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Please Help Me Regain My Husband's Sanity

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:09 am
I think Soz's house is fairly far from the street. I too wish for an immediate and relatively simple fix. Hmmm, wonder where along the line the blockage is, closer to the house, or...

A concern is that a, say, $4000. fix now would be added to with a, say, 15,000. fix later... 'course that might not be for years.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:14 am
So far, yes.

To recap:

Everything is fine to about 20 feet out.

At 20 feet out, there are two problems. 1) The old clay pipe is definitely broken, and partially (but not completely) collapsed -- it's sort of oval-shaped right now. 2) there is a screen of roots at the end of that pipe.

The bottom of the broken clay pipe has water (and floating turds) backed up in it.

The screen is currently somewhat permeable but will keep collecting, er, stuff, and will get less and less permeable. Things will -- not certain when, but certain -- get backed up.

Getting the pulverizer guy back -- or hiring a new one -- will temporarily solve that problem, though there is some risk of the pulverizing itself doing more damage to the already-damaged clay pipe.

We can do that though, and it won't be $4,000 or $15,000.

But we still have a damaged/ broken clay pipe that needs to be dealt with, and that will continue to cause problems.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:18 am
So, have the guy come out to do the 4k worth of pipe refitting and then roto-root the rest of the pipe?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:18 am
Then perhaps what can be done is to just replace the currently broken stretch with PVC. I agree that bringing the pulverizer guy in again is likely to cause more damage. Have you looked at your contract with him? Is he insured? The breakage issues might be on him and his policy.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:20 am
I remember something about "Those roots are what is keeping that pipe from collapsing" from my tangential experience with this.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:29 am
I don't know if you can fit pvc to clay... might have to be more clay. Gee, I have no idea, why do I post..
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:32 am
Quote:
Have you looked at your contract with him? Is he insured? The breakage issues might be on him and his policy.


We thought about that, but we don't know how to show that he broke the pipe rather than that it was just already broken.

Quote:
Then perhaps what can be done is to just replace the currently broken stretch with PVC.


Well, that "just" is what's $4,000 -- and then we still don't know what's between there and the street (and if more is broken, that's what pushes it up to $15,000).

I just asked E.G. for more details on the broken pipe -- is it that whole section, or just one section at the end? why did the roots gather where they are? -- but he'll be in a meeting 'til noon, so won't get answers 'til then. (I didn't actually see any of this, all my info is from him.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:33 am
Osso, apparently that part is not complicated. PVC (or whatever they'd actually use for a replacement) to clay is OK. (Whew.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:43 am
One more point of clarification:

The pulverizer guy did get all the way throught the whole entire length of pipe when he was here, house to street.

The screen of roots is remnants from his pulverizing, not live, growing-through roots. Think logjam.

The camera guy (who came a couple of weeks after the pulverizer guy) got only as far as screen, and couldn't get the camera further. There was definitely broken pipe just before the screen. Whether there is broken pipe after the screen, we have no idea. There is probably 15-20 feet of pipe left between the screen and the street. (As Osso says, our house is pretty far from the street.)
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:45 am
Replace the broken section and pray that there's no other damage. What else can you do?

If it were me, though, rather than pay the plumber $75 an hour to dig the trench, I'd get an estimate for the cost of repair alone, go down to Home Depot and hire a couple amigos for $10 an hour and have them dig the hole. Then have the plumber repair the pipe.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:47 am
If there's only fifteen feet between the screen and the street, the city might handle the problem since it probably is on city property. They usually own a sizable chunk of property from the curbside.

Call you city engineer and ask him what he thinks.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:49 am
blacksmithn wrote:
...and hire a couple amigos for $10 an hour..


I don't think they would work for such a paltry sum.

Welcome to the 21st century, blacksmithn.
0 Replies
 
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:53 am
the prince wrote:
ISnt this covered by yr insurance?


Don't know how it works in the US Soz, but my home insuarnce covers drains/plumbing from the point it enters my property to the point it goes out. Beyond that it is the local council's responsibility.....

You may want to give a call to yr insurance company for this.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 08:59 am
We have booklets/ info and it looks bad. (Seems unambiguously NOT covered.)

But we'll call to make sure.

That's a good lead, Gus, I found the engineer contact info and E.G. will call and see what he can find out.

From what littlek and the RR guy said, it seems like even if it's the city's "responsibility" in the sense of they do the work, the homeowner gets the bill.
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:00 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
blacksmithn wrote:
...and hire a couple amigos for $10 an hour..


I don't think they would work for such a paltry sum.

Welcome to the 21st century, blacksmithn.


The going rate in Socal is $10 an hour and lunch. Perhaps the ready availability of laborers depresses the wage scale. In any case, you'd certainly not have to pay them the same rate as you would a plumber for digging the same hole.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:02 am
Yeah, I don't know if they even exist in Columbus. I remember those guys in SoCal, don't see 'em here.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:02 am
Have you looked under rocks?
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:24 am
You got any Home Depot or Lowes around? They hang out in the parking lot there in large numbers. Several cities around here also have what are basically hiring halls for day laborers. You go there, tell the person in charge how many you need and what you want them for and they assign the guys to you. That's how I learned what the going wage rate is.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:28 am
We live in different worlds, blacksmithn. Mine is peaceful and harmonious. In my world there are no Lowes. In my world the village gathers together to fix a broken pipe.

There is no searching for Mexicans. There is no need to pay someone a laughable wage.

No, we just roll up our shirt sleeves and pitch in. We work until the job is done and sometimes we will sing some of those old songs you used to hear coming from the chain gangs.

I love my world, blacksmithn. Yours sounds cruel and cold.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 09:52 am
I lived through a Cracked Pipe drama in a rented house.

The landlord and a friend dug up the pipe--saving the landlord considerable money--and then had a licensed plumber replace the pipe.

Don't you have access to brainy, brawny college students? They can dig. Check with the student jobs office--they might have a kid with summer construction experience who could run a rented backhoe.

Do you know any mystical types that dowse who might be able to locate the break? Can your sewer camera man give you an informed guess as to where to start digging?

Did you say 10 feet deep or 20 feet deep? Both of those sound excessive to me. I think the pipe would have to be buried below frost level, but 10 feet? 20 feet? I'm thinking 6 feet, 8 feet tops.

Check your basement and find how far your sewer line is below the level of the lawn. Call the city and find out how deep the pipe in the street is. Remember when the city sewage system was installed, the city was working with a budget.

Definitely spend the money for a second opinion.

You have my sympathy. Real estate is the sort of "investment" that eats money on a whimsical timetable.
0 Replies
 
 

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