Reply To: Power rodding…me or the sewer?

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Avatar photoSylvanLMP

    In reply to message posted by Top_Notch:
    I live in a home built in 1974 in a NW chicago suburb. I moved in two years ago. Right before the previous owners moved, the sewer line backed up and they had it power rodded. The cleanout pipe (which is PVC) is inside the house, under the stairs and is 3″ in size. Each year before winter I power rod it to be safe. I just had it done today.

    The rodder guy told me a 3″ cleanout is insufficient since the main line is 6″. He also stated that rodding it with a 3″ will cause more roots to return (thicker and more vigorous). He quoted me $1400 to add a 6″ cleanout in my lawn. This sounded awefully high to me. Additonally, I wouldn’t think that just adding a larger cleanout would solve the problem. Wouldn’t one have to replace the pipe with PVC (which I think it already is, but I can’t explain how tree roots are appearing in my line!) Other than rodding 1/year, I add copper sulfate (Root Kill) once a month to ensure no blockages.

    Is there anything I should do to prevent backups caused by tree roots in my sewer pipe that I’m not doing already?

    Assuming it does back up, should I replace all the pipe (on my property to city property) or should I have a larger cleanout installed which would solve my problems?

    Any suggestions much appreciated.

    1- The proper sizes clean out is the same size as the drain it serves BUT 4″ and above you can use a 4″ CO.

    2- For one family homes depending which code I follow and the area I am in I have used 6″ main sewer pipe.

    3- Video inspection is of course in order in this case

    4- Chemicals to kill roots are GREAT until you flush the toilet then good bye as it flows away with the rest of the crap.

    5- Rodding once a year PROPERLY normally keeps drain flowing freely even with roots.

    The key is to keep snaking the lines until the snake comes back root free.

    6- Hiring a LMP and not a franchise 12 week commission wonder is the way to go, ASK to see the actual license holder on the job site not some flunky.

    7- Ideally you would want the clean out inside the home unless of course your going to end up chopping through a 4″-6″ concrete slab then the lawn would be a much cheaper way to go.

    8- If your going to think about replacing the entire sewer why not think cast Iron as you know by now the plastic didn’t hold up considering it was installed in 1974.

    Possibly back filled improperly.

    9- $1,400 for installing a clean out FULL SIZE is not out of line in pricing BUT what about repairing the section that is allowing roots to enter this drain pipe?

    Think about it mechanic and helper BOTTOM line pricing you got to figure labor alone over $1,000 (one day) plus materials and filing fees is required and TESTING the work.

    Now depending how deep this sewer pipe is whether you need shoring as per OSHA 1910 Cave ins are a criminal act these days

    What you want to see from your LMP is not only his/her license but a certificate of insurance with your home listed.

    This protects you incase the contractor screws up or ends up killing himself or his employee.

    No license or no insurance, then look to find another ligitimate contractor.


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