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    Thread: Main Sewer Line: Repair cost?

    1. Member
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      06-10-2011 09:07 PM #1
      I haven't verified with an inspection of the main sewer drain from house to sewer line at street, but I think the slow clogging of my first floor toilet is a result of a damage drain pipe that is sucking in soil. The proof is that my front yard near the porch/sidewalk has been sinking about a foot+ in the last 5 years... all the while the toilet requiring weekly plungings.

      Anybody with experience and/or can guess the repair cost range?

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      06-11-2011 08:31 AM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by uncleho View Post
      I haven't verified with an inspection of the main sewer drain from house to sewer line at street, but I think the slow clogging of my first floor toilet is a result of a damage drain pipe that is sucking in soil. The proof is that my front yard near the porch/sidewalk has been sinking about a foot+ in the last 5 years... all the while the toilet requiring weekly plungings.

      Anybody with experience and/or can guess the repair cost range?
      2 million dollars. That should cover it.

      I don't think anyone can guestimate that from across the country.

      Try a reputable plumbing firm in the area if you know one, specifically one who advertises or quites "line TVing" or "scoping". They'll put a mini-camera tractor in the line to investigate the problem, and be able to at least come up with a fix or possibly options for fixing depending on the extent of damage- but if your yard is sinking over the line, common sense says that the soil is going somewhere.

      The base estimate for the cost TVing should be free. If they charge for an estimate they can go on down the road.
      The Tving will NOT be free. Based on access it might be a simple service fee of a coulple hundred dollars.
      The fix? Who knows- could go into multiple thousands (not trying to scare, but I don't know the rates for your area), or it could be under a grand.

      Personally, I would look for a firm that states they perform "sliplining""PVC Fold and Form", or trenchless "Cured in Place rehabilitation". If the line is in decent shape (maybe only a small crack letting in soil), they can clean everything out, and insert a PVC liner that is inserted while heated. When inflated and cooled, it molds to the existing walls of the line and provides an essentially new pipe for your turds.
      Last edited by Tornado2dr; 06-11-2011 at 08:36 AM.

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      06-11-2011 08:57 AM #3
      Without knowing the distance, whether there is a sidewalk, road, landscaping, etc in the way, I don't think anyone can give a decent estimate.

    4. 06-11-2011 01:05 PM #4
      I paid $1600. That should cover it...at least in part

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      06-11-2011 06:02 PM #5
      before you go and tell a contractor/plumber do replace it, hire one that has a camera and look at it.

      if your home is fairly new it should have a cleanout, which is that pipe that sticks out normaly infront of your home, they can get that camera in the sewer line and see what is wrong. maybe you dont need to replace it...if it is an old home it maybe clay pipe which roots can grow and then you may have to replace. like someone else said, it all depends on the distance from your home to the sewer line on the street or sometimes in the back alley.

      bottom line; hire someone that has a camera and go from there, it shouldnt be more then couple hundrend bucks.
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      06-12-2011 12:17 AM #6
      Thanks, guys. Good info.

      I'll be sure to ask questions about those techniques, although they seem more commercial and not residential? Or are there similar, smaller-grade stuff for residential pipes?

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      06-12-2011 07:03 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by uncleho View Post
      Thanks, guys. Good info.

      I'll be sure to ask questions about those techniques, although they seem more commercial and not residential? Or are there similar, smaller-grade stuff for residential pipes?
      The camera systems generally can fit into 4" pipes, which is your residential service size.

      As for the slipliners, they can range from 4 to 36+ inches, in my experience.

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      06-12-2011 09:48 AM #8
      I had to have mine replaced due to root intrusion about four years ago. My sewer line runs out the back of my house, and the part that was clogged was actually behind my fence (still on my property though). I had to have a backhoe do the dirty work from in my backyard and they had to remove some sections of fence to get to it. Cost me about $3700.

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      06-12-2011 11:58 AM #9
      if you need to replace the line, you may not have to be as deep as the existing line, as long as the new pipe runs down hill you should be good.

      if the ex. pipe is not deep, maybe you can just rent a mini-excavator and save some $$$$

      one thing you can check is the Inside Diameter of your ex. pipe, it may be large enough to fit a new small Outside Diameter pipe and dont have to dig anything, just run the new one inside the old one and make the proper connecction on each end.

      remember; **** runs down hill.

      good luck.
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      06-19-2011 10:25 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by izz View Post
      remember; **** runs down hill.


