mentioned that you have a septic tank. You really need to know what you are doing to use a sewer machine if there is a septic tank in the system. If you damage the baffle in the tank (or get the cable hung up in the tank), the price the plumber quoted will seem like a bargain.

Once again, I think that many plumbing problems can be fixed by the average person with a little know how and some basic tools, and I have devoted a lot of time to building a business to help people learn those skills. I mention that again because I know that every plumber that has replied has said to call a pro and it sounds like we might be biased. The truth is that there are some things that really are best left to the pros. Go ahead, bite the bullet and call one. You can make up the cost in all of the things you can learn to do yourself.
__________________
Mstplumber

Check out my goofy video for my new toilet repair book.

Last edited by mstplumber; 07-04-2008 at 07:28 AM. Reason: typo
mstplumber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2008, 08:06 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Default

Help!!!


my two cents on the power snake to clean the line,, I don't think most people understand how dangerous that tool can be. It may not be rocket science but it sure can put you out of commission for a while.

DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.