cracked sewer line

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    • #278441
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        a drain cleaner pro told us we have a cracked sewer line needing repairs. we live in a 100 yr. old house in colorado. line runs appr.50 ft. from house to back city tap.there is water in line now (keeps backing up) so we cannot have it camera’d. can i dig this up and repair/replace line myself with new sch.40? how do i find the line underground, since it is not a staight line from house main drain to tap connection in back alley. it obviously has some elbows in the old drain line in back yard. the drain guy said the problem was approx. 35 ft. out from house (he kept bringing up mud from his main drain snake machine) seems to me the hardest part is digging up the yard and actually finding where the problem is, as the actual repair should not be very hard. (i am very handy with most repair jobs) should i rent a back hoe, or what should be my plan?? i don’t have thousands of dollars to pay someone to have this done! also, if the line is old clay, should i replace all of it, to avoid future problems?? any advice is appreciated…… b.west

      • #298529
        Avatar photoLane

          If you’re up to the challenge, of course you can do it yourself. First you must locate the sewer line. If you’re unable to do this yourself hire it out.

          Most cameras have a locator built-in and signal can be picked up on surface. A talented drain cleaner can quickly mark out your line up to the spot where line is broke. It the snake could not get past the camera won’t either, you’ll simply have to follow the pipe from that point on. In my area we charge $150 to camera and locate and an experienced guy can do that in less than 1 hr.

          Now dig up line and completely expose pipe to be replaced. I’m not familiar with Colo code but here in Calif we use ABS schedule 40 pipe. Call a plumber or ask the camera guy what to use. Now measure, cut and glue. Do it right, do it once. Buy two FERNCO couplings which will adapt from ABS to whatever existing pipe is made of. Make certain ground is well compacted at and below new line before burying. I always buy a 50lb bag of rock salt and pack around each of the 2 fernco couplings to discourage root growth in those areas.

          If you don’t already have one, always install a clean out brought up to the surface for future access. If you need any more detailed advice email at [email protected]. Good luck, Lane.

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