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  • My marvelously wonderful day...

    Yesterday I went to snake a 4in pipe for the 3rd time (didnt know untill today that it was about 3ft of 4in pipe and then turned into 6). I called the financially responsible party (HOA manager) and told them that it needed video inspection and that I could get someone to do it. We scheduled it for this morning and I was excited as I was finally going to get to see a see snake in action and learn a little more about them. I got woken up at about 7:30 by the HOA manager saying that my guy had called her and he was already out there (got there early) so I threw some clothes on and rushed down there. When I got there he had already snaked out the pipe and had the cam in it. He let me take over when I got there and I was very impressed with the see snake. About 30ft in the line we ran into something that looked like a gatorade bottle to me, but he had trouble finding the camera with the locator. We finally pin pointed about where it should be, found the pipe with a probe and I started digging.

    I dug down about 3 ft and the side of the hole caved in on me. What do I find, but a cave about a foot under the surface with almost a cubic yard of dirt missing. I shifted my digging to this area (still shovel at this point) and about 4.5 ft down found the problem. The cam guy has been in this business since 83 and he said he hasnt ever seen this problem. The power line was obviously installed via directional bore and they managed to drill right through the middle of the pipe at a perfect 90degree angle to the pipe. I cut the damaged pipe out of the way and waited for the power company to come take care of their problem. The power company's engineer came and looked at it, scheduled the work for this afternoon with one of their contractors and told me that the drilling co would probably pay the bill to have pipe fixed. After they lowered the line I pulled a few toys and two bottles out of the main. Right as I was about to start the repair on the pipe the power company's contractor got a call and informed me that the drilling co was sending someone to fix the pipe. At this point I had about 8 hrs out there waiting to be able to do my repair and now I didnt get to make the repair. After about another hour or so the drilling co supervisor called me and told me that it would be the morning before they could get out. I told him that if he waiting untill then he would recieve a bill from me for the repair of the pipe as I was not willing to let a 4ft deep hole fill up with raw sewage. They finally showed up about an hour later and didnt bring anything to fix the pipe. After fixing the pipe with my materials they left me with a large hole. Oh, and the drilling co supervisor was nice enough to come back out a few hours later to put up caution tape around the hole. They claim they will be back in the AM to fill it in, but im not holding my breath.


    Fun day!!!

  • #2
    Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

    welcome to the world of blind directional drilling.

    i've been to a few involving both gas and telephone lines penetrating the sewer line. amazes me that it took so long before they found out of the issues.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

      We found a line last thursday . It was cut in half when a new line was put in the week before,,called for the locate, they said 7:00 the next morning it will be marked,there were some city lines marked but not were i new the spot was ,,Dug slow it was only 2ft deep found the busted pipe and the new tell line...think to my self ,why would they mark every thing but the line that cut the pipe???
      had it done and the locate guy showed up to mark it.
      7:00 means 7:00 to me [ glad they record the calls to one call ]
      Tell co payed the bill

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        welcome to the world of blind directional drilling.

        i've been to a few involving both gas and telephone lines penetrating the sewer line. amazes me that it took so long before they found out of the issues.

        rick.
        This one was 2.5 years after the drill before it got found. I dont think I would have been found yet if there werent two bottles in the pipe as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

          was this a high or low voltage line? (line for the transformers or a 240 volt line).
          regardless either one is dangerous,

          what would have happended if one pentrated the power line say with a root saw cutter?

          sounds like there is some new hidden dangers lurking out there?
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

            Originally posted by BHD View Post
            was this a high or low voltage line? (line for the transformers or a 240 volt line).
            regardless either one is dangerous,

            what would have happended if one pentrated the power line say with a root saw cutter?

            sounds like there is some new hidden dangers lurking out there?

            Brings new meaning to the phrase Hot S@#$!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

              Originally posted by BHD View Post
              was this a high or low voltage line? (line for the transformers or a 240 volt line).
              regardless either one is dangerous,

              what would have happended if one pentrated the power line say with a root saw cutter?

              sounds like there is some new hidden dangers lurking out there?
              13,000 Volt

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                Originally posted by futuresweets10 View Post
                13,000 Volt

                Same thing happened to us a month ago, house service was replaced with a directional bore. It broke through the side of old seldom used concrete sewer pipe, ran through the pipe for 20 feet then came out the side of the pipe where the elbow went towards their service panel. The guy that glued on that conduit elbow HAD to have known he was in a sewer pipe when he installed his conduit elbow! My partner and I are lucky to be alive today as we were using a 4inch cutter blade to try to unclog the sewer. The thing that saved our butts was hitting it at an angle and the cutter went up and away into the mud. Was quite a few deep cuts on the conduit elbow though. Power company was embarrased for their subcontractor and paid for our portion of the work. Thanks again to VanceG and his camera work. Even though he couldn't see it , he traced it and pretty much guessed what had happened.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                  This is a new problem that I have not run into (pardon the joke) but has me a little worried actually. Just another thing to inspect before snaking. If it wasn't for this forum I would not know to look at the power hook up before beginning.
                  Seattle Drain Service

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                    Originally posted by gusty60 View Post


                    Same thing happened to us a month ago, house service was replaced with a directional bore. It broke through the side of old seldom used concrete sewer pipe, ran through the pipe for 20 feet then came out the side of the pipe where the elbow went towards their service panel. The guy that glued on that conduit elbow HAD to have known he was in a sewer pipe when he installed his conduit elbow! My partner and I are lucky to be alive today as we were using a 4inch cutter blade to try to unclog the sewer. The thing that saved our butts was hitting it at an angle and the cutter went up and away into the mud. Was quite a few deep cuts on the conduit elbow though. Power company was embarrased for their subcontractor and paid for our portion of the work. Thanks again to VanceG and his camera work. Even though he couldn't see it , he traced it and pretty much guessed what had happened.
                    the guy who did the conduit wouldnt have know but the guy running the boring machine should have been able to feel when he was in the sewer line
                    Mike
                    Clark County Plumbing And Drain
                    www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                      Originally posted by haycad View Post
                      the guy who did the conduit wouldnt have know but the guy running the boring machine should have been able to feel when he was in the sewer line
                      Both actually should have known. The conduit elbow hub was right at where the sewer was broken by the bore machine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                        This situation seems like a good opportunity to sell a camera inspection prior to running a metallic cable with a root cutter on it. Sell the safety aspect for you and the customer. Explain how this is becoming more common with blind directional boring and the IDC attitude of some of the boring contractors.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My marvelously wonderful day...

                          Some years ago a sewer cleaner hit a gas line trenched through a line in St Paul MN.
                          The house subsequently exploded but everyone made it out.
                          I have gone through the hot side of a 440v line blown through a clay sewer.I had just nicked the covering of and scooted by.Literally and figuratively!

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