Collapsed Sewer Line (Please, please help!)

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  #1  
Old 10-27-09, 07:26 PM
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Collapsed Sewer Line (Please, please help!)

Our house is almost 100 years old and is located in town. We've owned it for about 10 years and have always had slow drain issues from time to time. We'd periodically plunge and/or add chemicals and it would always improve for several months. About a month ago it started getting really bad. It tried a manual snake to no avail. I rented a drain auger but couldn't get it past about 70 feet. After I used the auger it did drain better but would still back up if I ran the washing machine or drained a full bathtub of water.

I contacted a plumber today and they used their power-fed auger on it. They got about the same distance. We had the utility company come out and they used their scanner tool to determine where the line routes and how deep it was. Using this info we determined the the blockage was under the road in front of the house. I guess the city sewer runs directly under this road, which happens to be a state highway. The plummer said he was 99% sure it was clay tile pipe that had collapsed. just before it connected to the city sewer. To make matters worse, after he left, I tried to run some more water and when it backed up it was mud colored. So I'm pretty sure he busted through whatever kind of pipe I do have and it is completely backed up now and won't drain at all.

He's telling me I not only will have the cost of the digging and new pipe, but that I'll have to pay the state of Iowa to have the highway torn up and replaced as well.

I'm simply not in a position to shell out this kind of money. Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback
 
  #2  
Old 10-27-09, 08:43 PM
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Contact your township or city building department. Usually you own the sewer line up to the point that it leaves your property.

You will likely have to pay to have your pipe dug up and replaced, but as far as I know (around here at least) the city handles the sewer lines on public property.
 
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Old 10-27-09, 08:44 PM
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There's no doubt it needs to be dug up and replaced but I couldn't tell you who should be liable for paying the bills. Sorry
 
  #4  
Old 11-10-09, 06:45 PM
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Update:

I have great news! The collapse ended up being in the yard. The plumber with the auger was trying to get through the elbow where my sewer dumps into the city sewer under the street. In the end it cost me about $1500 and a week of playing in poop. I ran 3" PVC from the house to the road. Hopefully it never collapses under the house or street! One very scary and stressful thing that happened was my sub contractor ruptured the city gas main. I'm not liable because it wasn't located properly to begin with. Everything works great now though!
 
 

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