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Thread: What would you do?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member iwillattemptanything's Avatar
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    Default What would you do?

    I haven't had any backup problems in any of my drain lines. I am adding a 1/2 bath in my basement and after cutting into the horizontal Cast Iron Drain line under my basement slab I noticed a bunch of goop so I figured while I have direct access I should have it cleaned out. I had Roto Rooter out today to snake my main sewer line to the street. I guess I should have read some of the threads here before calling RR but we all make mistakes.

    The guy snaked the cast iron drain line and found no roots or obstructions and then ran a camera through the line to the city sewer. The pipe was good for about 10-15 feet from were he started the camera then there was water for about 3 - 4 feet and then clean pipe. He said that my Cast Iron pipe was sagging where there is water and I need to dig it up and replace it. Does this sound right?

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Sitting water would indicate a belly in the line. As far as replacement, is hasn't given you problems yet, it might not ever. Replacement is up to you.

    Did you get a copy of the video? Is your line cast iron all the way, usually there's a transition to another pipe type. Could you (or the RR guy) tell if the line was in good shape all the way?
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member iwillattemptanything's Avatar
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    I didn't get a DVD. I viewed on the screen while the guy was here.

    The RR guy said the line was good(no roots etc.) other than the area where the water was collecting. He said that if water is collecting then other stuff could collect and cause future problems.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Hi iwillattemptanything,

    While any belly in a line is not a good thing there are varying degrees of bad...

    3-4' of belly if fairly minor in terms of length...

    The unknown factor is how deep the belly is. The camera resting on the bottom of the pipe can have the lense completely covered by water that is only about 1/2-3/4" of water. The manufacturer makes a variety of attachments that raise the camera off the bottom of the pipe that if used may have given a indicator of how deep the water in the belly was....

    The longer the length and the deeper the water in the belly the more problematic the belly will be.

    I suspect the Roto Rooter tech had the camera laying on the bottom of the pipe.

    Not having previous problems indicate that your problem may not be all that severe.

    It is a pity the camera was not done by someone without a vested interest in the repair work...

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Me? I would've had it snaked as well.

    Depending on the depth of the water, I may do more. More than likely I'd leave it alone and use Bio-Clean every so often if it hasn't been a problem in the past.

    (What was the goop? Backup from the belly? Just waste buildup? Grease?)

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member iwillattemptanything's Avatar
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    The goop in the pipe was black so it was difficult to determine exactly what it was.

    The only reason I am leaning toward tearing up the concrete and replacing the pipe is that I am finishing the basement and will be putting down flooring over the slab. I know I would regret if I had to tear up a finished room in 10yrs because I avoided some extra work now.

    I guess the real question would be are the other options(using chemicals and snaking it if there is a clog) viable or will this belly progressively get worse.

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

    Without a lot more information about the pipe I would not make any recommendation. Breaking the floor to access the pipe will only help IF the pipe beyond the low spot is deep enough to restore the proper slope. IF the standing water is because that pipe is too high, then you will have to continue breaking floor and digging pipe until you reach a spot where it will work, and depending on bad it is, that could be a long ways. I had one where that spot was 600' from the building. ANd even then, I could only give it the least acceptable slope.

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