Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse

How To Post Images

Want to know the how to upload images to your posts? Image Posting Tutorial
See more
See less

broken sewer line

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • broken sewer line

    Looking for an unbiased answer for a problem I am having with our public works. We had a frozen sewer line, which we waited till spring to have repaired, and upon inspection after thawing the town found that at 65 feet out from our toilet, our line was cracked about 4", but not collapsed. We were told it was our responsibility as it was on our property. Our property extends to 67 feet. After we hired the contractor and plumber along with guidance from public works, the pipe was repaired ($2000). Less than a week later 24 feet from the repair the town showed up to repair 30 feet of crushed line. I think the frozed crushed line backed up causing our crack, am I out to lunch.

  • #2
    Re: broken sewer line

    Unfortunately I think you might be. How would you prove that. ToUtahNow or Plumber Rick would be great guys to ask. I don't see how you can prove that the suspected reason is what caused your line to be damaged. Do you have pictures of what it looked like when they dug it up to repair it?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: broken sewer line

      There are a few ways a sewer could freeze...
      Normally a sewer line drains dry after use and will not freeze.
      Even when installed above the frost line...
      • When there is a fixture leaking a small amount of water contantly that is insufficient volume to keep its warmth and it freezes before reaching the end of the pipe. Ice volume keeps building until the the ice plug seals the pipe. Leaking toilet flappers and dripping faucets are typical causes.
      • Bellies in the line that hold water may freeze if water flowing through the belly ceases for a long enough period of time to allow freezing.
      • A clogged line is left standing for a long enough period of time to allow freezing.
      The fact that the collapsed pipe was further down from your freeze damaged section does in my mind allow for a convincing arguement that their pipe defect was the cause of your line holding water and freezing causing the damage. I would argue that point. Whether or, not they cave in is a whole other story. Go for it! what have you got to lose? Money you already paid out?
      411 Plumb Appliance Stimulus Package

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: broken sewer line

        Drain lines rarely get damaged from freezing. The fact that you were able to wait several months to have it thawed suggests that it is a second home. Second homes are prone to freezing problems for both the trickle and the belly scenarios described earlier in another reply. Had your line sagged, creating a belly, at the area where the repair was made? If so I suspect the damage predates the freezing and the belly combined with the lack of usage in a second home caused the freeze.

        What material was your service pipe made of? I suspect clay. Cracks in this are fairly common.

        The city folks did work on what 24' from your repair? Their main? I suspect yes, it was the main, because typically you own the service until it joins the main, regardless if it is on your property or off of it.

        If it was the main, then I think it unlikely, or at any rate probably not provable that their problem had anything to do with yours. While the main might have had problems, it was flowing or someone's building would have been flooded.

        If, on the other hand, what they were reparing was your crushed service, because somehow in your area they own the service once it leaves your property, then yes, that is 100% why it froze. But again the damage you paid to have repaired was unlikely to have been caused by the freeze. Silly that they would make it into two jobs though; easier to just run the trench another 24' and replace it all at once and share the cost as appropriate.
        Last edited by Ace Sewer; 06-04-2009, 10:17 PM.
        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: broken sewer line

          The repair the town made downstrem from our crack was on the same pipe, for some reason it parralells the main for about 40 feet before turning 135 degrees back into the main. The reason for the delay was the depth of the frost in the street will go 8 feet down in the winter. The pipe is made of cast metal and is 50 plus years old. Our sewer is used daily. They found their crushed line while trying to figure out why ours kept freezing year after year, and noticed ours was cracked. When they ran the camera down the line and passed our crack, they kept going trying to reach the main and we watched with them as they came around a corner and the pipe went no further as it was collapsed. All we have hooked to the drain is 2 sinks and 1 toilet. Our town policy is that we are responsible for the line from our house to the main. The policy also states "if the line is crushed or there is structural collapse of the pipe on the street allowance the town pays, if not the homeowner pays the first $1000".

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: broken sewer line

            So, from what I'm hearing, all the problems were in the 4" service from your house. It was frozen, and had repeatedly frozen in the past. There was a cracked but not collapsed section at ~65' from your house, which was your responsibility to repair as it was on your property, and a collapsed section 24' downstream of that which was the town's responsibility as it was in the right of way.

