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Old 04-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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I can't pay that! Need plumbing advice


I have to replace the main sewer line from my house, it is about 50 feet or so to the road. I have a big oak tree that is close to the line and the plumbing his old so do the math on that one. I have a deep hole out there that has a sewer leak and need to get this fixed. I got a quote for 1400 and when I told the guy no thanks I will rent equipment and dig the hole myself if possible he then said " well rent the equipment and I will do it for $700".

I would like to know if I can have the utility companies mark where any lines are and I would dig this by hand or have someone with equipment do it if not too much. I would then hire a plumber to do what needs to be done on the pipe. I am on a budget so if i can do the bulk of the work to save some cash I will, I don't mind the hard work.

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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most states have a toll free number for CALL BEFORE YOU DIG here is 811 don't know about your area, google your state and CALL BEFORE YOU DIG or ONE CALL

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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I can't pay that! Need plumbing advice


First thing I would do, try and find out how deep the sewer is in your particular neighborhood.
I know a guy that did this himself, His house probably sat about 5 feet above the street level, and for whatever reason, the main sewer line in the street was 17' deep.
It was a real challenge for the 4x4 backhoe he had rented.

You can dig it out, start at the house where it comes out under the foundation, find it and keep following it. You can do most of the work, maybe even pull a permit as a home owner and do everything on your end.
I am pretty sure the city will not allow you to do the reconnection to their line. They will be there and do the connection themselves. Then have it inspected and fill it back in.
If you find the average sewer line in that area is about 6' deep or so, sure go for it ... if you find it is 20' deep ... I might chicken out digging it by hand.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funfool View Post
... if you find it is 20' deep ... I might chicken out digging it by hand.
I would DEFINITELY chicken out digging it by hand...no way. I'm not willing to die over any amount of money.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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what about diggers insurance....if you dig something up..you are responable...ben sr...1400.00 is pretty cheap...

Last edited by ben's plumbing; 05-01-2013 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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I wouldn't even know how wide to make the hole for the plumbers. Wear a hard hat.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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should always call in and mark before you dig. With a shovel and being careful will survive, but better to know where everything is located first.

But Honestly, if you have more time then money, digging out the sewer line by hand is perfectly acceptable. It is good exercise and gives you something to do.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:08 PM   #8
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Remember this story from a couple of weeks ago. "Neighbors told WBTV the children are cousins, and that a man is in the process of building a house and was digging out the basement when a wall of dirt collapsed around the two youngsters."
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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I can't pay that! Need plumbing advice


1400.00????? for 50 ft of line,, my concern would be why so cheap,,
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:44 PM   #10
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http://www.call811.com/state-specific.aspx
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
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http://www.call811.com/state-specific.aspx
I did the online submission one day. The very next day when I got home from work, all lines were marked.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:33 AM   #12
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I can't pay that! Need plumbing advice


I doubt you would save any money by renting the machinery and having a plumber do the rest. Around here, the delivery/pickup charge, insurance, and a couple of days' rental of a mini excavator would be more than $700. Not to mention the cost of diesel fuel. And while such machines aren't difficult to operate once you get the hang of it, if you've never done it before, you'll be really slow at first.

There is no way I would dig up that pipe by hand. But, then, I'm 65 years old.

I'm with Javiles - $1400 sounds awfully cheap for what you need done. I had a similar length replaced at one of my houses a few years ago, and it was more than double that amount. But if I were you, I'd find a way to pay the $1400 and get the job done in one day. Remember, you'll have no usable toilets or sinks in your house while this work is going on, and I can pretty much guarantee you couldn't do all the digging by hand that quickly.

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:19 AM   #13
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$1400 is a deal! We just paid $1550 for ours to be done and that was after negotiating....
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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OP, have you ever done any plumbing work before?
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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A trench more then 4 feet deep would require shoring. You would have to rent shoring jacks that are a pain in the butt to work with.

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