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  • Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

    Had blockage in 4" clay drain pipe and someone snaked it clean. Since I am starting to use basement as an office, I videoed the pipe after the cleanout. Turns out that there is a hole in pipe within about 1 foot of the foundation and that there is gravel at least for about 60 feet from the hole. (My pipe is probably about 75 ft. from the county sewer line.) I have used rootx and there didn't notice any roots although there are several large trees near the pipe. To me the pipe didn't look bad-- in virtually all of the pipe the gravel was just occupying about 10% of the pipe (very rough estimate) although there were 1 or 2 small spots where it might have occupied about 25-40% of the pipe. However, the plumbers were saying that I had a lot of gravel and that I might need an $8,000 job to line the pipe and dig 2 holes [8-10 feet in depth] necessary to jet out the gravel. Another complication is that the hole in the pipe is under a 6" thick concrete entranceway to our front door. There is a basement, floor cleanout, roughly 3 feet from the basement wall that the pipe goes under (or through) and the hole in the pipe is about 4 to 4.5 feet from the basement floor cleanout.

    Realize that the sooner I fix the hole, the easier it will be. However, before I spend a lot of money, I would like to know whether I really need two holes to get rid of the gravel and whether the only way to get rid of the gravel is to water jet it out. I am curious if there would be a way to push or pull it out with some sort of snake-like device or whether a strong wet dry vacuum could get out a lot of the gravel. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,


    JD

  • #2
    Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

    Jetting is probably the best way to clear out the gravel, but jetters work best if going upstream toward the house that way they flush the line clean as they go, (probably why they want an access away from the house) But depending on the amount of gravel and the grade of the pipe (no flat spots) It may be possible to use a jetter tip with forward facing jets to "push" the gravel forward. Pushing takes longer to do as you will probably need to make many passes to get it clean. Access to the line from inside may slow the process down. If the following service is available where you are it would be the best way.
    1.Vacuum excavate a small hole to sewer line near end of property.
    2.Install a Vac a tee cleanout. (LMK Vac A Tee)
    3Jet line backwards towards house. Completly clean the line and camera.
    4.Install a cipp sewer liner from either the new installed cleanout or from inside the basement.
    You would need a LMK trained Tech to do the above work.
    Seattle Drain Service

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

      Cuda,

      It turns out that the house is on an incline and the jetter would be going uphill from the front of my lawn. Part of my question is whether I really need to clean out all of the gravel if the hole is fixed. This is going to be expensive, and there is a decent chance I will move in 6-12 months. I am not really having trouble with the gravel now and wonder whether it will naturally drift out of the pipe over time if the hole is fixed.

      Thanks,


      JD

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

        Leaving solids in the pipe is risky, it may flush out or it may all come together and create a dam at the worst possible time.....plus if your selling you would have to disclose the information and then the cost would be high to make the sale go through. Point is the gravel has to come out it could start being dirt when the gravel base around the pipe is deminished and then you will get clogs.
        Seattle Drain Service

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

          The fix you've been proposed is the bomber solution. I don't think it really needs to be this big of a deal from what you have said.

          It sounds like you have two issues:

          - a break, hole, or separation in the pipe at a specific point
          - some gravel in the line from the above issue

          You don't need to reline the whole sevice if you have a point repair problem. It'd be better, but it doesn't sound like you need it. A point repair ala PipePatch might be perfect, and much cheaper. The cleanout access in the basement you describe might be appropriate for such a point repair. Regardless, I can dig a lot for $8k. I believe it is worth your asking around for who is the good excavator in the area and finding out if it could be gotten to by undermining the 6" slab you mention.

          The gravel can, with some effort, be washed out to the city main. The city main should be enough larger than your 4" service that the gravel that might be a problem in the service will not bother the main.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

            Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post

            You don't need to reline the whole sevice if you have a point repair problem. It'd be better, but it doesn't sound like you need it. A point repair ala PipePatch might be perfect, and much cheaper.
            Yea I should have mentioned that the LMK liner does not have to do the whole line it can stop and start anywhere in the line and you can choose to do a patch or reline the whole thing.
            Seattle Drain Service

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

              jetting can be done from the city main up your lateral and suck back the gravel into the main. problem is you need to have access to the city main and a camera in the line with a jetter from the manhole up the lateral.

              i did this once on private property and it worked like a charm.

              jet down stream to the manhole and then pull out the jetter hose and nozzle. remove the nozzle and install it on the house end and continue jetting now from the manhole as you pull out. then you can safely camera from the basement as you jet back towards the basement from the manhole.

              takes 2 people and a good set of radios or cell phones to monitor the progress.

              have jetter and cameras, will travel.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                Rick,

                I will check on my local access to the city main. However, my question is whether the county will permit private plumbers to access the city main. What are the general rules on this matter.

                Thanks,


                JD

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                  entering the sewer manhole varies by population levels I think, here in Seattle we are not supposed to enter the system, but I have heard in smaller areas that is was allowed. I listed the best way I know of to fix the problem, but I should also point out if you found a small drain cleaner with a good arsenal of modern equipment you should be able to get that jetted clean and patched.
                  Seattle Drain Service

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                    Cuda,

                    I looked up Vac a Tee cleanouts and they seemed to be very interesting. Will cost compare it with what has been proposed. Thanks for a great idea.

                    JD

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                      as cuda has mentioned, it really depends on your city/ county public works department.

                      mine was on a private road in a large development. so the manhole was the property of the development.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                        you may be able to have a re lining company float a line down the sewer to the closest manhole and then pull a liner through to do a spot repair. If the access is good in basement, you will not have to dig. Jet the line after, talk with the city, they will probably want you to collect all the stone from the manhole anyway because they will not want you to push all that stone into their sewer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                          Hi Boone,

                          Other than doing nothing, the gravel probably won't be going to the county pipes because my house is on an incline and the easiest way to get rid of the gravel is to have a jetter push the gravel up.

                          Thanks,

                          JD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                            Does anyone know of any other pipe lining methods other than LMK. So far I have been unable to find anyone currently licensed in Cincinnati to do the LMK procedure.

                            Thanks,

                            JD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Gravel in Sewer Drain Pipe

                              Fernco Pipe Patch 1st choice, 2nd choice Perma Patch if just patching the spot is probably the best choice to find a contractor in your area.
                              2nd choice for doing a reline would be a permaliner contractor in your area (they generally can't do a job through a cleanout unless they use a pull in place system.
                              Seattle Drain Service

                              Comment

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