Tuesday, June 26, 2012

$1000 Later...

...I kid; really it was a low, low $951.00 American. Roseholme now has a free-flowing sewer connection (in the "away from house, to sewer line" direction) and a whole new floor drain. With flood-stopping valve.

He did run a camera down the drain and after chasing the roots away, it looks, I am told, "okay." The roots will, of course, return, especially in this drought. (He offered to "come back and scope the drain when you can see it." What, his employer never heard of DVRs? DVD recorders? VHS tape?)

They tell me I could get a fancy, lifetime-guaranteed resin relining of my sewer connection for only $12,000.00 and change. That's nice. I could also sprout wings and fly to the tops of the trees -- in fantasyland. Here in reality, I don't have that kind of cash and if the drain does fail catastrophically, I will be having to take Desperate Measures. Which makes me just like most people.


Borepatch said...


I think that you may have found the only thing less fun than buying new tires.

Although we had a leak in the pipes that soaked the walls in #1 Son's bedroom, so we needed (a) a plumber to fix the leak, (b) mold guys to get rid of wee beasties, and (c) a carpenter to fix the room because I was in damned Austin Texas instead of home. Good times, good times.

I hope you guys are OK after all this. It took us a bit to recover.

BGMiller said...

If by some misfortune your drains do collapse I'm certain a brief note here will have all sorts of aid rushing to Roseholme with picks, shovels, and possibly even powered equipment.

And a rifle or two to keep annoying city types away will undoubtedly be along as well.


JC said...

Do I recall Roseolme being on a peir and beam foundation?

The reason I mentioned the vent stacks was that I have an old friend/neighbor who is between husbands (she calls me honey, as in do), who had nonfunctional drains (some slow, some not at all - for her kids) and I snaked the vent stacks and you could hear the drains afterward.

This was, of course, after getting a bid of around $14k to reroute the drains.

My boiz and I did it in about an hour, with $30 to rent the snake. Had to climb up on the roof, but, like, boiz...

Unfortunately you misssed your window of opportunity to borrow my boiz, they were up in Indianoplace about 8 months ago.

Anonymous said...


More good homeowner stuff at the homepage. It saved me a ton of grief when I had well problems. Hope your problems stay away.


Roberta X said...

JC: This was definitely roots. It has happened before. :) Vent is probably overdue to be cleaned, though.

Foundation, I dunno -- basement. Big beam down the middle with two posts, each 1/3 of the way in. Joists span from it to walls.

og said...

Does the sewer leave the basement through the wall or through the floor? if it's through the wall and there's a cleanout, you can buy a snake yourself for a couple hundred dollars. It's really very easy to do (If distasteful) and you can get in a habit of doing so every spring, if need be. A Horror Freight auto feed snake is less thsan $400 and will be perfect for once or twice a year work.

Roberta X said...

The problem is, I have a 3" line under the basement floor (with a cleanout) and a 6" just outside the wall that runs to the street. It takes a heap big pro snake to accomplish much.

Most of the expense was installing the new floor drain -- had to chop it out and redo the floor.

The snaking is like $175 and I could live with that as an annual event -- but the ceramic sewer pipe is starting to misalign. I'd love to do the liner thing but the price is too high. Time to start saving up.

Blackwing1 said...

Our house was built in 1901. The drain line goes under the floor and out to the street. From just outside the house to the sewer in the street is jointed (clay) drain pipe. Someone planted a Norway maple right on top of the path the drain takes, and it sent its roots right between the pipe joints, backing up the sewer.

We had it augured out, but we were worried so we had the "See Snake" video thing done. Still some roots (some running the length of the pipe), but the pipe joints were JUST starting to misalign.

There were three choices:
- Trench/excavate to the street ($12,000)
- "Pipe bursting" (needs a hole in the street, but less work) ($10,000)
- In-situ lining ($6,000)

We opted for the last, since if you don't do it BEFORE the pipes misalign too much, you're reduced to one of the first two options. Around here the cost is based on the run from the house to the sewer, and costs about $100 per foot. We were around 60 feet from the basement wall to the sewer.

It might actually be worth taking out a home-equity load for the cost of the in-situ (and look around for better pricing...unless you're a LOT farther from the sewer than we were, it shouldn't be so much). They have to shut down the plumbing for a day while the shiny new line cures, but it will save money in the long run.

The drain actually works better, despite having a slightly smaller inside diameter, since the new liner is so slick and shiny. And since no water leaks out, the tree roots stop looking for a source there, and can't penetrate it anyway.

Good luck.

Stranger said...

There are several commercial products that will discourage roots. A quart of sulfuric acid down the drains every few weeks does pretty well.


og said...

Ouch. I wouldnt wish vitreous tile on anyone. But for 12k, you could buy a used trackhoe and diy, then sell the trackhoe. Hope it stays clear a long time.

perlhaqr said...

I had a similar problem, and got a similar estimate. Called the city, got a free gas line location from them, rented a baby backhoe and did it all myself for under a grand. That was in ABS pipe. Took some doing, but I was unemployed at the time, so I didn't have much of an option, really.

Tam said...


"Around here the cost is based on the run from the house to the sewer, and costs about $100 per foot. We were around 60 feet from the basement wall to the sewer.

It might actually be worth taking out a home-equity load for the cost of the in-situ (and look around for better pricing...unless you're a LOT farther from the sewer than we were, it shouldn't be so much).

It's a 90-foot run at Roseholme.

DirtCrashr said...

Is there such a thing as Drain Insurance? We had to get a drain scoped and power-rooted in Bldg #6 last New Year's day, some $850 but the HOA fees cover that kinda crap since it was 150-feet outside the building...
Sorry to hear anyhow.

karrde said...


my sympathies. I've seen my share of unexpected homeowner expenses.
If you want to pass the virtual hat, I might throw a little in...or if you repeat the "toss it in Tam's donation box", I suppose I might do that as well.

@JC, my inexperienced-and-never-seen-Roseholme guess is "no". A short journey through search engine land turned up hints that pier-and-beam tend to be done under larger buildings. And my memories from a summer working on basement-walls says most houses are footer-and-slab, not pier-and-beam.

Not that it matters much, unless someone is planning on doing their own under-the-basement-floor work.

Old NFO said...

BTDT, NOT a lot of fun, sold the house before the problem reoccured! And you are correct, the drought WILL cause the roots to come looking for that sewer line since it is wet!

Joe in Reno said...

Copper sulfate flushed down the toilet intermittently can seriously cut back on the root problem. I have a tile line out the back of a house that I've been nursing along this way for at least 15 years. It seem to work especially well if used a couple of times right after snaking. Sold in big box stores as root killer. It is a bright blue crystal. Snaking is down to about once every 3 years or so.