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  • Big Rock in sewer line

    Hi all,
    I just bought a house which is rebuilt on an existing 1970 old house in Falls Church, Va. The sewer line is an existing old pipe. Last month it got clog, and water, stuff going out the basement bath tub and toilet. I have Roter Rooter use the machine snake to clear out the sewer line access through the cleanout outside my house for about 500$. The sewer pipe was clear and the water in the basement tub drain. He put the camera down the sewer while I watched. I saw the pipe was clear and clean. When the camera get to about 47 feet, I saw a big rock, about half size of the pipe. The plumber told me that I should get the Hydro Jet service, because it will clog again in a couple years.

    For a month now, all I flush down is toilet paper, and I don’t even use the garbage disposal to flush food down the drain. Now if I run the water up stair for about 15minute, the basement tub will have water backup. I open up the cleanout, and water is raised up. That mean the sewer line is clog again. It will take about 5 hour for the water in the basement tub to drain. What I don’t understand is the water in the tub stay at the same level for 5 hours, then it will drain. It’s not like it drain slowly because of the clog in the sewer pipe.
    Here are my question:
    1/. Are there any other way to push the rock to the main public pipe than use Hydro Jet? Can the plumber change the snake head to push the rock. The rock is 47 feet away from my cleanout. That is really close the street and the main public pipe just a couple more feet. SO I don’t think the plumber have a long way to push the rock to the public pipe.
    2/. If the plumber use the hydro jet, will the water be pushed back to my basement tub? Since the sewer line won’t drain if I run water in the house, I think it will shoot back up to my basement tub.
    3/. I am not running any water, and the cleanout is clear now, with no water in the cleanout. Should the plumber use the camera to see where the rock is at before he decide to use the hydro jet? I have several guy gave me an estimate, and they say that they will look use the camera first, and just put the hydro jet down to push the rock. I would think that he needs to look how the rock position in the pipe before he use the hydro jet. I was hoping that there are other solution than using the hydro jet.
    4/ What is the price range for hydro jet a sewer line about 55 to 60 feet?
    5/. A rock about half size of the pipe, how many PSI Hydro Jet machine do you think an push this rock?

    Please give me some advice about what is the best way to push the rock out to the main public pipe. I really appreciate your help, and feedback.

    Tea
    Last edited by Tea; 09-24-2009, 11:40 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Big Rock in sewer line

    So basically, Rooter Rooter charged you $500 to verify
    that you had a stoppage, yet could not clear it and
    suggested you call someone else?
    You need to call them back to finish the job that you
    have already paid for.
    Or call a reputable plumbing contractor in your town.
    The snake should have been able to push the rock.
    Franchises are rip-offs, for the most part.
    The tub may have its own partial stoppage or is
    collecting the flow from upstairs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Big Rock in sewer line

      i'm with big jim! my snake would have pushed it out. what size cutter did rr use? did they even get to the rock? if they did that to me i would call my lawyer and have him send a nice note to rr. may not work for you but it works for me. by the way how did rock get there? they don't grow in pipes. was clean out left open? did someone flush it down stool? just askin? breid...........

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Big Rock in sewer line

        He said he won't use the snake to push the rock out. He told me that he can call his buddy to Hydro Jet it our for 1000$. But if I don't want to do the Hydro Jet now, it would last for a couple year if I don't flush anything but toillet paper. I only flush toilet paper for the past month, and now it back up again, because of the rock.
        I don't want to get into the legal battle with RR. I just want to clear the rock. So, the snake can push the rock huh. I think the blumber can use a different head, without the rotation blade. No tree root or anything like that to be cut. What type of head should they use?
        If I hire another plumper, should he used the camera first, before he decide to use the snake or the Jetter? There is no standing water in the sewer pipe now, and I don't see why they refuse to use the camera first.

        thanks a lot for the help,
        Tea
        Last edited by Tea; 09-24-2009, 01:03 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Big Rock in sewer line

          One of the most important questions here is how did the rock get down there? Is there a break in the line somewhere?

          The reason for that question is because if there is a break in the line then it needs to be replaced or repaired and why spend money to get a rock out then repair the line. That would make no sense.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Big Rock in sewer line

            $500 seems real steep.
            Did you buy 3 gallons of drain care product without knowing it...
            Look at your invoice and see what it says....

            These guys are always out to fatten their commission...

