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Old 01-23-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
litleclay
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Default What to expect - Roots in the Drain

Hey all,

I've spent a few hours reading some old posts and various things around the good ole interwebs.

We have a root issue in our sewer drain. Pipes are cast iron to the yard and then clay pipes.

about 2 months ago we had a drain back up so we had a roto rooter type guy come out and found quite a few roots. He recommended snaking it every 6 months. Last week it backed up again, so this time we called a plumber in case the issue was more severe. They snaked the drain and planned on running a camera a few days later. I wasn't there for the camera today, so this is all relayed from my wife. Looks like the root issue is pretty bad at the joints, but the rest is in good shape. My questions:

We paid $325 for a snake and camera. I expected them to clean much of the roots, not just get it to pass water. Was this expecting too much?

The culprits (I assume) are two trees in our front yard that the drain runs by. There are a couple other trees in neighbors yards, but not very close to the property lines at all (probably 40-50 feet from the drain line). We're having those two trees removed in the next few weeks. If we remove the trees, kill the root systems, run some rootx, would that be a good solution?

Second question - everyone seems to have copies of their drain cam. We didn't get one...is that the norm?



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Old 01-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
johnjh2o
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If your getting root infiltration then the pipe has breaks in either the joints or the pipe it self. The only real cure is to replace the line.

John



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Old 01-23-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
If your getting root infiltration then the pipe has breaks in either the joints or the pipe it self. The only real cure is to replace the line.

John
the above statement is true, however if you are NOT able to afford this type of work, i offer this as an option, i cable the line with full set of blades and camera the line, i keep doing this over and over until i get all or most of the roots out of the line, then i will add root-x to kill off any strands of roots still hanging around.. then at this point i recommend to cable once a year before the holidays just to prevent back up ( maintenance), roots will still grow into your pipe so you must do this, it kinda like shaving once a year.... i havent seen your pipe, so if any sections are crushed or disconected, the only way to to replace.. i charge about $500 for the above service just so you can compare the two.. hope you can find a plumber in your area to do option 2, if you go that route...
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:30 PM   #4
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Yeah, replacement would be the best option, however I found out a bit more details:

The house use to have a septic tank so the sewer line goes into the back yard about 15 feet, and then 15 feet over into the neighbors yard. it's about a foot into their yard (under the driveway) when it meets directly with their line and then t's out to the street about 60 feet or so.

Basically - the ONLY portion that has ever been snaked or scoped is the 30 feet into the neighbor's yard. From there its impossible to get anything down that T. Also, the house next door is a low income rental home. We know the owner, a man in his 70's that's thinking of selling the property. No way will he EVER front costs for this kind of work. At most we can replace our 30 feet but what then?

I called the city permits office where they have a couple men that works as plumbers for 30+ years. They said our best bet with the information we have is to cut and kill the trees and then run the rootx.

Opinions?

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:10 AM   #5
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rule #1, never trust a city plumber

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Old 02-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
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^lol

Its going to cost you more money in the long run to keep snaking it. As you keep pulling out the roots that are inside the pipe out with the snake, the ones that have infiltrated at joints are going to keep growing until it splits the pipe/hub. Its going to have to be replaced either way, it just a matter of time until the pipe fails completly. You might as well get it done now and avoid all the extra money of calling a plumber to snake it regularly.

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Old 02-11-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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The line should be replaced for all reasons. and dig right accross there yard if necessary to take care of what is yours. Where I'm from the city maintain's up to 5 feet from the streed curb. if its similar there replace it to that point put a clean out in there as well and if it backs up there its there problem. Do a lot of drain snaking and maintenance, its what keeps our business alive durring the slow times. because not everyone can afford replacement at the moment of craziness.But then it turns into every 6 months, and they all up haveing it done just start saving your penny's

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Yeah, replacement is likely the best route as I'm with you guys on paying larger up front and never having to worry about it again.

I've attached an ugly paint file to give you guys an idea of how/where the line runs. (red=house, green=grass/dirt, grey=asphalt, blue=current sewer lines, brown=potential changes )

In discussing replacement I have a couple thoughts:
- I'm wondering about running a new line on the right side of our home. If we did this, could we just dig up the T and cap off where it continues to our side, without removing all that pipe?
Also, could we reconnect to the long line closer to the street? I'm very concerned about that 75 ft span that has never been snaked or scoped...who knows how that section of the line like looks on the inside.

The other option is to just replace the area in our yard - since the rest of the line is currently the responsibility of the neighbor.

Cost is an issue, but I'm considering doing our own excavation and pipe laying - then just have the plumbers deal with fittings.



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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #9
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A High Pressure Water jet usually gets a better result in removing the roots. ALL the roots should be cleaned out if done by a Professional company that focus's only on unblocking drains and repairiing them.

If the plumber puts a camera down the pipe they should give you a copy. In some cases they may charge a little bit more for this but most don't.

Removing the trees will help but won't prevent future blockages as the cracks still exist but may bide you time. However, please keep in mind once a pipe collapses, PipeLining (which in most situations is most econmical repair solution) cannot be used and if not then eventually your pipes will need to be replace.

My advice get various quotes from various plumbers, especially one that uses PipeLining.

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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water jet isn't going to work - as it will just spray the water right back into our neighbors drains. Our drain systems meet together in a straight line and T off to the street (see the picture above).

Pipelining, for the reason stated above, also won't solve anything except repairing the area up to the T.



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