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Old 08-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Sewer main line repair question

I have a question or two about a repair to a sewer line. Here's the background. The line, which is a 4 inch PVC pipe, leaves the back of the house, extends for about 4 feet, then turns and extends another 30 feet to where it intersects the city sewer line, which runs along the property boundary. The slope between the house and the city line is low, but it does slope down towards the city sewer line end. I'd guess it slopes down about 5 to 6 inches from the house to the city line, which is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch per foot.

A break has occurred at the turn in the pipe about 4 feet from the house. A contractor looked at it and recommended removing the whole line, installing a grinder pump near where the pipe leaves the house, and connecting the pump to the city sewer line using 2 inch PVC piping and flexible couplings. The quoted price seemed very high to me at just over $22,000.00 for the materials, excavation, plumbing, electrical hookup of the pump, and backfilling. Also, given the slope away from the house, I do not see the need for a pump of any kind.

So, the questions are: 1) is a pump even necessary, and 2) this cost is sky high, correct?



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Old 08-09-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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With the info you gave--
1) no
2) yes
While 1/4" per ft fall is ideal, 1/8" will work. Why would he suggest a pump?


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Old 08-09-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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if you have an 1/8 inch per foot pitch thats plenty, its minimum but plenty for a sewer. sounds like a lot of money to me for what you would be get another plumber to fix the line thats broken or at least give you an estimate to fix it. sounds like just another rip off artist.

Last edited by DannyT; 08-09-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:56 AM   #4
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If you have lived in the house for some time and there has not been any problems with the sewage the line is OK just have to repair the the pipe.

By the way what broke the pipe ? Did you have a backup and had the pipe snaked ?

Sounds like an easy repair except for the digging.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:21 AM   #5
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You may want to actually measure the invert of the sewer where it enters the city sewer line, from your description I am guessing you may not have actually made the measurement. That will verify if you have appropriate pitch on the pipe.

As for fixing the pipe, as long as you are going to have it repaired, have the plumber put in a cleanout at the bend, this is probably code, and even if not it is a very good idea.
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