Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by michael

Posted by Mark Vidales on March 19, 2000 at 14:11:23:

If it is roots that are causing the problem turn it in to your insurance for repair or replacement I just did this recently.

Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by michael

Posted by michael on March 19, 2000 at 13:45:10:

This message is for those who may know anything about plumbing. I have an old house. Built in 1914. It has a sewer line problem. I have to get it routed about once every 6-12 month at a cost of $250. The house is in pretty good condition considering it’s age and although I have had some mangement problems for the past three years has done well for me. It is a triplex that grosses $1600 rent. (I pay about $1000 in expenses and mortgage payment) I have had it for three years. I talked to the city and they said that I am responsible for the sewer line up to the point it connects to the main. The last rotor rooter guy who came out put a camera down into the line and showed a broken pipe when the line connects to the main. It had a small piece missing from the clay pipe. He estimated that the cost would be $6-7,000 to dig up the middle of the street, something I can not afford. When I ask him how long the pipe would last he gave the answer of 10 days to 10 years you never know. I don’t have that kind of cash reserve to cover. What would you all suggest? Sell with full discloser? Does the insurance typically cover this type of expense? Thanks in advance.

Re: Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by John Katitus

Posted by John Katitus on March 22, 2000 at 24:54:18:

It could easily be that your clog problem is unrelated to the broken pipe. Personally, I wouldn’t even consider replacment until I was 100% sure that’s what the problem was. Roots cause many clogs. They make a root-disolver that has, I think, copper sulfate in it that does a good job. You just dump it in the toilet and flush.

Every six months seems excessive to snake it but once a year isn’t bad. How long it lasts can be related to who does the snaking and how good a job they do. If they do it through a clean out, you have to make sure they snake it in both directions.

My home has 100+ foot sewer line that has a flat spot - no slope - in the middle. It drains, but must be snaked annually. Not a big deal and it cost $85 last time.

Finally, and maybe the biggest consideration, is the usage. Given that it’s a triplex, you could have all kinds of things flushed down there. Maybe your tenants are doing things that they don’t know will clog the drainline. Even flushing paper towels and napkins can do it.

I wouldn’t worry about that sewer line until I was sure it was a problem.

Re: Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on March 19, 2000 at 22:35:58:

Seems to me you HAVE to remedy this problem whether you can afford to or not - even it it means a loan against the property to do it. Personally I would be worried about ground contamination issues since you now know there’s a problem - now you’re obligated to correct it.


Re: Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by Dave(PA)

Posted by Dave(PA) on March 19, 2000 at 16:08:47:


There are companies that can install liners in your existing sewer line, eliminating the need to dig it up. This may be feasible and less expensive, depending on the condition of the entire line. I have had this done on lines at the University where I work. Saves alot of hassle.


Re: Help with Sewer Line Problem - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on March 19, 2000 at 14:16:30:

Just a few comments.

First, insurance doesn?t cover this. Second, that $250 price that you mention sounds very high to me. If this is the same guy who quoted you $6K-$7K to repair the pipe?.get some other quotes. You should do that anyway. The cost of replacing this line is going to be a function of who does it, how deep the line is and whether the walls of the ditch have to be shored up, how long the line is, and how much of the line is replaced, time to repair, how long a bobcat sits there. $6K-$7K sounds high?.but if it was Roto Rooter it doesn?t surprise me.

Can?t tell you how to proceed other than to get some quotes?..ask around for some suggestions on who does this type of work. After you have the quote, THEN make your decision. By all means, if you decide to sell make sure you DISCLOSE IN WRITING. Lack of disclosure of this type of issue are exactly how lawsuits get started.