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Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

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  • SewerRatz
    started a topic Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Well I am not to big of myself not to admit I made a mistake. About a year and half ago I had a home owner call me about their backwater valve in the basement has failed and needs to be replaced or some sort of new flood control system installed. I looked things over located the sewer line, and water line since they both are in the same trench. We installed the Clean Check backwater valve into the 6" clay sewer. The job was inspected and passed, we then backfilled the hole and that was the end.... So I thought.


    Back during these big rains the new owner of this home said she got my # from the previous owner which told her I installed the Clean Check backwater valve. That during the last rain she got water. I went out there and check on the Clean Check, it was in working order. I told her I can try to investigate some more but from what I can tell the Clean Check is doing its job. Maybe the drain tiles tie into the sanitary under the house instead of the front yard like most of the homes in the neighboring suburbs have. This was back in July when we got the big rains in the area. I have not heard from her since.

    Today I get a call from the towns plumbing inspector asking to meet me on site this afternoon. He explains to me this town even though the homes are 50+ years old the down spouts ran to the storm sewer, and he feels I put the Clean Check on the storm sewer line. I was like that is imposable I located the sanitary sewer from the old back water valve and pinpointed the spot I dug. Came across 6" clay and installed the valve. That he even inspected it and passed it.

    So I ran my camera back towards the house expecting to see the 4" CI x 6" clay transition and then the old broken backwater valve body in the basement. To my surprise I see a 4" pipe teeing in from the left and a 4" clay pipe in front of the camera as I pushed the camera down the 4" clay it back super clear I am in the drain tiles around the house. I was flabbergasted, I had no idea these houses had separate storm and sanitary sewers, and both happen to be in the same trench. So Monday I have to dig this sewer back up and relocate my backwater valve on to the sanitary sewer, and repair the storm line.

    I am still in awe about this. All the neighboring villages have combination storm and waste sewers. Most of them you rod from the front downspout to open the main line. But not this town they had their head screwed on straight when they first built out this area. But what good has it done for them during the big rains they had 1000's of homes, streets parking lots all flooded.

    So anyways, any of you all have to go back to a job and make repairs on your own dime?

  • SewerRatz
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Well we dug this up today. I had time to kill since the lady that issues the permit was in a meeting. So I dropped off my Dig-It and relocated the sewer. The locate marks put me right next to the clean check I installed and between the water line locate I did the other day.

    So we dug down yanked out the clean check I put in, dug down another 2 feet a few inches to the right of the storm sewer and sure enough there is another 6" clay pipe. We got the valve cut in, just need to head back and raise the risers, pack the install with stone and get it inspected so we can backfill. I will take some pictures when I head back there in the morning.

    Leave a comment:


  • post plumber
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    thanks Ron

    Leave a comment:


  • SlimTim
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Well the plumbing inspector just got back from what I understand. And he is not all to happy about these other duckbill valves installed in the manholes. Just the block I am on this contractor has installed 6 of them at 11k a pop.. I do not get that much to install the clean check of course, but not even that much for the Tramco lift station. I put out 100's of estimates in this town and did not get a single job. Seems like this other contractor has better salesmen than I do.

    As for getting a raise, I was originally contracted to dig the depth needed to install the valve, It can not be much deeper. I think it might be about 8" to the left of the storm sewer as well and no more than a foot deeper than I dug last year. I do not mind doing this on my own dime. In the 20+ years I been doing this work, this is the first time I made a mistake like this.
    Well, I gotta admit. When I make a mistake (they are legion), it feels good to do a little penance.

    Leave a comment:


  • SewerRatz
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
    Is the sanitary sewer deeper than the storm drain? If so, I would require the homeowner to pay for the extra labor it would've originally taken to access this pipe. And if the storm sewer has to come out in order to get to the sanitary sewer that should be the homeowners dime too, not to mention the extra cleanout which the inspector is now requiring.

    And just a question, if the inspector doesn't like what the other contractor is installing why the heck is he allowing it?
    Well the plumbing inspector just got back from what I understand. And he is not all to happy about these other duckbill valves installed in the manholes. Just the block I am on this contractor has installed 6 of them at 11k a pop.. I do not get that much to install the clean check of course, but not even that much for the Tramco lift station. I put out 100's of estimates in this town and did not get a single job. Seems like this other contractor has better salesmen than I do.

    As for getting a raise, I was originally contracted to dig the depth needed to install the valve, It can not be much deeper. I think it might be about 8" to the left of the storm sewer as well and no more than a foot deeper than I dug last year. I do not mind doing this on my own dime. In the 20+ years I been doing this work, this is the first time I made a mistake like this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swade Plumbing
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
    Is the sanitary sewer deeper than the storm drain? If so, I would require the homeowner to pay for the extra labor it would've originally taken to access this pipe. And if the storm sewer has to come out in order to get to the sanitary sewer that should be the homeowners dime too, not to mention the extra cleanout which the inspector is now requiring.

