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Discussion Starter #1
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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Doing it myself
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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.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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Roofmaster
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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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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Adam, you're adding more price effecting details with each post. :laughing:
 

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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!

:huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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Just ran into the same problem myself. My house is 55 years old with cast iron through the foundation and who knows what outside. I just replaced all of the cast inside the house with pvc and things started to back up which had never happened before. Tree roots from the 50+ year old silver maple outside the foundation and a massive chunk of roots and dirt just before the city sewer line, and like jagans said, all of the wipes and things that should not go down the toilet came out with the roots. Thank GOD for my friends. I am probably looking at replacing the main from my house to the sewer if I end up staying here for a while which is going to be a huge undertaking I am not looking forward to.
 

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You can't call it a half-assed job.


You called him, he unclogged the line, you paid him, and admittedly asked him to leave.


One would assume that he would have recommended that you have the line replaced as root intrusion never stops once it starts.

Normally what I do when I find these houses with old failed sewer lines, and they are clogged solid (can't pull the toilet), the first thing I do is dig up the line near the house in the yard, cut the line, let the liquid leech into the soil and install a 2way cleanout.

Not that he should or shouldn't have done anything the way he did it, but I don't really understand how the job was half-assed. I realize you are in a crappy situation (literally) but the guy did what he was called out to do and I can't really see the reasoning for beating him up about it. If you're not happy with the price, that's PROBABLY not his pricing. He's an employee. He fixed the problem to the extent that you wanted it fixed.

:huh::furious:
 

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Call a guy who has a hydrojetter. The one in my town who does installs septic tanks. Now i had mine done by roto rooter. 3 months later same problem. Had hydrojetting done. No problem this was like 10 months ago. It depends on where roots are coming thru. In my case its a old shrub which sits right above a seam. So pipe is good its just the seam. Price i paid 150 for hydrojetting roto rooter snaking 125
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I paid $200 for a new guy to come out with a snake or something similar and then he used a camera AFTER he did the work. Sure enough pretty big ass tree roots were in there again. Paid less than 1/3 of the price and the issue was fixed correctly. This person did suggest replacing the pipe where the root had entered too but he said that was something I could do on my own or they would do it for another $450 or so. With the snake camera and if I have them replace that spot in the line I am still cheaper than I was charged the first time..... Anyway rant over. Live and learn. Ask for prices first and how long they stand by their work. Luckily it only cost me $650 (which is still a lot to a newly wed couple starting off).
 
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