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  • #31
    Re: sewer line gunk

    The exterior line needs to be replaced.

    J.C.

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    • #32
      Re: sewer line gunk

      Originally posted by slowhike View Post
      No, I took the cover off the septic tank to check. It was only about 4" below the drain pipe, but it had room to drop, so that shouldn't be the cause.

      sorry to say, but welcome back

      not that i'm a septic guy, but you have give a few hints that i will take and run with it.

      typically the water / waste level is a lot farther away than 4'' from the inlet to the tank.

      not knowing your capacity of the tank and how much more it takes to get to the 4''.

      here is my thoughts. if the tank ever gets to the point of the inlet pipe, then sludge will enter or the waste will just settle in the 40' of line.

      my feeling is the line is full of sludge as the tank gets to the inlet level during peak times.

      a poor mans jetter is a garden hose with nozzle attached. can you possibly fish a rope from the cleanout to the septic? this will allow you to wash the line with a nozzle from the basement to the tank by pulling the hose and nozzle through.

      my thoughts are a soft sludge stoppage.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #33
        Re: sewer line gunk

        I work at a Mr. Rooter outfit. At our shop and I believe this is common there is a 3 year warranty on jetting or "Hydroscrubbing" as they call it. They trademarked Hydroscrubbing so they can say they're the only ones who do it

        I clear sludge blockages all the time with just a cable. I have a spartan machine and I go in with a 3" C cutters that has little paddles welded on. Then instead of using the usual nut to secure the cutters I screw on a spear tip. Run some water while cabling if possible and in a couple passes it can be cleared. We do charge more than that Mr. Rooter for cabling however but also the cleanouts here are in the basement..

        Anyways, on your receipt for the previous work done there should be a spot that says how long the warranty is for. Should be 3 years which would work out well for you :-). Try to make a point of being able to watch when they go in with the camera.

        The only thing is if the main is collapsed or severely damaged. Then you'll likely have to pay to have them do something. Find out what they will charge you if they attempt the warranty work and find it is collapsed. I sometimes do the usual drain cleaning fee or just a diagnostic charge depending on how much time was spent. If they go in with the camera first they might be able to tell quickly before much time is spent. If they try to charge you the 2 hour minimum fee for using a camera give them some grief about how you had them hydroscrub the drain and the warranty and how it should only take a little bit of time. They might budge or they might not I dunno.

        Just hope that it's a sludge blockage and it's under warranty and then budget for replacement and also to have your septic pumped out.
        Last edited by Mr. Ooter; 01-16-2010, 11:44 PM. Reason: left out some stuff

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        • #34
          Re: sewer line gunk

          Thanks for the info Mr ooter nice to hear from a worker in the business we sometimes make fun of, your comments where well welcomed as a avenue for him to go after.
          Seattle Drain Service

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: sewer line gunk

            Originally posted by slowhike View Post
            sorry it took me a couple days to report back... i ran into other stuff to keep me tied up for a while.

            the GM from mr rooter called me wed & because he admittedly hadn't really explained the limitations of the drain snake, offered to provide the jetting that was normally $527 for $487 & subtract the $227 i had already paid, leaving a balance of $260.

            i felt that was going to be my best solution at this point so i took it.

            BTW... when i asked about the less expensive jetter, he said basically what someone said in an earlier post, that it would be a waste of time in the 4" pipe.

            only thing that concerned me was that they came before i got home & were putting things away when i got there.

            i asked if he had used the camera again after jetting & he said "yep, clean as a whistle".
            something about his response left me sceptical about if he really used the camera or not, but he assured me they did a thurow job.

            hopefully after seeing the results of using the drains for greasy foods & learning to put that stuff else where, i wont have problems w/ it for quite some time.

            i just want to thank you guys again... very much so.
            you helped to inform me & know the best way to address the situation & it is greatly appreciated.
            ... tim
            So our local Mr. Rooters standard price for jetting a 40' line is $527.00 in 2008.

            I don't want to beat you up or anything, but all this cleaning is BS. It's 40' long. Replace it and be done. Should have replaced from the beginning.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: sewer line gunk

              Originally posted by Mr. Ooter View Post
              I work at a Mr. Rooter outfit. At our shop and I believe this is common there is a 3 year warranty on jetting or "Hydroscrubbing" as they call it. They trademarked Hydroscrubbing so they can say they're the only ones who do it

              I clear sludge blockages all the time with just a cable. I have a spartan machine and I go in with a 3" C cutters that has little paddles welded on. Then instead of using the usual nut to secure the cutters I screw on a spear tip. Run some water while cabling if possible and in a couple passes it can be cleared. We do charge more than that Mr. Rooter for cabling however but also the cleanouts here are in the basement..