    And just a question, if the inspector doesn't like what the other contractor is installing why the heck is he allowing it?
    That's an excellent question Tim.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swade Plumbing
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
    I am still in awe about this. All the neighboring villages have combination storm and waste sewers. Most of them you rod from the front downspout to open the main line. But not this town they had their head screwed on straight when they first built out this area. But what good has it done for them during the big rains they had 1000's of homes, streets parking lots all flooded.

    That sucks Ron!

    Smells like Westchester? Perhaps I'm wrong, but Westchester has a similar situation.

    I live in that town. July 23 was a disaster. Same storm Post Plumber put up pictures of recently.

    Most of westchester has seperate storm and sanitary. There are a LOT of complicating factors that still lead to sewer backup in severe storms

    About 3 out of every 10 houses in town have a backwater valve, flood control system, or residential lift station (like the Tramco unit that I have referenced). My customers with the Lift Stations did not get water. Many other homes have had overhead sewer conversions too.

    In the land of Combined Sewers (and sometimes kind of combined) flooding can be a regular happening.

    Let me know if there's something I can help you with

    Leave a comment:


  • SlimTim
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Is the sanitary sewer deeper than the storm drain? If so, I would require the homeowner to pay for the extra labor it would've originally taken to access this pipe. And if the storm sewer has to come out in order to get to the sanitary sewer that should be the homeowners dime too, not to mention the extra cleanout which the inspector is now requiring.

    And just a question, if the inspector doesn't like what the other contractor is installing why the heck is he allowing it?

    Leave a comment:


  • post plumber
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by Vern View Post
    Ron,

    Is this a valve only without a pump? If so, doesn't one have to be careful not to use water in the house during flood conditions?

    Hope this isn't a stupid question!

    Thanks,

    Vern
    not a stupid question but yes the clean check is only a valve and they do have to be careful of water useage during heavy rainfall

    Leave a comment:


  • Vern
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Ron,

    Is this a valve only without a pump? If so, doesn't one have to be careful not to use water in the house during flood conditions?

    Hope this isn't a stupid question!

    Thanks,

    Vern

    Leave a comment:


  • geno gardner
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Ron,

    My opinion and a dollar might get you a cup of coffee at mcDonald's, but I applaud your standing behind your work! Good man.

    One of these days when I get down Chicago town way it'll be my honor to buy you a monster pizza with all the fixings. This is a promise you can take that to the pizza parlour.

    Leave a comment:


  • SewerRatz
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
    Thanks Ron. I knew you knew. All of our residences here would have 4". Makes a difference.

    J.C.
    Yep big difference in price of fittings when you go from 4" to 6" and that 10' stick of 8" pipe is not very cheap.

    Leave a comment:


  • BobsPlumbing
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Here is the parts break down.
    1. 6" Clean Check Assembly
    2. two 6" clean out tees
    3. two 6" female adapters with plugs
    4. two 6" clay by 6" plastic no-Shear couplings
    5. 20' 6" SCH 40 PVC
    6. 10' 8" SCH 40 PVC
    7. 8" Female Adapter with plug
    8. 10' 4" SCH 40 PVC
    Now when you add all that up it comes out just over $800 The Clean Check by itself is around $380 or so.
    Thanks Ron. I knew you knew. All of our residences here would have 4". Makes a difference.

    J.C.

    Leave a comment:


  • SewerRatz
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
    Ron, I have zero doubt you know what you're doing. I have to ask though, for two cleanouts, a Clean Check, and associated pipe and fittings....$800.00?

    I might start shipping to you.


    J.C.
    Here is the parts break down.
    1. 6" Clean Check Assembly
    2. two 6" clean out tees
    3. two 6" female adapters with plugs
    4. two 6" clay by 6" plastic no-Shear couplings
    5. 20' 6" SCH 40 PVC
    6. 10' 8" SCH 40 PVC
    7. 8" Female Adapter with plug
    8. 10' 4" SCH 40 PVC
    Now when you add all that up it comes out just over $800 The Clean Check by itself is around $380 or so.

    Leave a comment:


  • BobsPlumbing
    replied
    Re: Ratz's Mistake - Experience Matters

    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
    No need on the storm line since the only thing draining in it is the old downspouts and the drain tiles outside the house. Also the valve and all the piping would cost me over $800 Where moving the one it will only cost me a few hundred in the repair parts and such. The sanitary line is in the same trench as the storm line so I will be digging it up anyways.
    Ron, I have zero doubt you know what you're doing. I have to ask though, for two cleanouts, a Clean Check, and associated pipe and fittings....$800.00?

    I might start shipping to you.


    J.C.

    Leave a comment:

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