Sewage line: fix or replace?

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    • #278516
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I live in an old Victorian house with a 200 ft, downhill clay sewage line that was probalby installed at least 100 years ago.

      The sewage line recently broke and the raw sewage is exiting through a second clay rain gutter line into a street drain. The rain gutter line was buried about 4″ above the sewage line and there are about 24″-40″ of soil above the gutter line. I can only surmise that the sewage is getting in to the gutter line because a)the gutter line is broken also at this point and b)the down hill pitch is sufficient that fluids from the bottom pipe meet up with the upper pipe.

      I contracted to have a video camera run through it and after returning 3 times they finally got the camera down the right pipe. The first try ended up in a trap, the 2nd went down the rain gutter and discovered that it was broken about 100′ out, the 3rd went down the sewage line and discovered a hole 165′ out.

      They also discovered roots from about the 40′-60′ area. This information set me back $400.

      In trying to asses what my options are I have these questions:

      1) If the pipe has a hole only at this one point, is there any real need to replace the whole line of clay pipe with cast iron pipe? (My plumbers suggestion given the age of the pipe, $$$)

      2) Is it possible to run some type of sheathing inside the broken clay pipe rather than replace that section? There is an asphalt walkway directly above the break which will have to be torn out and replaced if the pipe itself has to be removed. A sheath would avoid disturbing the walkway.

      3) The area is inaccesible to machines. How much should I expect to pay for 200′ of hand dug trench work, 200′ of cast iron pipe, and installation? (New York area)

      4) I have been told about a company that cleans out roots from existing lines. Given that the lines are clay, is this a viable approach or is the liklihood high that there is serious structural weakening of the pipes?

      Given the cost and the incomplete work and answers that I got from the plumber and video person, not to mention the cost, I would like to get some outside input on this.

    • #298669
      hj

      Given the age of the pipe and the fact that joints were usually made with cement at that tim, it is likely that the entire pipe is infiltrated with roots. There are companies that can insert a sleeve in the pipe. It is not an inexpensive operation, but in your case it might be more economical than replacement, assuming that the original pipe can be cleared so that the sleeve can be inserted. Cost of hand digging the trench will depend on the type of soil, and how much the digger’s want to be paid. Rodding is a short term solution, but since the roots have already penetrated the pipe, they will grow back in a relatively short time. Anywhere from a few months to a couple of years depending on how agressive they are.

    • #298670
      SylvanLMP

      HI Ben being from NY I can tell you the guy that did the video inspection did it at a very reasonable price. If you contact me I can give you several options. Including RELINING which can prolong the life of most sewer systems.

      In Riverdale ( bronx)for example a lot of the homes are over 100 years and the sewers are repaired instead of completly replaced. E mail me and ILL give you the name of some contractors that specialize in sewer repair/ replacement and the name of a certified reliner contractor..

      Have a geat one



      SylvanLMP

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