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Old 02-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #1
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Tree Roots in main line


I had a plumber come out 1 1/2 months ago and clear tree roots in my main sewer line. I am connected to a septic and not city sewer. I had water backup into my bathroom again after 1 1/2 months and now the plumber won't stand by his work. He says that tree roots are in the pipes again. Is it possible for tree roots to cause a complete clog after 1 1/2 months especially in the winter months or was the job not done completely last time? He said I would have to get a new sewer line in order to fix the problem.

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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Tree Roots in main line


Yes.


The plumber is right. He did not repair the line, he simply cleared the roots from it.

If you did not opt to replace the line or make a permanent repair where the intrusion is occurring then that would be a good reason why roots are making their way in there.


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Old 02-21-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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I understand they will come back. I have lived in houses with roots before but after 1 1/2 months in the winter time? Does not seem likely. A year or 2 I can see but in that short of time when we have had ample rain I can't see.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Tree Roots in main line


No matter what he did if you do not have a new line installed there just going to come back again at some point.
If you have old clay tile, Orangeberg, of cast lines it was sure to happen at some point.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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Tree Roots in main line


It doesn't take hardly anything at all to cause a line to start backing up. One small dimple in the pipe, anything that will catch a piece of toilet paper.

Next time you flush, the first piece of toilet paper catches another. And so on, and so forth. ETC ETC ETC...


Did he camera the line? It may be a combination of pipe failure and root intrusion, depending on what type of piping it is.


It is also possible that clearing the roots left an opening for dirt and small gravel to drop into the pipe.

Who knows? There are a lot of different possibilities, but if it worked for approximately 45 days without a problem, it sounds like he did it right the first time.


You now have a few options : You can leave the pipe alone, and have a monthly drain cleaning, whether you think you need it or not (eventually it may become more frequent)

You can have the root intrusion located, and dug up and repaired.

You can have the entire line replaced.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #6
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Tree Roots in main line


WIth a city sewer, your lateral usually connects to a much bigger main sewer pipe that small cut roots wont block. In a septic system, some of the cut roots may have gotten caught up in the distribution system, causing further clogs.You shoot crap with roots and a septic system. Looks like you crapped out. (No Pun Intended) You cant blame the plumber for trying. Time for destructive evaluation.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Tree Roots in main line


I don't blame the plumber for trying, but I do blame him for not putting a camera down and checking to see if he did it correctly the first time. Thanks for everyones replies. Im mostly pissed off because we have only been in the house 9 months and having to possibly replace the main sewer line of a house that is only 12 years old.... Forgot to mention I was charge $650 when the cleaning was done the first time......
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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Tree Roots in main line


There's one company in my area that will do one call back on a mainline- but they're not guaranteeing their work, they want a second chance to sell you the mainline instead of their competitor.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Tree Roots in main line


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam013085 View Post
I don't blame the plumber for trying, but I do blame him for not putting a camera down and checking to see if he did it correctly the first time. Thanks for everyones replies. Im mostly pissed off because we have only been in the house 9 months and having to possibly replace the main sewer line of a house that is only 12 years old.... Forgot to mention I was charge $650 when the cleaning was done the first time......
You did not say any of that in your original post.


Now here's another question. Was the house built on a lot with an existing septic or was a new septic system put in?


Sometimes if the septic is in good enough shape they will just attach to the existing line rather than running a new line all the way (even though it's a better idea to replace it, but that's up to the builder or the person paying to have the home built)

If it is a new septic and sewer line, did the septic get inspected when you bought the property? Was it pumped out?


P.S. most companies that I know of charge extra to send the camera down there. He obviously didn't think that it was worth it. Again : If it worked for 45 days, he didn't do anything wrong. If you wanted the camera service, you should have asked for it at the time.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
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Tree Roots in main line


The septic was replaced fairly recently from my understanding(within the last 4 years). It appears that the main sewer line was original to the house and they attached it to the new septic tank. The septic does not need pumped I looked at it. I just feel like for $650 I was shafted. Also the sewer line is PVC.

I will go with a different company if I want a camera. I am going to call around and see what a new main line may run me. Any ideas pricewise on that? Also I live on a concrete slab, so if I get a new line could it be started from where the foundation starts and to the septic? I have a run of maybe 150 ft or so from the house to the tank.

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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Tree Roots in main line


Adam, you're adding more price effecting details with each post.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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Tree Roots in main line


Well, this post keeps expanding. 650 is a considerable amount of money. It sounds like he is speculating re the roots. Did he look?

Something stinks here, and it ain't the septic system. Are you or someone under your roof flushing swifter pads, paper towels, or disposable wipes (That really arent) down your toilet? CR did a test on "flushable wipes" and some would not even break down in a blender!

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Last edited by jagans; 02-21-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
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Tree Roots in main line


Reason we paid that price is it was an emergency and we needed it fixed (it was new years eve and our bathroom had flooded a few times). We flush water toilet paper and waste down the toilet/sewer lines. Nothing that should not be down the lines has went down.

The reason it was $650 is because we did not have a cleanout outside that we knew of and he had to pull the toilet to route the line. The cost would have been $275 if the work could have been done outside I think.

Tree roots are fairly dormant in the winter so I cant imagine them growing enough to have a complete clog again.

And to the camera, he would not touch anything without charging us so I told him to leave. I will get a second opinion from another plumber before I let him charge me to half ass the work again.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #14
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Tree Roots in main line


All shops charge different but--

150 lf/extra cable= extra charge
No clean out/pull toilet= extra charge
camera inspection= extra charge
New years eve= overtime charge per item or hourly OT
no warranty without camera inspection

Like you said, call around, check phone book for coupons
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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Tree Roots in main line


Yeah, I am a new homeowner so I was taken I think. Their charge was up to 75 ft is $650ish to snake, over 75 was close to $800.

Made another call to a company 30 miles away and they charge $240 for the first hour then $60 for every hour after that. That includes camera/snaking it, the works. Guess you live and learn.

I have a cleanout but it was angled the wrong direction so they could not access it. I am a pro at pulling toilets. I can pull one in 2 min or less after being at this house!

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