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Old 01-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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Main Drain Replacement


Hello,

I am new here and I have a question maybe you can help me out. We recently bought a house and have had some backing up issues in the basement from the Main sewer drain to the street. We had a plumber come in and root the drain (took 4 hours said it was the hardest job he has ever done). He ended up having to come back the next week as we had another backup, which he rooted again and said he could get the 2" head through, but not the 4" (we have a 4" pipe, I think). He stated we should have a company with a camera come in and look in the drain.

So we had the plumbers with the camera come in (a week later) and they made it about 75ft before they were unable to see due to water in the pipe (think the pipe is about 85-90ft). They are suggesting we have the old cast iron pipes dug up and replaced with PVC piping. I am all for this - even with the high cost, but I am wondering if this is the only fix or even the best fix.

I am guessing that it must be slowly draining water since we have cleared out the abundance of roots in the house because we still shower every day and flush toilets, use faucets etc.. and this week it hasnt backed up (but still has water in the pipe)

Do they usually replace all the pipe (from house to sewer) or just parts? I called ACE rental and they will rent me an auger for about $45 but if I have to do this every week can be costly (not as much as a plumber though haha). Have you guys seen this before - what were your experiences DIY-wise and cost-wise. Thanks.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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Main Drain Replacement


You have a few options depending on your wallet and the pipe condition.
One choice is to do as you suggest and replace the whole line. Costs a few grand
Another choice is to water jet the line- high pressure water combined with a special nozzle head will cut the roots out- won't work on orangeburg pipe but you assume it's cast iron(I doubt this, more like clay). Jetting will buy you some time unless the line is broken or collapsed. Cost under a grand
One more option is to spot repair after jetting. Once jetted a camera will find the bad spot/spots and then you decide the next move
Still another option is to line the existing pipe or burst a new line through the old one. Rather then explain these two methods I suggest google pipe lining and pipe bursting.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:49 AM   #3
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Main Drain Replacement


Quote:
They are suggesting we have the old cast iron pipes dug up and replaced with PVC piping. I am all for this - even with the high cost, but I am wondering if this is the only fix or even the best fix.
Ayuh,.... That's the closest thing to a Permanent Fix,....

Anything else is just a short term Band-aid...
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Main Drain Replacement


If the camera ran into water in the pipe, there is a good change that there is deflection in the pipe. It is not running down hill to the sewer main at 1/4 inch per foot. The line should be dug up with a backhoe and replaced with a properly graded and protected PVC Line set on compacted sand, and backfilled with a foot of sand. Then the old soil. Anything else is a joke. IMHO
If roots are in there, they WILL grow back.

Do it right once and forget it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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Main Drain Replacement


I agree with you guys on just replacing the piping and being able to move forward from there. The rest of our house is completely remodeled (new furnace, roof, appliances etc..) and this would be the icing on the cake to have a settled home. Will post once I get information on what it costs, just as an FYI.

Thanks for the input, will keep this site in mind for future questioning/commenting.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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Main Drain Replacement


Alright guys, we got one quote back for $3235. But this doesn't include sidewalk/curb replacement or tree removal...

From your past experiences how does this sound?
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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Main Drain Replacement


I'm no expert, but I have a price to compare.

Recently we bought a house and a sewer repair was part of the negotiations. The sellers ended up paying $3700 to replace about 20 feet of the drainline and the connection at the city's main sewer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Main Drain Replacement


You need to have a solid specification for these guys to bid on. It should include landscaping, replacement of walks and curbs and removal of trees if necessary. Basically returning your property in the condition which it was found. The problem with not including these things could allow the plumbing contractors excavator to tear the heck out of your yard, and walk away. If the work is done under the umbrella of one contractor with subs, The main (General) contractor is responsible for the work of his subs. You need sole source responsibility. If the plumber you have now can't handle that, get one that can. You need a good spec with general conditions, or a really comprehensive proposal that spells everything out right down to ASTM designations, type of back fill, grass etc. etc. You need to include settlement too, cause it will happen. In other words, you are going to backfill and add a specified amount of topsoil. This is going to settle. You need to hold retainage that allows the contractor to come back, add topsoil, and plant grass.

And please remember, if it isn't in writing, it never happened.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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Main Drain Replacement


I have had to replace the main drain for two of my houses. For one, the distance was about 40 feet and it cost about $4,000. For the other, the distance was about 100 feet, and the cost was about the same. Neither involved tree removal, sidewalks, landscaping, or curbs.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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Main Drain Replacement


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Originally Posted by zbacnik View Post
Alright guys, we got one quote back for $3235. But this doesn't include sidewalk/curb replacement or tree removal...

From your past experiences how does this sound?
Not enough info- how deep, what kind of soil, lineal footage, type of pipe, etc.
Sounds like a low number for 90lf, 7ft deep? Does it include top soil and seed/sod? Why don't they include concrete?

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