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  • alternative to jackhammering

    We own a home in southern California. A single level, slab foundation built in 1960. We've had consistent problems with the laundry/kitchen sink line backing up. After several snakes and hydrojets over the years it has been determined that the pipe may be broken or collapsed somewhere toward the center of the house. The last snaking revealed dirt/mud in the pipe. We have been advised to have a camera sent in to locate the problem at the tune of $300. If it's found to be a broken pipe inside the foundation we have been told that they will have to jackhammer through the slab in order to repair the pipe This will cost upwards of $2,000+. Is there any alternative to this destructive approach? The cost will be staggering and much structural damage may result. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: alternative to jackhammering

    Originally posted by Paul G. View Post
    We own a home in southern California. A single level, slab foundation built in 1960. We've had consistent problems with the laundry/kitchen sink line backing up. After several snakes and hydrojets over the years it has been determined that the pipe may be broken or collapsed somewhere toward the center of the house. The last snaking revealed dirt/mud in the pipe. We have been advised to have a camera sent in to locate the problem at the tune of $300. If it's found to be a broken pipe inside the foundation we have been told that they will have to jackhammer through the slab in order to repair the pipe This will cost upwards of $2,000+. Is there any alternative to this destructive approach? The cost will be staggering and much structural damage may result. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
    This is a fairly common type of repair and should not cause any structural damage. Even if your laundry was on an outside wall and you could reroute it outside you would need to cap off the old line. If you pay for a camera make sure they make a video in case you want a second opinion.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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    • #3
      Re: alternative to jackhammering

      The prices don't sound so bad. You should check with your insurance company. They may pay for the jackhammering and putting everything back to it's original state, depending on your policy. They won't pay for the plumbing work though.

      I don't think re-lining works on a pipe filled with mud and dirt. The pipe needs to be clean for the process to work.
      Last edited by MrsSeatDown; 11-11-2008, 01:32 PM. Reason: Mark is mean
      I love my plumber

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      • #4
        Re: alternative to jackhammering

        Actually there will be extensive structural damage as the location of the broken pipe is under a section of the house that has many walls. Not only will they have to jackhammer but they will also have to punch through walls depending on the length of the damaged section of pipe. Is there no other means of fixing a broken pipe in the foundation?

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        • #5
          Re: alternative to jackhammering

          If you have some pictures it might be easier to comment but we have changed out tons of drain lines in slabs without ever taking out a wall.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: alternative to jackhammering

            Not sure exactly what you want the photos to show. The area where the break is hasn't been exactly determined but it's most likely in an area of the house that has two closets, a foyer and a bathroom all in the same general space. Lots of walls.

            Another question. Can you tell me what the drainage pipes are made of in an early 60s southern California house? I've been told they could possibly be a clay material. The original incoming plumbing was galvanized pipe but not sure about the outgoing pipes.

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            • #7
              Re: alternative to jackhammering

              Originally posted by Paul G. View Post
              Not sure exactly what you want the photos to show. The area where the break is hasn't been exactly determined but it's most likely in an area of the house that has two closets, a foyer and a bathroom all in the same general space. Lots of walls.

              Another question. Can you tell me what the drainage pipes are made of in an early 60s southern California house? I've been told they could possibly be a clay material. The original incoming plumbing was galvanized pipe but not sure about the outgoing pipes.
              That was kind of my point. If you do not know what the problem is or where it is it's hard to say what damage will be done trying to repair it.

              As for the material type it will be cast-iron. Clay is used outside not under the house.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: alternative to jackhammering

                Another quick question. Are these drainage pipes actually inside the concrete slab or are they beneath it?

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                • #9
                  Re: alternative to jackhammering

                  either, or depending on grade.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: alternative to jackhammering

                    Originally posted by Paul G. View Post
                    Another quick question. Are these drainage pipes actually inside the concrete slab or are they beneath it?
                    They should be below it then add 1/4" per foot as it runs towards the street. A guy with a camera and a decent locator should be able to tell you exactly where it is and how deep it is.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: alternative to jackhammering

                      Post deleted. I misunderstood the problem
                      Last edited by thedcdude; 11-11-2008, 09:42 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: alternative to jackhammering

                        why cant you install a pump in the basement and run the pvc pipe above ground? then it can pick up the laundry and kitchen sink line.

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                        • #13
                          Re: alternative to jackhammering

                          Originally posted by t-dogg View Post
                          why cant you install a pump in the basement and run the pvc pipe above ground? then it can pick up the laundry and kitchen sink line.
                          As this is a slab home there would not be a basement.

                          Mark
                          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: alternative to jackhammering

                            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                            As this is a slab home there would not be a basement.

                            Mark

                            opps. misread that.

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                            • #15
                              Re: alternative to jackhammering

                              Paul ,I own an Eichler slab on grade. Jacked up one side 3 1/2" drilled holes and pumped fly ash grout in voids after. Better bite the bullet! Believe Me, You have a void where that water
                              has created a sink hole under Your home! As to what size, You'll find out when slab is broken up. Too much of an investment to let this go on much longer. Price sounds Great! I'd charge much more. Good luck
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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