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Thread: Main Sewer line replacement

  1. #1

    Question Main Sewer line replacement

    well, it's time to do it. after 2 backups in one year, I had my main line inspected. The video shows 2 45 turns in the cast iron under the house. Switched to PVC @ 45 feet, pvc has 2 bellies and 3 turns until it turns into concrete pipe @ 100+ feet. Concrete pipe is 6' sections, and has roots and misalignment at each section for about 35-40 feet. The local r@@ter guy quoted me (quite quickly) 12k to replace the entire line ~90' long ~8' deep as a straight shot, 8.5k to pipeburst the existing concrete and leave the pvc, and 3.5k to only install a cleanout at the pvc-concrete transition. House is at the end of a cul-de-sac, so repairs will include asphalt (35-40') and sidewalk repairs. I live in aurora, co. I understand how loaded the question "how much should this cost?" is, but i have to ask anyway if theses prices seem out of line or not. And I also would like some advice on where to look for other plumbers./excavators to do the work. And what questions should I ask potential plumbers that I approach for a bid. Thanks in advance, Matthew

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The general advise given by the pros on this forum is to steer clear of the company with Rooter as part of their name. There is a current thread regarding this, I'd suggest you read it. I'm sure you realize there are really too many variables to even guess at a fair price without being able to see the conditions and without knowing local labor rates. It does sound like a new drain is in you future.

  3. #3

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    yea, I've read the advice about avoiding 'rooters', albeit too late for the first two snakings, hence my thought that their 'estimate' is too high. I understand what you say about local labor rates and such, so that being said, cost can and will vary widely locally. so I guess the biggest question that I am looking for an answer is to how not to get burned and a) pay too much, and b) have substandard work done. do you guys out there that do sewer work have your own dirt services, or do you subcontract that, or does it vary job to job? thanks, matthew

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Leaving the current pvc with its bellies would be a mistake. Better to replace it all done by someone who will do it right.

    Digging 8' deep is dangerous...too many people have died when an incorrectly done trench collapsed. Not something I recommend, nor would I want to do myself.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    Pipe bursting will often just duplicate any problems in the new pipe as it follows the course of the old one. I cannot imagine a bursting process costing less than digging and replacing the line. Its benefit is usually less digging, not a cheaper price.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Leaving the current pvc with its bellies would be a mistake. Better to replace it all done by someone who will do it right.

    Digging 8' deep is dangerous...too many people have died when an incorrectly done trench collapsed. Not something I recommend, nor would I want to do myself.
    I'm a rather agressive DIY'er...

    But I'd like to iterate the danger of working in a whole that is 8' deep.

    Of course, it could also be an excuse to rent an excavator and a cave-in protection form.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default sewer

    As a general rule, and I do not know about your area, the connection from the main to your property line is usually much better quality, and seldom has to be replaced. Only a video inspection can tell for sure, but if so you would not have to excavate in the street. Once you have to do that, it becomes an entirely different project. You have a plumber installing the sewer to the property line, and a utility contractor, possibly the same plumber, installing to pipe to the main under a separate, and much more expensive, permit and insurance rider.

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