Crack in 4" sewer line

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Market

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I discovered roots in our sewer main to the street during a camera inspection. The roots are small, and not really causing a problem at this time. Using a locator and wanting to avoid future problems, I dug up the area to find where the roots enter the pipe, it appears there is a crack in the pipe. The house was built in 1964, this is 4" Asbestos Cement (AC) pipe located approximately 3' below grade. In the picture you can barley see a small crack where the roots turn and start to wrap around and enter the pipe. The crack is ~50' from the cleanout at the house, ~6' from the cleanout at the street, and ~25' from the fruitless mulberry tree the roots are coming from.

Looking for options to fix short of digging it all up and replacing with PVC. My plumber said the AC pipe is generally in good condition so looking for a fix that might prolong the service life of the pipe another 5-10+ years. Currently there are no problems with drainage, nothing is getting stopped by the small roots this is not an emergency. Obviously I plan to cut away all of the roots next to the pipe. How do I fix the crack?

Possible options I am considering:
1. Wrap pipe with fiberglass repair using Fernco Pow-R-Wrap Pipe repair patch kit. This will require much more digging to get access to work in there, and around the pipe.
2. Surround the cracked area with a slurry cement sand mix, approximately 1000psi mix, nothing crazy, not concrete. This would require a lot less digging.
3. Some sort of No Hub coupling, I would have to cut the rubber to wrap it around the pipe.

I am a fairly capable DIY guy who works in commercial steel construction. I can do any of these, or am open to other suggestions. Option 2 was my first thought, I only learned of option 1 after searching for a possible fix. My neighbor suggested option 3. Looking for answers from the interwebs, or opinions/explanations of why I am crazy or totally wrong. Fire away
 

Market

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I did some more digging. Here is what I am looking at now. I trimmed some of the small roots back so the crack could be seen in the picture. The crack is in the center of this picture directly where it crosses over the much larger concrete pipe, I don't know what the larger pipe is, but I am guessing storm drain. For all I know, this has been cracked for many years hence why the roots are there. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Thanks in advance.

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Slomoola

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If it was my house, I would remove all trees around the house. Stop all roots from that action. Grind stumps out and such. Remove that pipe entirely. Wouldn't want any chance of any possible asbestos leaching into your drinking water. You can rent a small bobcat digger with a bucket on it. Or have a real plumber replace the pipe. That way if you sell the place, you can tell them you have a new safe pipe. Wouldn't even play around with asbestos pipe myself. Cancer isn't cheap to treat these days. Everyone stay safe.
 

jecottrell

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Does the crack go all the way around the pipe, or is it just on the top?

Any images from the interior inspection?
 

Jeff H Young

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I think I saw crack at the far left in pic. id remove more dirt to expose. and try to wrap it maybe slice a fernco and put patch, cover it with mortar.
you didnt mention the purpose of the inspection so im assuming no probems.

Intresting comment by Slomoola. I was taught Asbestos pipe is perfectly safe , for drinking water or watever but now we gotta worry about sewage pipes from some how getting ingested into our lungs . isnt it harmless in drinking water anyway? asbestos insulation and siding are harmless unless they are distiburbed right ?
 

Chucky_ott

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I'm guessing that the pipe cracked in the first place because of subsidence. And since it is resting in the larger pipe, it bent at that location and cracked. If I were faced with your situation, I'd use some kind of peel and stick bitumen membrane. The kind you put around windows or roof. This will be a flexible patch. Anything brittle will likely crack again. Option 1 would work too if it is flexible.

I would not worry about the asbestos pipe. Removing it will be more problematic than leaving it alone.
 
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Chucky_ott

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And I agree with Jeff, it does look like a crack at the left...but it could just be a small root.
 

Jeff H Young

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I'm guessing that the pipe cracked in the first place because of subsidence. And since it is resting in the larger pipe, it bent at that location and cracked. If I were faced with your situation, I'd use some kind of peel and stick membrane. The kind you put around windows or roof. This will be a flexible patch. Anything brittle will likely crack again. Option 1 would work too if it is flexible.

