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Old 12-06-2010, 11:33 AM
 
136 posts, read 800,781 times
Reputation: 160

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Okay, so I purchased my first house - it's 10 year old - and lived the American dream for exactly 2 months !

Last night my bathrooms & toilets overflowed. Called the local Plumbing franchise and the plumber inserted a "snake" into a "clean out" in our front yard. He pulled out a clump of roots and unclogged the sewer line. So all was well.

The plumber then inserted a video camera and inspected the line. He told me that a small part of the sewer line (just below the cleanout) was damaged and that I need to replace that and the clean out itself.

Cost for replacement = $1000.

Sorry for asking two elementary questions but I have zero knowledge of plumbing & sewers:
1. Do I really need to replace the cleanout or am I being scammed?
2. What will prevent roots from attacking the same pipe all over again?

Please help !

Carol
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,343 posts, read 88,121,996 times
Reputation: 17667
Might want to talk to your neighbors to see if they'd have the problems themselves.

If you have no reason to think this guy is a rip off artist, I'd think that was a reasonable assessment - and $1000 for all that work sounds worth it. I think he'll have to dig up your front yard quite a bit.

Ask him if you can get a copy of the video and get a second opinion if you have time.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
37,831 posts, read 49,442,449 times
Reputation: 49874
That's a reasonable price. Tree roots are incredibly invasive. What is the sewer line made of? Cast iron, PVC or clay? Roots can play hell with clay pipe.

Avoiding Sewer Back Ups From Tree Roots
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:57 PM
 
136 posts, read 800,781 times
Reputation: 160
The sewer "clean out" is white PVC. Have not seen the sewer pipes but guess they are PVC as well.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:17 PM
 
27,750 posts, read 58,129,062 times
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The problem you describe is quite common with clay and orangeburg pipe and even some old cast-iron where the pipe has rusted through... I am surprised a 10 year old plastic pipe would have root issues.

In the short term I would recommend you not keep the clean-out cover on tight... this will allow any future spill to occur outside the home instead of inside...

It is really simple in most cases to repair lines buried in the yard... it can be a lot of physical work to dig and expose the section causing problems... I've done it many times and it starts with a shovel... the pipe and couplings don't cost much.

Do you have a multi-level home? The reason I ask is most single family, one level home will see sewage backing-up in the bath tub first, giving you a chance to catch the problem early.

Good advice to check with neighbors... they might tell you the previous owners had on-going sewer problems or that many homes in the area have similar problems...

Ten years is not old for something that is supposed to last for many years.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-07-2010 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:30 PM
 
136 posts, read 800,781 times
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Thanks for the superfast inputs - 'appreciate the help. Checked with my neighbor this afternoon - she is clueless about any prior occurrence and has never faced this issue herself. My house has two levels and my daughter was having a bath upstairs when the yuck first backed-up into the master bath tub and then the master toilet overflowed. I will step outside tonight and see if I can wrest open the clean-out cover. Looks like I will have to pony up $1K to my friendly neighborhood plumber :-(
Carol
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
37,831 posts, read 49,442,449 times
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My horror story is it happening the day we moved in, about 5 hours after closing. The house had been empty for 3 years or so (75 year old house then, now 98). There was no cleanout so I had to find where the pipe came out from under the house, dig down and find and knock a hole in the cast iron. Plumber got about a 100 ft. power snake and pulled out a mass of roots from the neighbors maple tree that had gotten in where the lateral hit the main, which is clay. I ran some copper sulfate through and so far been ok.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,489 posts, read 18,678,948 times
Reputation: 2686
Adding copper sulfate once or twice a year will eliminate those small roots that become big clogging roots. You may be able to hold off the replacement for a while with copper sulfate treatment. If the drain is open and running fine, try the copper sulfate and save your pennies and have the money ready if it backs up in the future.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:35 AM
 
136 posts, read 800,781 times
Reputation: 160
Thanks Shane. But won't the sewer pipes have cracks/holes in them where the roots penetrated and that some of the sewage is seeping into my yard soil rather than flowing in sewer system?

Also can I get Copper Sulfate at Home Depot?
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,547 times
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I am having a similar problem w the roots. I am being quoted for $4800 for instalment of a clean out pipe system.
Is this way too much?
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