            I'd call the office and complain wanting to know exactly what I paid for.
            411 Plumb Appliance Stimulus Package

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Big Rock in sewer line

              I don't know how the rock that big get inside the the sewer pipe all the way to 47 feet from the cleanout. I didn't see any collapse pipe from the cleanout to the 47 feet mark. There is no damage pipe where the rock at.
              When the sewer was backup to my basement tub, Roto Rooter guy just use the snake to clear the clog with camera for 500. When he see the rock after he clear the clog, he said he can't waranty. That;s why he suggested for the sewer pipe hydro jet to push the rock out the public. He said he didn't want to use the snake to push the rock out.
              He already clear the sewer and unclog the blockage, he just can't waranty that the pipe won't be clog again. But I don't expect it to clog again so soon, after just a month, with just toilet paper flush down.
              Tea

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                Originally posted by Tea View Post
                He said he didn't want to use the snake to push the rock out.

                Tea
                WHY ?

                MY GAWD, Its all about money with those guys.

                $500 bux and I would have hand dug your sewer line and pulled the rock out with my hands.....

                Seems the world is getting lazier by the day.

                The guy got $500 bucks for free it seems......
                Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
                New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                  Did the Roto Rooter guy at least give you a picture of the rock in the line...

                  even Santa at the mall gives you a picture for $29.00
                  411 Plumb Appliance Stimulus Package

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                    Originally posted by Redwood View Post
                    Did the Roto Rooter guy at least give you a picture of the rock in the line...

                    even Santa at the mall gives you a picture for $29.00
                    LOL - At the "santa" line

                    @ The OP

                    Ya, did he give you a picture of the Rock?
                    Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
                    New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                      you will have to remember that price is suggestive. the cost of living etc. and to show and make a profit. it is how we all grow our businesses. get better equipment etc. there is nothing wrong with making a good living for yourself. think of all the health insurance you have and every other cost of business. and your living conditions. do you want to live in a singlewide trailer your whole life or a comfortable home provinding for your family in a safe neighborhood and giving your customers expert service.
                      as for this case.... the rr guy should have at the very min. tried to push the rock to the street. then if that didn't work, then suggest a jetter.
                      he may have been in a hurry? call and ask for a supervisor/owner. tell them your story and see if it can be taken care of. if not you may have to hire another company.
                      Crack are you close by?
                      Last edited by Jerad; 09-24-2009, 02:51 PM.
                      the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                        He didn't get 500$ for free. He did clear the clog last month.
                        I don't want to say anything bad about the plumber. I agreed on the price to pay. I just saw the rock, and I know it is a live shot, because I asked him to push forward and back up the camera. He didn't have me the picture. I should of ask him for me to take the picture of that rock.
                        I have several guy gave me estimate to Hydro jet the sewer range from 400 to 1100. The price has a big crazy gap. Another guy from Roto Rooter came the other day and gave me an estimate about 1000$ to Hydro Jet the pipe. The he said he can do it for 700$ without the receipt. I don't like that, so I don't want to use Roto Rooter again.
                        I don't want to complain about the plumber guy at RR. I just need some suggestion now, so I know what to say to other plumbers who will come to give me estimate.

                        Thanks,
                        Tea


                        Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
                        WHY ?

                        MY GAWD, Its all about money with those guys.

                        $500 bux and I would have hand dug your sewer line and pulled the rock out with my hands.....

                        Seems the world is getting lazier by the day.

                        The guy got $500 bucks for free it seems......
                        Last edited by Tea; 09-24-2009, 02:55 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                          Here is what I would do. I would call my family or friends and ask if they have used any one that they liked and had fair prices. Then I would give them a call and get an over the phone quote after explaining the situation. If the Rock is just sitting in the pipe it should be able to be pushed out with a snake. Nothing so far has told me we need to jet the line.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                            Not sure about the rules/etiquette for expressly recommending someone but there is an excellent plumber on this board who services your area (at least I think they go all the way out to Falls Church).

                            Once you get hooked up with him you will be all set.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Big Rock in sewer line

                              Lots of Orangeburg pipe in Falls Church.

                              If it's Orangeburg, you are on your own.

                              If it's cast iron or PVC, call my office. Falls Church is a bit outside our service area but we may be able to help you out. I personally would have done whatever I could to push the rock into the main just as any other reputable plumber here would do.

                              I might try pushing with the SeeSnake Plus first to see if it budges. If that doesn't work then go in with a 1-1/4" cable. Prolly try a few different heads to see which one works best. I've had pretty good luck pushing rocks with the 'H' cutter.

                              Not sure how well my jetter would do accessing from upstream? Maybe time to break out the Ghetto Ranger

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