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Please Help Me Regain My Husband's Sanity

 
 
makemeshiver33
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:11 am
Quote:
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.


I'm with Noddy, 10 feet deep is a bit extreme, I think.

Soz...if it were me, I'd check into renting a small backhoe, they have places where you can rent one for a day/by the hour...etc, usually they run about 200.00, rent one........pinpoint the local as best as you can, dig the puppy up..and replace/refit the pipe yourself. At tops...your talking about a half days labor....and a lot less money.

Quote:
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?


HA! I can do that....LOL (laugh...I hear ya now) Its not hard to find water lines...if you not what your doing. (Copper rods/ or a forked peach limb) We call it "witchin'" here....I "witched" our well....and thanks to me, we get 33 gallons a minute....


Soz, seriously, check into doing it yourself, I feel as though they are trying to rip you a new one.....
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:15 am
I'm suspicious of the 10 feet thing too and want to confirm, but it's definitely possible. We're on a small hill -- there is about a 6-foot (?) difference between the groundlevel at the base of our house and the sidewalk.

Interesting idea to rent a backhoe ourselves.

One thing that still intrigues me is this, from the Roto-rooter site:

Quote:
Trenchless Repair Methods
Thanks to Roto-Rooter, sewer line replacement doesn't mean destroyed yards, ruined driveways or devastated parking lots. Roto-Rooter's Trenchless Repair causes less damage than traditional repair methods. Trenchless Repair is our next step in quality sewer maintenance with less environmental impact.


•

Pipe Bursting
We make small access holes where the damaged pipe starts and ends. Using your broken sewer line as a guide, our hydraulic machine pulls full-sized replacement pipe through the old path and breaks up the damaged pipe at the same time. The new pipe is highly resistant to leaks and root intrusion, with a long life expectancy.


http://www.rotorooter.com/images/residential/pic_sewer_pipebursting.jpg

Here's another one with a similar idea:

http://www.lateralliners.com/
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:20 am
This may not be applicable, but it makes for interesting reading.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:21 am
Yes, that looks interesting..
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makemeshiver33
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:22 am
You know Soz, this just come to mind also...

You said that there is about 6 foot from ground level to your basement..

Have you thought about finding the pipe that runs from the basement...and just reconnect a new pipe from that area, to the one in the street? Still with renting a backhoe yourself, you wouldn't have to find that troublesome pipe, just redo the whole thing yourselves.

Price wise, still cheaper,...and would divert any troubles later on.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:32 am
There's a lot of stuff between basement and street that I DON'T want to dig up. (Beautiful old magnolia tree, for example.)

By the way I didn't say 6 feet from ground level to basement -- it's more than that. Ground level to SIDEWALK. (Which means that if the pipe is buried say 3 feet beneath the sidewalk/ street, and they don't want to angle it up -- this part I'm not sure of -- it'd make sense that it'd be 9 feet below my yard.)

Lots of info there Gus, thanks.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 10:42 am
I was looking at the receipts -- the pulverizer guy's receipt says "90 day warranty". When I was looking up what that meant (warranty on what, exactly? we were doing it as a preventive, so...), I found this, with tons of complaints about Rescue Rooter:

http://twiki.cageyconsumer.com/RescueRooter

Also just got a very good PM from Swimpy (who didn't have time to read the whole thing) who also said that contacting the city engineer is a good idea for several reasons. Thanks, Swimp.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 11:06 am
Reading along without much advice, except to say get multiple bids and call the utilities to mark where not to dig.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:01 pm
Soz....just scanning this....but I think that plumber is full of (pun intended) ****.

Call up the city and have the water department come out and take a look at the situation.

First off, I really don't believe your toilet pipe is 10 feet under the ground.

Years back, we were having a problem with settling...the city came out and found where the leak was, which was leaking into the ground in our front yard, causing the front of the house to settle.

From there, my husband dug down 18 inches to where the pipe was, and replaced that section.

This all cost a couple hundred dollars at the most to get some guys to dig a hole the length of the pipe, pull that one out and put the new one in.

Pretty straight forward.

$14K! Sounds me me he pulled that number out his ass.

