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Old 07-10-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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Replacing main sewer line


Hey guys,

First time homebuyer here - looking to get my hands dirty and do as much work as possible.

As our house was built in 1939, the main sewer line needs replacing - we've been quoted around $10,000 and an additional $6000 to replace the waste lines under the house - this $6000 excludes the 2nd bathroom, as there's no access through the foundation.

Obviously I can't do any of the main sewer line work myself, but is replacing the other waste pipes something I can do over time? I don't have any experience, but I'm very keen to learn.

Any general advice would be greatly appreciated - should I get multiple bids? any advice choosing a plumber?

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Replacing main sewer line


For the work inside your house- you can do it yourself. All at once or little at a time.
Post your project here with pictures and you'll get all kinds of advice!
Check with your inspectors for needed permits too.

As for the outside work, if your line is draining and you got a little time- get a few bids.
Don't need to go with the low price though- you'll see as the bids come in

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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Replacing main sewer line


Thanks! I appreciate the advice!

We have a couple of weeks before we're going to move in, so we can get a few bids on the work - I was thinking of getting the outside work done before we move in, then try working through everything inside myself.

Our physical inspection report stated that all the drains were flowing properly at the time of the inspection so I don't think there's too much urgency on that stuff.

The report also states "Galvanized risers noted - most all horizontal has been replaced with new copper pipes" so it looks like some of the plumbing won't need replacing which is a relief.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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Replacing main sewer line


One thing about DIYChatroom we've got plenty of opinions to go around.

I'll start with this one- 10 grand is a pile for a sewer replacement and I've done more than I wanted too. Very seldom did we approach that number, but who knows what you're dealing with.
I'll be interested in the rest of the story...at your convenience of course
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Replacing main sewer line


Thanks! This is the actual bid description

- Replace Main sewer from City main in street to house
- Install New 6" main to property line
- 4" main from property line to house
- All Permits and City fees included
- Street repair included

$10,500

It's in Los Angeles, which I understand is a bit more expensive. We'll definitely get more bids though - thanks!
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:02 PM   #6
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Replacing main sewer line


Quote:
Originally Posted by wixman View Post
Thanks! This is the actual bid description

- Replace Main sewer from City main in street to house
- Install New 6" main to property line
- 4" main from property line to house
- All Permits and City fees included
- Street repair included

$10,500

It's in Los Angeles, which I understand is a bit more expensive. We'll definitely get more bids though - thanks!
There's the zinger- going into the street will cost some money- my guess- and just a guess is about 40%-50% of your bid.
Extra permits, traffic control or street closure, city approved fill, compaction and asphalt.
Have your bidders camera the line and verify that the sewer stub in the street needs repair. You may really only need to repair whats on the property.

Here's another option if you must go into the street. See if the 6" can be lined with a liner.(google pipe liner) Though it's a little costly- you'll save the street repair.
Another possibily is to sleev the 6" with 4". LA may have a say in these methods but we do it up north here.

Bottom line is quiz the bidders for any creative alternative methods besides digging the street- several are possible depending on your pipe condition.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Replacing main sewer line


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Have your bidders camera the line and verify that the sewer stub in the street needs repair. You may really only need to repair whats on the property.
Or... based on X/Y are required to do the whole thing.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #8
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Replacing main sewer line


Thanks so much for the advice - I'm already feeling 1000 times more confident about the situation.

Here's some of the information from the sewer inspection:

The sewer line runs cast iron from the clean out directly under the house. The cast iron continues under the front yard and then the street to connect to the city sewer. The sewer line is running straight. The total length of the sewer line is 122ft. There is a heavy root intrusion in the cast iron pipe near the front of the house under the planter.

Also another concern was the clean out in the back yard is connected to a surface water pit which needs to be capped. But I don't think this is urgent at all
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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Replacing main sewer line


I would also see if you could reline your sewer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UXthJMd4gg

Last edited by Ghostmaker; 07-11-2013 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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Replacing main sewer line


Hey guys!

Been a little while - we closed on the house! Hooray!

So, the lowest bid we got for the street work was $8800, which I think we're going to go for. We'd like to just have a new line in that we don't have to worry about again.

Here's our sewer as is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMdjnAL5vIQ

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