I would not worry about the asbestos pipe. Removing it will be more problematic than leaving it alone.
I like wrapping that like you said . I was thinking of mortar over outside to keep roots away, mortar. 64 years a small crack It probebly will be ok from selling more
 

Reach4

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I am not a pro. I would remove what root I could. I would try to slip some thin sheet metal around the PVC pipe and over the concrete pipe. If that were successful, I would try drizzling epoxy down and around the white pipe. Maybe construct a dam to hold the epoxy in as it hardened. After that hardened, I would add something like a bunch of copper sulfate to make the area unattractive to roots.

If you wanted to try replacing a section of that pipe in the future, it would be good to know what the OD is before you went digging in some future time.
 

Market

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Thanks for all the replies.

I originally had the line video/camera inspected when we bought the house about 7 years ago. There was a bottle of drain root killer on the bathroom counter when we toured the house, so I was suspicious. A small root was noticed then, the plumber was not concerned. I viewed the image, but do not have a record of it. Fast forward ~7 years, observed a possible slow drain in the kitchen and master bath, I thought maybe it is time to inspect the drains again. A local plumber with a $99 video inspection special showed up with all the fancy new video equipment. General report was all looks good, some gunk in the line from the kitchen, I think just running the camera through all the lines helped some. This time I saw the root again, again, no record of it, but I thought it looked bigger. The plumber wasn't concerned and said it wasn't really causing any issues currently, but could possibly in the future. This when I thought it, I should dig up the root and prevent it from future growth.

I'm not removing the tree, I will be cutting these roots away.

I am not worried about Asbestos in my sewer line. I believe it is safer to leave it where it is than to mess with it and make the fibers airborne, it is good pipe that could very possibly last longer than I will. Several plumbers have reported the AC pipe appears in good condition.

I am guessing the crack goes all the way around, but is tighter and closer on the bottom. It does not leak a visible amount of water, but it has obviously been seeping some for many years as evidenced by the roots.

Subsidence. Yes! New word for me, thank you. Peel and stick bitumen membrane, great suggestion, I like it.

Not a crack on the left, that is a root. I was very careful excavating this. Updated picture below after dug a little more and then hosed it off to clean it, this shows the crack better.

Thanks again for the responses. I will update as this progresses.

IMG_9319.jpg
 

Slomoola

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I think I saw crack at the far left in pic. id remove more dirt to expose. and try to wrap it maybe slice a fernco and put patch, cover it with mortar.
you didnt mention the purpose of the inspection so im assuming no probems.

Intresting comment by Slomoola. I was taught Asbestos pipe is perfectly safe , for drinking water or watever but now we gotta worry about sewage pipes from some how getting ingested into our lungs . isnt it harmless in drinking water anyway? asbestos insulation and siding are harmless unless they are distiburbed right ?
He is digging around and cleaning off the pipe for pictures. I'd say it is getting fondled. I wouldn't want a fresh glass of water from his house. Just saying....... Replace the pipe and move on with life. Sleep better knowing you have safe drinking water for you and your family.

At least he knows where the pipe is. There's one battle conquered. Continue digging while the weather is not so hot yet. Summer is right around the corner.

Even if this is a sewer line, don't want it getting into anyone else's drinking water. Maybe he has septic tank???? That would be different. Unless it leached into his well over time. Still needs to be fixed as the roots will be all over it on no time.
 

Chucky_ott

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If you're worried about that crack allowing asbestos getting into the water supply, you should be more worried about e-coli getting into the water supply.

 
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Jeff H Young

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Drinking asbestos wont hurt you its harmless only concern is breathing it some how.
Definately take precaution if demo work .
double checked myself asbestos water pipe has never been ordered replaced and over 600,000 miles still in use I may stand corected enough of it in your water Could lead to Benighn polyps . jumping from the sewer to the water aint happening
 
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