Leak in drain sewer line


Old 12-20-08, 11:02 AM
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Leak in drain sewer line

I have a pinhole leak in a horizontal section of the main cast iron sewer pipe just before it leaves the basement near the basement ceiling. It is inside of a basement closet that has an unfinished ceiling. It is about two feet below ground level. The leak is not currently dripping but we discovered prior leakage after cleaning out a long unused closet in the basement. Plumber #1 came out and put a rubber mat around it and clamped on stainless ring bands. He suggests we fix it permanently next summer when the weather is better. The fix, obviously, is to remove and replace a section of the pipe, part of which will be outside. Plumber #2 says this temporary fix is virtually permanent and that we should simply replace the rubber mat every few years as preventative maintenance. Is plumber #2 giving me good advice? I would not hesitate to replace the pipe section (maybe $500), but when the pipe leaves the house it exits below my beautiful brick front stoop. The pipe exits parallel to the front stoop's side but about one foot inside the stoop's side, thus I would have to excavate down about 2 1/2 feet and in about 1 1/2 feet below the stoop. Plumber #1 says he would then saw out the section and remove from the inside. I just had the stoop beautifully mudjacked into position this past summer... The fellow who did the mudjacking advises me to fill in the hole when done, thoroughly waterproof the new exiting pipe, thoroughly water the ground after filling it in and then finish by mudjacking again! That will cost me another few hundred dollars. Does somebody have opinion #3 or a tie-breaker vote? Thank you!
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Old 12-20-08, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Well, it's possible the band-aid could last 100 years and it is also possible the whole pipeline could fail next week. I would seriously think about having the horizontal section of the pipe cut out inside the basement and replacing it with plastic next spring/summer. When the pipe is removed the interior of the portion going through the basement wall can then be easily assessed. If you have to replace that section under your porch steps that will run the bill up to some really serious coin when you include the repairs or replacement of the concrete steps.
Old 12-20-08, 11:36 AM
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I'm not a pro, but if it were me, I'd see how I feel down the road.

I'm still working on replacing my plumbing (among several other projects) and there's a couple of those band-aids under my house, which were there when I bought the house six years ago. I really can't see any signs of wear or deterioration, so I've been operating under the idea that I'll get to them, sometime before I sell the house.

Maybe I'm missing it, but I'm not seeing anything in your original post to indicate that anything's going to change. It appears that your stoop is done to your satisfaction and it doesn't say that you're going to remodel the basement, so I'd just leave well enough alone and see how I feel in the summer. Maybe you won't get to it this next summer, maybe you'll do it in ten; As I read it, unless there's some landscaping that'll have to dug-up which hasn't yet matured, there's really no difference between one timeframe or another.


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