The neighborhood that we live in had Orangeburg Pipes installed by the original builder 55-60 years ago. Many of my neighbors have had to have their pipes replaced. This involves digging a very deep trench in their front yard and replacing the sewer pipe that runs from the house to the county sewer pipe under the street.

We had been doing OK with the pipe with making sure we were very careful about what we put down the pipes and toilet, etc. We had a plumber do a very comprehensive job of snaking the pipe out some years ago and have had no problems since until just recently.

The pipe backed up so badly that we had water coming back up the downstairs shower drain and the toilet!

The plumber came out and snaked the pipe. He hit blockage about 1/2 way out the pipe. He is now recommending that we replace the pipe. He quoted us $4400 to do the job.

However, I am not yet convinced that we need to replace the pipe. The plumber did offer to try to snake the pipe out with a larger tip bu that would require him to take the downstairs toilet off it's bolts. So, this would be even more expensive. We paid about $400 for the initial snaking. He would charge $650 to snake with a larger tip through the toilet pipe. I was dismayed that he did not just use the larger tip in the first place.

So, should we have it snaked with the larger tip? Should we have them go down there with a video camera to determine just where the blockage is and just how deep, etc.

If we must replace the pipe, then, what kind of pipe would be the best to use?

I tend to think Copper would be the best choice. I shudder to think of PVC pipe being put into our yard. I generally prefer to avid plastics and vinyl in favor of natural materials.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions! We do need help ASAP as we can only flush our toilets 2x day, are reduced to paper plates, etc!

PS - I have never found a plumber in our area (N. VA, just south of DC) that I can trust. Every one that we have ever used has gauged us in one way or another. sigh.