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  • sewer replacement and camera rentals ??

    hi i'm john and i'm new to this forum. i have a home in jackson, n.j.. i also have roots that cracked my clay sewer line. i have experience in different areas of plumbing. but never had to deal with the a sewer line that ran to the street. i have chopped many basement floors and installed drains and wastes for toilets, showers etc. so i need to replace my sewer line due to a crack that is letting roots and i believe other debris into my line and of course backing it up. not trying to be a miser, i cannot afford to have this replaced $3600. so i'm considering doing it myself. i work on a tugboat in n.y. and i'm not home alot. had the drain snaked twice @ $280. first time last year and then again last week.of course i wasn't home and wifey was panicing. after last weeks snaking it clogged again in 2 days the man came back again and snaked it on the "house" said he could snake it and use the camera for 275. well that budget is gone so he just gave us another poke thru and it's been fine for a week now. so when i get home, god willing it hold out till then. i plan on digging up the yard and replacing the clay with cast iron.
    1. any suggestions on where i may be able to rent a camera to check it out before i do this.
    2. any suggestions on the process would be greatly appreciated.
    i bartered with the tree guy to cut down the 70'+ pine whose roots are going in right along side the sewer pipe . i'll be installing his new wood stove and chimmney when he gets it.
    3. is it ok to just replace from the house to the sidewalk or should i go to the street? does the city have to dig up the street or do i?
    like i said this is a new endeavor for me. i called the township and they said it was ok to replace it myself . just get permits and inspections.
    any help /suggestions will be greatly appreciated thanks in advance.
    john
    sorry about the long post i just wanted to incude enough information.

  • #2
    If you are going to replace the sewer any ways I would not bother with a camera. Knowing where the crack are won't matter to you if you are going to replace the sewer. I don't think I would use Cast Iron if plastic is allowed though.

    I would check with the City to find out where your pipe stops and theirs starts. In many Cities the City owns the pipe in the street and you only own to the curb. They should also be able to tell you how deep the sewer is. Those are all things you need to know before you start with a shovel.

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      mark, on this one we are at opposite ends.

      anytime you are going to spend thousands for a sewer, i would camera the line first. i would be 95% sure that a simple camera and location would tell you where to fix the pipe. chances (95%) are that the line is bad in 1 spot maybe 2. the rest of it is probably fine. a camera will be able to assess this and give you an exact location and depth. much easier than digging out all the way to the street and you only have a bad 2' section.

      out here in los angeles, you have to be a licensed and bonded sewer contractor to dig on the public right of way. that would be the sidewalk, parkway, curb and street. much more than the $3500. you noted. also the dirt has to be hauled away and the ditch filled with slurry.

      once again a camera would determine if anything of this nature would need to be done.

      i also find that by using a camera, i can snake the line much more thorough and be able to see a before and after condition of the pipe. this will document it for future cleanings too.

      out of the several hundred jobs that i've done like mentioned, only a few needed to be replaced. every sewer has roots not every sewer needs to be replaced.

      spend the money on a camera and save yourself alot of money on the sewer.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        No problem Rick I am Okay with you being wrong on occassion.

        johnnytugs1 wants to replace the sewer by himself. He has an older clay sewer which is pretty old if there is a 70'+ pine tree already. For the money he has spent on two drain cleanings and a little bit of sweat he could have a new sewer. Now had he said he was going to pay $3,600 to have his sewer replaced I would have agreed with you.

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 03-06-2006, 11:03 PM.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

        Comment


        • #5
          thank you guys, i'll take all the suggestions you can throw at me.
          john

          Comment


          • #6
            i have heard about cleanouts in other posts , are they outside the house? i have a cleanout "y" in the back of my basement just above the floor. when i'm digging should i be careful of another outside the house ?between the house and the street? i'm trying to get as much info as i can, so i can get a plan together. before i get home. which will be on the 22nd. hopefully my wife will already have the permit and after 1 days rest and a few cold ones i can go at it the next day. thanks again for any help.
            john

            Comment


            • #7
              john, how deep and how long of a trench are you digging.

              this might take more than a days rest and a few cold ones

              my suggestion is to spend the money to get it properly camered and located. you might be surprised at how little you need to repair. also it might be in the street and not sure if you can work out there as a homeowner.

              spend the money and get it camered.

              never let it be said i didn't warn you

              good luck, rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with Rick on this one. Camera'ing is NEVER a bad idea, especially when you are considering the type of work you are contemplating. But unless you are experienced with sewer cams and locators, I would spend a few extra bucks and have a pro come out and do it for you. They will even make a tape for you to keep of the video, they know what they are looking for, and they know how transponders work if you only need a section of the pipe replaced. And, they know how to avoid getting the camera snagged in the line, a very real risk when dealing with broken/cracked or heavily rooted lines.....and if THEY wreck that cable, it's on them. If you destroy or lose a rented video line, you will pay dearly, they are NOT cheap to replace or repair, and the rental place will most likely demand you replace it anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rfi

                  A couple of caveats here to a DIY project. Because you have a basement and your sewer is below the basement you are likely to end up with a fairly deep sewer. If your sewer is deeper than 5’ deep I would consider having a Contractor do the job. In addition before you do any work you need to call a dig alert company to identify and buried utility lines which may be in the area of the sewer. Once you get that information maybe you can repost here with the depth and the length of your sewer. That information would make it a lot easier to give you any advice.

