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Old 11-01-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


Over the summer I realized that I had a VERY slow drain in one of my duplexes (ca. 1920s). The vent stack/drain is shared by both sides. I had Rescue Rooter come out and they cleaned out TONS of roots from the drain. Problem solved, right? Wrong. While the water drained as it should, Rescue Rooter offered a camera inspection as a follow-up. The camera guy came out and said that I had a mis-aligned tile and/or a partial collapse (I can't remember exactly how he said it) and he showed it to me on camera. He said it was in the direction of the house. He then offered to repair the tile using a "no dig" inflatible system that would run me about $3,500. I declined and waited until I got tenants to see just how serious this was going to be.

Fast Forward

Last night I was working on the other side after my new tenants had just moved in. They were doing laundry and I heard a funny sound coming from the drain of the kitchen sink. I went downstairs to the basement and saw a small puddle of water near the floor drain. Then I went next door...and there was water/wetness everywhere near their respective floor drain! It eventually drained out and it dried up with a few fans, but I can't deal with this everytime they do laundry!

So, my question is: Should I go ahead and get the sleeve insert for $3,500, or am I missing something crucial here? I don't want to waste the money, but I also don't want to deal with this on a weekly basis! Also, does anyone know anything about this type of repair? I have never heard of it before...

Thanks again!

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Old 11-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


to do the no dig repair a tubular cloth sock is soaked in epoxy and forced down the pipe with compressed air. They let it sit the pipe and I believe they use hot water to cure it. after it is cured there is a new hard liner in your pipe.

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Old 11-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


liners are great if there is something above the pipe that is very very expensive to dig up. street, driveway, building... if its open, get a bid to dig it up conventionally. it'll be a lot cheaper
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


Have someone else camera the line. Compare him to the other shop. In other words, get more prices. $3500 is high for a spot repair.
Consider a conventional repair too. Perhaps replace the whole line. It is 90 yrs. old! In other words, don't rely on one persons opinion.
You do need to address it soon though. If the line collapses, you will not be able to line it.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:44 AM   #5
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


Thanks, everyone! I did, in fact, have another guy come out. He was reccommended to me by a plumber that I trust. He also camera'd the drain and seemed to agree that at the very least, there was an issue in the general area that the guy from Rescue Rooter initially found. He seeemed to be concerned, though, because he is the type of guy that has a backhoe and it appeared that the drain might zag under the porch steps. In this case, it appears that a liner, should it be necessary, may be the way to go. Agree?

Strangely enough, there are two PVC cleanouts in the front yard. I have never seen two of them so close (about 6 feet) to one another. Any ideas as to why this would occur?


Here is a pic of the front of the house: http://www.flickr.com/photos/4958082...7625045093384/

You can clearly see one of the cleanouts (the white thing in the front yard) while the other one is hidden. The hidden one kind of angles back towards the house/front steps area. Also of note - there appears to be a depression in the front yard where this sewer line was already dug up one time already. Hmmmmmm....
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #6
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


Quote:
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I had Rescue Rooter come out and they cleaned out TONS of roots from the drain.
Sobro,

Since tons of roots were in the drain due to a cracked or partially collapsed drain pipe, and the pipe is so old anyway, maybe just dig it up and replace it as EPlumber mentioned. If you spend $3500 for the liner and that old pipe gives another problem it seems that you would have wasted $3500. If the drain pipe was fairly new then maybe a liner might be an option. My take is that the age of the pipe leans the decision toward replacement.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


I have seen two cleanouts set like that before,one with the tee on the main pipe pointing at the road and one pointing at the house. I was told it was so you could easily guide the roto rooter in both directions.

Last edited by WDR; 11-02-2010 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WDR View Post
I have seen two cleanouts set like that before,one with the tee on the mai pipe pointing at the road and one pointing at the house. I was told it was so you could easily guide the roto rooter in both directions.
Here's the "underground" view:

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Old 11-02-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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... appeared that the drain might zag under the porch steps. In this case, it appears that a liner, should it be necessary, may be the way to go. Agree?
Depends on the nature of the damage. If the line is still fairly "level" (it should have a slight downwards slope toward the discharge end) and continuous the "re-lining" approach can work well.

However if the blockage/leak caused a lot of water to leak out, and the line has been "undermined" and has a large enough downwards "dip" (some sewer guys call this a "belly"), then at least that section of the line will likely have to be dug up and re-laid.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


thanks for all of the advice everybody!

These old houses are cool, but they cause me headaches from time to time...


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Old 11-05-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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I think that my drain tile is broken!


As Michael Thomas mentioned, the 2 cleanouts in the yard is a 2-way cleanout for cleaning both directions (toward the street and toward the house).

A fiberglass liner can be a money saver in some circumstances. i.e. if there are obstructions like trees, driveways, sidewalks, streets, etc. in the way preventing simple excavation. It appears however from your picture that conventional excavation would be a better way to go since there aren't any obstacles in the way (from what I can tell).

A liner follows the path of the old pipe. Thus, if there are belly's (low spots), offset joints, etc. they will still exist after you've spent $3,000+ dollars on the liner. Although after curing, the liner will greatly improve flow characteristics and seal off breaks, cracks, and offset joints keeping the roots from growing back. Depending on the length, the liner would also seal off the existing cleanouts rendering them useless. They would then need to be excavated and replaced anyway.

The line should be located to determine which is the most appropriate and economical way to repair or replace. My suggestion would be not to add any more bandaids. Do it once, do it right.

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