              Anyways, on your receipt for the previous work done there should be a spot that says how long the warranty is for. Should be 3 years which would work out well for you :-). Try to make a point of being able to watch when they go in with the camera.

              The only thing is if the main is collapsed or severely damaged. Then you'll likely have to pay to have them do something. Find out what they will charge you if they attempt the warranty work and find it is collapsed. I sometimes do the usual drain cleaning fee or just a diagnostic charge depending on how much time was spent. If they go in with the camera first they might be able to tell quickly before much time is spent. If they try to charge you the 2 hour minimum fee for using a camera give them some grief about how you had them hydroscrub the drain and the warranty and how it should only take a little bit of time. They might budge or they might not I dunno.

              Just hope that it's a sludge blockage and it's under warranty and then budget for replacement and also to have your septic pumped out.
              Do I understand this correctly...do you really guarantee orangeburg for 3 years ??

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: sewer line gunk

                A 4" drop from the inlet pipe to the water level in the tank is not at all uncommon. It sounds like your tank and leach field is working fine, but what you really need to check to confirm this is your outlet pipe. The water level should be at the very bottom of the pipe when the toilet is acting up.

                Have you tried to remove the clean out cap in the basement?
                Is the pipe holding water at that point when the toilet is acting up?

                If you have not checked this yet then try it now, but be careful and turn the cap slowly as it may be holding a lot of water. If it starts pi$$ing water out of the threads then thread it back to tight.
                If it's not holding water then your problem is in the pipe somewhere between the clean out and the toilet.
                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

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                • #38
                  Re: sewer line gunk

                  It's not a guarantee that it will not collapse or anything, but a guarantee that it wont clog up again unless it's abused with baby wipes, paper towels, too much charmin ultra strong, whatever. Part of the cleaning has to be customer education too.

                  If it's smashed up obviously you cant warranty that.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: sewer line gunk

                    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                    So our local Mr. Rooters standard price for jetting a 40' line is $527.00 in 2008.

                    I don't want to beat you up or anything, but all this cleaning is BS. It's 40' long. Replace it and be done. Should have replaced from the beginning.

                    J.C.
                    Is $527 more than you would have thought?

                    About replacing the drain line... because of what I describe below, I want to investigate (as best I can) the other possibilities first to see if it is just sludge build up or if it is actually collapsing.
                    It is a fairly strait shot of 40', but the complication there is that as it leaves the basement it goes under a cement floor that used to be the carport but is now a closed in room, then under a cement sidewalk that's about 4' wide 8" deep & poured right up against the foundation.
                    I'm sure a pro w/ the right equipment could tunnel through under that w/ no problem, but if I do come to the point of replacing the drain line myself, I'll just have to take another route through the basement, through the foundation under ground, & trench it across the sand rock driveway from a different angle.
                    It would be making a big curve rather than strait, but it would be clean, new, 4" PVC, w/ only gentle curves.
                    Do you think that would be a problem?

                    I have three fiberglass sections that screw together for the chimney sweep brush. I'm gong to look into how much it would cost to buy enough sections to reach 40'.
                    If I had those, I could run them through the pipe, pull a rope through, then use the rope to pull a hose through from the basement to the tank, turn it on & start pulling it back through.
                    Running the stiff sections through might give some indication of blockage problems as well as maybe break through some junk<G>.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: sewer line gunk

                      By rerouting the sewer line you will be adding footage to the lenth.

                      If there are no jumps you will end up deeper at the septic tank tie-in

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: sewer line gunk

                        You can do all this, but straightforward and very effective methods exist to determine a proper course of action.

                        They are; jet the line to clean it up enough that it can be inspected, and then camera the line to determine its condition.

                        I understand that you are trying to save money. But, honestly, if there were a cheaper and easier way to clean and inspect a line, why would I own a jetter and a sewer camera?

                        Prices vary from area to area, so I'm not going to throw out any numbers. Call around and find out what it costs to have this done.

                        You have orangeburg pipe. It's junk. It was junk when it was new, and it's worse now. It should be replaced. But if, as you suggest, because a portion of it is under the building and under a concrete sidewalk the cost of replacement might be very high, you might want to consider alternatives. Such as either cleaning it to the point it is servicable, or relining. You will only know if these are feasible and cost effective options after having the line cameraed. You will likely need to have it jetted clean to get a proper inspection.