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks again gentleman, as much as i'd like to, the camera / operator isn't in the budget but i'm going to replace the whole line because it's clay and i don't want to have to worry about it anymore.the trench will be approximately 45-50'
                    long approx. 7' from dirt to bottom of my basement floor. once again i'm on a boat and won't be home till the 22nd to get the specifics unless my dear wife goes down to the township and gets the info for me.if that happens i will let you know a.s.a.p. if i remember correctly all the cut in's i did
                    had the sewer line about 12-18" in the basement floor. so i'll assume it will pan out like this.
                    1. the first 15-20' off the house will be about 8' deep then it slopes down. to the side walk where it would be 5-6" deep.
                    2. dig alert has marked the property and the tree came down on tues. morning.
                    now back to the cleanouts, whats up with them? i'm getting the back hoe from my bro in law to be and i'll probably get my other bro-in-laws bobcat to help clear the piled up dirt away from the trench i imagine i'd have to make the trench 4' wide or so, so the dirt and stuff doesn't cave in around it .how am i doing so far? how long are the new lengths of pipe? i plan on setting the pipe on a small patio block where it is coupled together. i have heard that the city's pipe may come as close as 8' in from the street. any truth to that? if it is true that will be sweettttttttt
                    my side walk inboard side is about 6' from the street. after i open up the trench i can always cut out a section of side walk to get the pipe to the street also i can run a hose into the street side of the pipe with a hose to ck for flow problems. ok gotta move a barge good day to all and thanks
                    john

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      john, you never mentioned a backhoe or bobcat before

                      this makes a days rest and a few cold ones a little more realistic

                      a cleanout is a tee, (combination wye and 45) that is connected to the pipe and the tee, riser is brought up to the surface for future drain cleaning access. best loction is at the outside of the house just out from the basement and at the farthest location on your property. that is just before the sidewalk.

                      you need to put the system on a test anyways and the c/o without a riser is a good spot to put in a test plug or weenie

                      are you allowed to go into the public right of way? that is sidewalk and street?

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is real no reason to worry about other cleanouts as you are not really hurting anything if you break them. If you do break one be careful to hand dig around it so you don't get dirt into the sewer. At 6'+ deep you either need to shore the ditch or have your ditch walls dug at a 45 so to prevent a cave in. You really need to talk to the Township to find out where your pipe ends. For instance in some communities the home owner’s pipe ends at the side walk and the community is responsible for the rest.

                        Cast iron comes in 10’ lengths while ABS and PVC come in 20’ lengths. If you wanted to add an outside clean out to your line this would be the time. You may even want to consider a two way clean out at the street if you have an RV.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ok talked to the township, they said it should come 2' from the asphalt towards my propertry with a clean out there and a clean out 3' from my house (never saw either one , must be covered). they also say that it could be anywhere from 4-15' deep. thats tricky. they said my pipe may be clay or a cardboard composite(are they poo-pooin me) anyway i have to call and request that 800-dig put in another request to mark the sewer line. they will contact the township to mark the sewer line.utah thanks for the clean out info i wish i needed one for an r/v, but thats a great idea.
                          plummer rick when u say put the system on a test what does that mean? and ummm weenie? thats pretty much what my wife said when i told her i'd do it myself. her answer to it all is just charge it!!!!!!! well i'm up here in upstate n.y. on the hudson river and it is a beautiful scenic thingy going on. boy a cold one and this scenery i could be very happy. "NOT".13 more days, another successful fuel transfer and back to the city. thanks again for all yer help.
                          john
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by johnnytugs1; 03-09-2006, 07:10 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The cardboard pipe is called Orangeberg and is basically a tar paper pipe. The test they rewfer to is a water test where you install a plug in the sewer at the end of your line and a plug at the start (both cleanouts which you mentioned are in your yard0 and fill the system up with a 10' head on it (some use a 6' head). If your sewer is 14' deep I would leave it to a Sewer Contractor. The fact that the Township gave you such a varied deepth you may want to do a camera and locate just to be on the safe side.

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

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              BTW: Dig Alert will be looking for utillities not your sewer.
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                              Comment

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