            Sounds to me like it froze because it was collapsed and holding water. Surprised it was working at all if it was completely collapsed. All I can think is theat you have very low usage and the soils are porous enough that it was taking the water slowly.

            Difficult to say whether the damage on your property that you paid to fix was related to the other damage or not. Unlikely that it was related to the freezing.

            The vebage you quote seems to suggest that, regardless, you are resposible for no more than $1000? Or is that only once it is off your property and not yet under the street? Forgive me on this; your regs are very different than mine. Here you own the service, end of story. Here unless some work was done that damaged it, if it is in your service it is your problem.

            You say that your service parallels the main for 40' then goes through 135 degrees to drop into it... this sounds maybe a little odd. I could see that making some sense if not all 135 degrees were in the same plane; if some were to turn it down to the main, and some were to turn it horizontally toward the main. If it is paralleling the main in the opposite direction of flow and then doing a big sweep around to enter it, it sounds a little overly complicated.

            Regardless, it souns like, barring anything on the surface you wanted to avoid digging in or near, a better fix would have been to do one repair, fixing all of it and cleaning up the complicated way the service joins the main and sharing costs as appropriate.

            My advice would be to discuss the whole thing, in a non confrontational, non blame assesing manner, to lay out exactly what is where and what was done and why, for the purpose of information and understanding, not finger pointing, and document that. If the discussion is approached openly by all parties, you will come pretty easily and natually to a conclusion as to what is fair regarding $ at the end. I say to document it so that, should you have future problems, all the information that was gathered during the course of this is still available to you at that time.
            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: broken sewer line

              I agree with Ace. If you walk in there looking for a fight that government employee is not going to listen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: broken sewer line

                just courious, was you portion of the pipe cracked on the bottom, side, top?

                also, it sounds to like their portion of the pipe was crushed due to frost heaving. when the gound pushes downward in the fall.

                up here the HO's are responsible to the main. at a $1000/ft installed, it has to be installed a straight as possble. your 40 feet of paralell pipe to the main sounds really odd. i'm just wondering why they didn't tap into the sewer main before they went paralell.

                Vince

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: broken sewer line

                  We never heard what the media was? Clay? cast? Bituminized Fiber(Orangeberg)?
                  Clay tile,if the ground gives way even a bit *may* crack,or if installed with stress (No bend fittings but they managed a 45 or 2 in the line!) you may end up with a crack.
                  Fancy specs there Vince! AND what a set of choppers!(How many Vince's for a full set of teeth....!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: broken sewer line

                    Originally posted by Jay Mpls View Post
                    We never heard what the media was? Clay? cast? Bituminized Fiber(Orangeberg)?
                    Clay tile,if the ground gives way even a bit *may* crack,or if installed with stress (No bend fittings but they managed a 45 or 2 in the line!) you may end up with a crack.
                    Fancy specs there Vince! AND what a set of choppers!(How many Vince's for a full set of teeth....!)

                    He says it cast metal!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: broken sewer line

                      Originally posted by EasyEman View Post
                      He says it cast metal!
                      D'oh! Blind and dumb I am!
                      Only the first grand....Spot digs here south of the border start at $2200.
                      Cast fails in this manner once in a while.Spendy and sucks.
                      Have seen it plenty.Spit on stacks and flat exposed pipe.
                      I think it is normally due to stress apart from when it plain old rots out.

                      Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: broken sewer line

                        Originally posted by Jay Mpls View Post
                        We never heard what the media was? Clay? cast? Bituminized Fiber(Orangeberg)?
                        Clay tile,if the ground gives way even a bit *may* crack,or if installed with stress (No bend fittings but they managed a 45 or 2 in the line!) you may end up with a crack.
                        Fancy specs there Vince! AND what a set of choppers!(How many Vince's for a full set of teeth....!)
                        26 Vince's to make a full set.

                        i've got more teeth than jaw space.

                        Vince

                        love your avatar!! that guy probably has a big smile under that mask.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X