WHAT exactly is the breakdown of why it would cost that much?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:16 pm
OK, this is extremely rough (I've never used AppleWorks before), but to hopefully give an idea of the 10 feet down thing:

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d130/sozobe/yard.jpg
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:19 pm
Chai, a sewer pipe is very likely to be 10 below the ground.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:19 pm
(That's supposed to be only the very front of the house, not the whole thing. All of it seen as a cross-section from the side. The point is that because we're on a little hill, there's a bunch of extra ground above the pipe, assuming it goes more or less straight from street to basement.)
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:23 pm
I'd get some stump remover and flush it, then go away for a week.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:31 pm
sozobe wrote:
Sounds to me like pulverizer should come back, finish the job, and then camera guy can come back and look through the whole length.

Go for it! Depending on how many weeks ago pulverizer visited, it may not be too late to put some pressure on him. "We now have evidence that you didn't finish the job we paid you to do. Come finish it or else ..." It's certainly a first step.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:33 pm
Chai Tea wrote:
From there, my husband dug down 18 inches to where the pipe was, and replaced that section.

Water and sewage lines are placed quite a bit deeper in places where they have a real winter, or where the dirt allows basements, or where the dirt isn't 1/2 limestone rocks....
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:34 pm
Pulverizer guy was here August 25th, and there's this 90-day-warranty thing. So I think he should be held accountable, BUT, I'm still not sure what I think about the pulverizer tool whapping around in that already-damaged clay pipe.

Since this is just a blockage of stray bits and pieces rather than attached, live roots, maybe he can do something that's more gentle but would still work.

Worth pursuing.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 12:39 pm
sozobe wrote:
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.)

I guess you would have thought of this, but it can't hurt to ask: Is there an access point at the street from which camera guy could push his instrument towards your house? This could tell you something about how the pipe looks between the screen and the street.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 01:40 pm
That's the kind of thing that you'd think, if it were an option, someone would've said so, but who knows. Also worth following up.

OK, so after a day or so of various types of research, my suggested plan of action is:

1.) Call Rescue Rooter, mention 90-day warranty, find out what options are for the obstruction being removed at the least possible risk to the damaged pipe. Goal here would be two-fold; delay inevitable back-up, and allow camera to get through so we can get more data on what's going on beyond the obstruction.

2.) Call various other "Rooter" companies, explain situation, see what they have to say. Especially, find out ballpark prices on the non-trench fixes.

3.) Contact city engineer, discuss issue, get ideas and feedback.

After all of that info is gathered, regroup and go from there.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 01:45 pm
Soz--

Remember your college graduation when you were assured that you were marching off to a lifetime of learning?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Sep, 2006 07:18 pm
About sewer lines! Yay!

Hubby's MUCH calmer, thanks for all of your help. (He was never actually hyperventilating though he was actually quite upset -- a bunch of different things came together in a bad way.)

He gave me more details about the broken pipe and I have a much clearer picture. However there are still confusing details.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d130/sozobe/pipediagram3.jpg

Left is towards the house, right is towards the street.

I thought the jam was on the street side of the damaged pipe, but no. I said "So how could the guy tell the pipe was broken if he couldn't get the camera through the root obstruction?" E.G. said that he could just kinda barely wiggle it through but couldn't go further. It was really unclear, and he (E.G.) couldn't tell HOW broken it was or even where it was broken, exactly. The RR guy was telling him what to look for, but evidently it was one of those sonogram type things -- "uh, yeah, it's a head, OK." (In our experience it was really hard to see what the doctor seemed to find patently obvious.)

ANYWAY, we have very little information about the actual break -- how severe it is, where it is on the pipe (bottom? top?), etc. We agree that we're going to try to get that information one way or another, starting with trying to get the RR guys to come back and fulfill the warranty. We paid for stuff that didn't happen. There must be a way to get the obstruction out of the way, especially since it's mostly in the (currently) undamaged pipe.

Questions E.G. wanted me to ask, I don't know if anyone here knows the answers, I'll also Google-research them later:

1.) How often do clay pipes break? Is that a common thing?
2.) If they do break, what kind of time scale are we looking at before there are problems? (Obviously there is a lot of variability there.)
3.) Does the root-cutting blade break pipes often?
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