      At this point, I wish gravity ran it UPHILL.

      It will be deep, because:
      1) The house is a walkout on a slight hill (probably ~6' above street level).
      2) The house's drain is buried in the floor/slab of the basement (I recall that from seeing the house built next to our's.). That means it is ~10' below the 1st floor.
      3) With the pitch towards the street (I'm guessing the sewer main is there.), I'm guessing I won't be renting any light duty backhole to dig for myself. Though the 10 year old in me I would LOVE to!!!

      Damn. They're gonna make an awful mess of my front yard, sidewalk, landscaping in order to get access.

      There are no trees in the front so I know it isn't roots. I'm guessing the contractors who laid the pipe pushed some big-arse rock onto the pipe while originally burying the pipe and cracking it. This problem has been there since day one, but we always thought it was us. The fact that the yard around the sidewalk (including the sidewalk) has sunk ~1'+ over 5 years tells a lot unfortunately.

    11. 06-21-2011 12:30 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by uncleho View Post


      At this point, I wish gravity ran it UPHILL.

      It will be deep, because:
      1) The house is a walkout on a slight hill (probably ~6' above street level).
      2) The house's drain is buried in the floor/slab of the basement (I recall that from seeing the house built next to our's.). That means it is ~10' below the 1st floor.
      3) With the pitch towards the street (I'm guessing the sewer main is there.), I'm guessing I won't be renting any light duty backhole to dig for myself. Though the 10 year old in me I would LOVE to!!!

      Damn. They're gonna make an awful mess of my front yard, sidewalk, landscaping in order to get access.

      There are no trees in the front so I know it isn't roots. I'm guessing the contractors who laid the pipe pushed some big-arse rock onto the pipe while originally burying the pipe and cracking it. This problem has been there since day one, but we always thought it was us. The fact that the yard around the sidewalk (including the sidewalk) has sunk ~1'+ over 5 years tells a lot unfortunately.
      Well you can continue to speculate or you can perform a sewer scope. You should also have a map of the property that indicates where the sewer line is running. If you do not have it, you should be able to obtain it from the city.

      For those that are interesting in purchasing, you may scope the sewer during the inspection process. I did this when I purchased my home. Although expensive, I believe that it was $400 well spent. The sewer line can be ridicously long, cross properties, lay underneath massive amounts of earth, etc, etc. The person operating the scope can insert the scope through the sewer drain plug in your house (the pipe cap with the square peg), or your toilet.

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      06-21-2011 10:52 PM #12
      I've been reading more on the net and it reflects the suggestions here - low grand to $10k+.

      I've called some plumbers with scoping abilities and the price varies from $150 t $300 so similar to what you guys said, too. Gonna get an appointment, but I hate trying to choose between contractors. I guess I'll flip a coin.

      Thx, folks!

    13. 06-22-2011 11:46 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by uncleho View Post
      I've been reading more on the net and it reflects the suggestions here - low grand to $10k+.

      I've called some plumbers with scoping abilities and the price varies from $150 t $300 so similar to what you guys said, too. Gonna get an appointment, but I hate trying to choose between contractors. I guess I'll flip a coin.

      Thx, folks!
      You can try angies list for contractor evaluations. It's like $40 per year. This is another thing that I did before purchasing my home. Mine's running out soon and I probably won't renew it, but it served its purpose. It's all user-based like Yelp so it's possible that the contractors that you are looking for don't have any reviews. Likewise, you may find others with 'A+' scores that you hadn't considered.

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      06-22-2011 10:42 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Markos View Post
      You can try angies list for contractor evaluations. It's like $40 per year. This is another thing that I did before purchasing my home. Mine's running out soon and I probably won't renew it, but it served its purpose. It's all user-based like Yelp so it's possible that the contractors that you are looking for don't have any reviews. Likewise, you may find others with 'A+' scores that you hadn't considered.
      I was considering signing up with them, but daaaaamn... what's with the lack of a HUGE REVIEW service on the net that isn't free? I never understood that. You'd think the 3rd most popular site on the net besides search engines and porn would be Reviews of services.

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