                        Your inability to make a proper decision at this time is due to a lack of knowledge. You have no knowledege of the state of the line. You would have had some knowledge of its condition 2 years ago had you been on site or had a video made. Don't make that mistake again. The inspection should be done such that you obtain proper information for either relining or replacement, and a video should be made. It should include locating the line, and locating the points where it transitions from one type of pipe to another, especially to include what type of pipe is under the building and under the sidewalk. It's rare in my experience to have orangeburg under a building; typically iron to the footer, orangeburg from there. You want this information so that you can get bids for replacing or relining it if you need to go that way.

                        You have no proof, but you have a strong gut feeling that the people you used last time were shining you on. Trust your gut and avoid them this time. Call friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, etc and get some recomendations.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: sewer line gunk

                          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                          By rerouting the sewer line you will be adding footage to the lenth.

                          If there are no jumps you will end up deeper at the septic tank tie-in
                          Good point. I know I would need to determine how much drop there is between the two points & be sure I have enough drop all the way to the septic.
                          One advantage is that I could start at least a foot higher in the basement from were the horizontal line starts now (if I have to go that route).

                          Also, I was checking on prices for the additional sections of chimney brush handle I would need & it would be close to $50.
                          But then I remembered that someone had give me 5, 20' sections of 1" shc 40 pvc pipe recently.
                          I went & got a 20' section & took it into the basement. There is room in front of the clean out plug at the beginning of the 40' drain that I can run it in from the basement.
                          If I get near the end of the 20' section w/ no problem, I'll drill a small hole through the end with the next section inserted & stick a small bolt through it to keep it from sliding off.
                          That should take me to the sewer tank.

                          But I'm going to save that project for tomorrow<G>.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: sewer line gunk

                            Ace, you're right. It be have made a huge difference if I had been there to watch the video myself. I told them I would be there at a certain time (as soon as I could get away from work), & I was there at that time.
                            I was supprized that they had got there that quick & had all ready finished. Still makes me wonder.
                            If I had seen the cleaned condition, that would be greatly helpful like you said.
                            Also a good point about were the cast iron ends & the orangeburg begins.
                            What you said about the orangeburg rarely if ever being used under a building, makes me wonder if the cast iron ran to the edge of the foundation & that's were the orangeburg starts.
                            The sidewalk is still there but that wouldn't be near as difficult to get under as the old carport floor.
                            Of course the carport could have been added years later after the original house was built. In that case, the cast iron may just go through the basement wall/foundation.

                            I wish I did know what was down there. I guess I'll just start by seeing if it is sludge build up that can be forced out.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: sewer line gunk

                              Sorry it took me a while to get back w/ an update, but I found a solution, though it may be somewhat of a temporary solution or something that is going to need to be repeated from time to time, but it was basically free<G>.

                              I used three, 20' lengths of PVC pipe (that had been give to me) to clear the line. It turned out to be about 52' instead of 40'.
                              The pictures linked below show how I secured them together by drilling a hole & adding a small bolt & nut.
                              Also, you can see where I was able to run them into the craw space & line them up w/ the clean out plug.
                              http://picasaweb.google.com/slowhike/PlumbingIssues#

                              She's flushing fine now, but I could only see but so far into the pipe before it made slight turns, so I don't know if there is a partial collapse at some point or if it's just not got the drop it should & is allowing junk to settle in the line before it gets to the tank.
                              But the cast iron went as far as I could see, so if I decide to replace the orangeburg at some point, I'm sure now that the cast iron goes at least under the carport. That will make it much easier.

                              I appreciate your help in working through this problem.

                              Another question... where the clean out plug is in the cast iron pipe in the basement, if there was a replacement for that plug that had a place to screw on a water hose, that would be helpful. I could occasionally shoot water through it from the county water line "before" the pressure reducer, giving it the full 40psi.
                              What about that?

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: sewer line gunk

                                I would think that by the time the water gets from point A to point B there is not enough pressure or volume to do you any favors, you will get more volume filling your washer up all the way and spinning out the water.
                                if it is orangeburg you will have to replace it someday, someday could be 10 years from now or 10 days, you can try a pressure bag hooked to your garden hose but the pipe has to be in good enough condition you can push it through the pipe.

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