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Old 03-10-2014, 09:57 PM   #1
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Sewer main line


We have lived in our house for over 23 years and never had a sewer backup in our basement. We just remodeled the basement and getting ready to put carpet in (we had area rugs before) I was thinking about having the main sewer line cleaned out but then thought "if it's not broke don't fix it" it may cause a problem. I've read everything from clean it every 2 years to don't clean it until you see the early warning signs of a backup. If you have a basement do you have the main sewer line cleaned?

I hope I didn't jinx myself by talking about it

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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consider a camera inspection first, cast iron or PVC pipes,? if its cast iron cabling would do more damage than good.

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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My house was built in the 50's - been in it close for 25 yrs and have only cleaned my kitchen line.

If you want to know what shape your sewer line is in have it video inspected.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:27 PM   #4
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I guess I should have put how old the house is. It was built in 1955
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #5
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Javiles, that's what I was thinking...it may cause a problem. I'm pretty sure it's cast iron.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:40 PM   #6
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Javiles, that's what I was thinking...it may cause a problem. I'm pretty sure it's cast iron.
We get calls for maintenance cleaning on a regular bases, we recommend not touching the line unless it has a problem. if its not broken don't fix it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:21 AM   #7
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That's what my thoughts were. I was a bit worried because we are spending $2,000 on carpet. I hope there will be warning signs before a backup.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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Sewer main line


Do you have trees in your front yard?
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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not broke........don't fix it ......... ben sr
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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I guess I should have put how old the house is. It was built in 1955
Built in 1955, there's a high probability that it could be Orangeburg. Most likely clay though. Have it video inspected for peace of mind. I wouldn't clean it until you know what type of material it is and whether it even needs it. Check your insurance policy for rider on sewer back-up.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:00 PM   #11
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That's what my thoughts were. I was a bit worried because we are spending $2,000 on carpet. I hope there will be warning signs before a backup.
Warning signs can differ. If or when it ever happens, could be a slow toilet or water coming up out of a basement floor drain or shower. What is the lowest point in the house? Do you have a floor drain? Does the basement plumbing gravity feed to the sewer? Could there be a chance you're on a shared line with a neighbor or have combined system with storm sewer? Has the city sewer been updated? Do you have a backflow prevention device?
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
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We have one tree out front about 25 - 30 feet from our house. We do have $10,000 sewer backup coverage that I'm going to increase because of all the work we did.

"What is the lowest point in the house? Do you have a floor drain? Does the basement plumbing gravity feed to the sewer? Could there be a chance you're on a shared line with a neighbor or have combined system with storm sewer? Has the city sewer been updated? Do you have a backflow prevention device?"

I'm not sure what you mean by he lowest point in the house? I would say the basement but maybe I'm not understanding the question

We have 2 floor drains

Yes, gravity feed to the sewer

I don't know if we have a shared line with a neighbor or if the sewers been updated, I could call the city and find out.

I don't know what a back flow prevention device is ..... So I'm guessing we don't have one ;-)
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:53 PM   #13
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We have one tree out front about 25 - 30 feet from our house. We do have $10,000 sewer backup coverage that I'm going to increase because of all the work we did.

"What is the lowest point in the house? Do you have a floor drain? Does the basement plumbing gravity feed to the sewer? Could there be a chance you're on a shared line with a neighbor or have combined system with storm sewer? Has the city sewer been updated? Do you have a backflow prevention device?"

I'm not sure what you mean by he lowest point in the house? I would say the basement but maybe I'm not understanding the question

We have 2 floor drains

Yes, gravity feed to the sewer

I don't know if we have a shared line with a neighbor or if the sewers been updated, I could call the city and find out.

I don't know what a back flow prevention device is ..... So I'm guessing we don't have one ;-)
By lowest point I meant "lowest plumbing fixture" so yes, that would be the floor drain and the first place you'd notice a back-up. I don't know about in your area, but my city most likely would not have that information on a shared line and/or combined system. The best way to find out again, and for peace of mind, would be to have it video inspected (scoped).

A backflow valve or BPD is basically a one way gate that allows sewage to exit, but not come back up the line. They can be installed under the concrete basement floor or out in the yard as local authority allows.
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Last edited by LateralConcepts; 03-11-2014 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:13 PM   #14
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Sewer main line


I will check out getting a scope for the sewer line, I'm sure it's expensive and I have a hard time paying for my own scope ;-)

I wish I would have known what a BPD was when we had the basement floor dug up to move the toilet.

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Old 03-11-2014, 10:32 PM   #15
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I will check out getting a scope for the sewer line, I'm sure it's expensive and I have a hard time paying for my own scope ;-)

I wish I would have known what a BPD was when we had the basement floor dug up to move the toilet.
Pricing can vary drastically. $50 - $400+

You may also be able to rent a camera.

Just call around.

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