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  • What do you do?

    Thawed this house at least 5 times. Frozen main line every time about 20' out from house on the way to septic tank at 50'. First one or 2 times for previous owner, last 3+ times for current owner. It is getting embarrassing that I cannot keep this line open. Darn line is only 12-15" deep where it freezes; it goes out in drive where grade falls away. Arrived at 11:00 pm last night for latest call, forgave the after hours charge as these folks have alredy paid over $1K this season. They come up every week or 2, perfect to let it freeze. Talked the guy through it on the phone he was so close; I ate through max 2' of ice after he gave up and told me to drive. More time to chain up and get to it than to thaw it. They will dig and redo drive this summer, want me to do it, plan on diving line deep and blueboarding and heat taping but it is a pain as foundation, piers for deck all in the way. If this house was occupied full time they would never have a problem. I plan on digging it bomber so no prob ever, and billing appropriately. I really want to take care of these people as they are so stand up, just want their house to work. Thanking me for driving out at night, etc. Darn thing is just not fixable; I fear I will do all and still probs. Thoughts?
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: What do you do?

    since i work in a t shirt all day i'm not an expert here

    can you rig up a heat gun or ducting into a clean out on a timer and blow hot air into the line to prevent a freeze up. this is a instead of digging and is just a thought.

    will it work? will it vent will i get paid


    am i an expert now or back to a t shirt

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What do you do?

      I've not seen the hot-air-on-a-timer before.... might be better than the hot-water-on-a-timer I have seen as it avoids the oops it froze anyway and now it flooded scenario. Might be just silly given relative heat capacity of air and water. Bleeders work well til they dont, when they are catastrophic, so I cant advise them for liability reasons. I'm just going to put this thing 10' under so it is bomber. problem is it exits the footer at 2' (or 18"), with piers for deck all around.... but it has never frozen there in the past. Will wrap that area in heat tape (which inevitably fails, at $4/ft, which is nothing compared to digging it up to get to it). darn builders are cheapskates. are you a digger? then dig dammit! half my work is from poor installations. I just don't know what to tell these poor people with their 600k houses that just won't stay trouble free. Guess I'm going to buy a hoe. 'd be easier if the house wan't in the way.
      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What do you do?

        Why is there standing/slow water?

        If you are able to re-install sag free I don't see the problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What do you do?

          time to dig up the line and set it to 1/4" grade perfoot. If there`s not enough room for that put in a sewage lift.

          It`s the only RIGHT way to fix the problem.
          http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What do you do?

            I'm with ALLCLEAR. It's the only RIGHT way to fix the problem.
            You can try a bunch of things but the problem is the pipe is holding water in that spot (off set, back pitch, belly).
            No need to put it 10' deep, just make sure it's not holding any water.

            Good rule of thumb: 2" Styrofoam = 2' of ground cover. So after repair, to be on the safe side, cover pipe with sand, grade sand, place Styrofoam.
            Last edited by Gene Bickford; 03-12-2008, 11:14 AM.
            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What do you do?

              Pipe does not hold water. Camera'ed it. Can't swear to perfect grade but it is all downhill. Tank sits much lower than house. Line exits house just below footer about 2' deep, runs out horizontal about 20', then dives down, then horizontal to tank. Freezes every time at the bend down. Grade drops away as you get away from the house and the line is only 12-15" deep there.

              Something in the house must drip a slow drip.... thought it was the furnace condensate line doing it to them at first but rerouted that into a bucket, still froze. They now shut off well, drain house and flush toilets before leaving, still found it froze 2 weeks later when they came back. I'm starting to wonder if a roof vent has been knocked off and the melt is dripping in up there.

              I've pretty much given up on finding where the water is coming from; they want to redo their drive this summer anyway so planning on putting the line deep at that time.
              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What do you do?

                Condensation from sewer gases from tank to rooftop,

                water infiltration in the line not being water tight from house to tank


                The area inspectors didn't follow correct procedure if the frost depth is considerably deeper than other areas of the United States.

                In KY it's 2 foot minimum.
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What do you do?

                  Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                  Thawed this house at least 5 times. Frozen main line every time about 20' out from house on the way to septic tank at 50'. First one or 2 times for previous owner, last 3+ times for current owner. It is getting embarrassing that I cannot keep this line open. Darn line is only 12-15" deep where it freezes; it goes out in drive where grade falls away. Arrived at 11:00 pm last night for latest call, forgave the after hours charge as these folks have alredy paid over $1K this season. They come up every week or 2, perfect to let it freeze. Talked the guy through it on the phone he was so close; I ate through max 2' of ice after he gave up and told me to drive. More time to chain up and get to it than to thaw it. They will dig and redo drive this summer, want me to do it, plan on diving line deep and blueboarding and heat taping but it is a pain as foundation, piers for deck all in the way. If this house was occupied full time they would never have a problem. I plan on digging it bomber so no prob ever, and billing appropriately. I really want to take care of these people as they are so stand up, just want their house to work. Thanking me for driving out at night, etc. Darn thing is just not fixable; I fear I will do all and still probs. Thoughts?
                  It's not clear from your post if the frozen area is under dirt or under hardscape - like a driveway. Here's an old school trick. If it's under a dirt or lawn area you can keep the ground thawed so the pipe won't freeze. Pick up a couple of bails of straw and put a 6" bed of straw over the section that freezes. The straw gives off considerable heat like a compost pile keeping the line and surrounding soil thawed. It's worked for me to thaw frozen ground before a winter excavation and to thaw frozen septic lines. It takes about 3-4 days to get going.
                  Last edited by Pete M; 03-13-2008, 02:01 AM.
                  Pete
                  Drain Biz
                  Articles, Videos, Industry News

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What do you do?

                    Nice tip Pete.
                    I've used hay to prevent freezing but never knew it would actually thaw frozen ground. I'll have to try it sometime.
                    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What do you do?

                      Makes alot of sense, saw on Dirty jobs how hot compost gets. Should work.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What do you do?

                        Ace I can't believe you have a sewer line 12" deep in breckenridge.
                        Anyway my two cents...
                        when I was hooking up my inlaws sewer to the city their 4" lateral was sleeved by a 10" sch 20 pvc pipe. I guess it was laid that way to aid in the placing of the line under the sidewalk, hydro excavating. There was a cavity in the sand around the pipe. This might help when you relay the pipe deeper, a little insulation.

                        Hey give me a call I'd like to see that one. I'm in Morrison.
                        ANYONE CAN TAKE THE HELM WHEN THE SEA IS CALM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What do you do?

                          Welcome Mtnman, I'll be digging it up this summer, you can come wield a d-1 if you want. I't actually south of Breckenridge towards Fairplay, probably 1000' higher yet than Breck. Locator says 15" deep. just dumb.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                          Comment

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