I think that my drain tile is broken!

Old 11-01-10, 12:49 PM
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I think that my drain tile is broken!

Over the summer I realized that I had a VERY slow drain in one of my duplexes (ca. 1920s). The vent stack/drain is shared by both sides. I had Rescue Rooter come out and they cleaned out TONS of roots from the drain. Problem solved, right? Wrong. While the water drained as it should, Rescue Rooter offered a camera inspection as a follow-up. The camera guy came out and said that I had a mis-aligned tile and/or a partial collapse (I can't remember exactly how he said it) and he showed it to me on camera. He said it was in the direction of the house. He then offered to repair the tile using a "no dig" inflatable system that would run me about $3,500. I declined and waited until I got tenants to see just how serious this was going to be.

Fast Forward

Last night I was working on the other side after my new tenants had just moved in. They were doing laundry and I heard a funny sound coming from the drain of the kitchen sink. I went downstairs to the basement and saw a small puddle of water near the floor drain. Then I went next door...and there was water/wetness everywhere near their respective floor drain! It eventually drained out and it dried up with a few fans, but I can't deal with this every time they do laundry!

So, my question is: Should I go ahead and get the sleeve insert for $3,500, or am I missing something crucial here? I don't want to waste the money, but I also don't want to deal with this on a weekly basis! Also, does anyone know anything about this type of repair? I have never heard of it before...

Thanks again!
Old 11-01-10, 01:18 PM
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If they ran a camera through the drain they should know exactly how far away the break is from the point of camera insertion. They would also know the route taken by the drain system. With this information they should be able to pinpoint within a few feet where the drain tile has been dislodged and dig to the drain for a more proper repair.

Tree roots ALWAYS go for the water and leaks, no matter how small, in a drainage system will encourage root growth around that leak. Tile drains always leak somewhat and especially at the joints. The tree roots will grow around the joint until they crush the joint, at that point you MUST repair the piping BEFORE going the liner route. If you just do the liner without first repairing the damage you are asking for trouble down the road.
Old 11-01-10, 03:02 PM
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I would dig up the yard and install modern PVC drain pipe. Get several estimates but around here sleeving is quite expensive so it is usually less expensive to just dig up the lawn.
Old 11-01-10, 08:28 PM
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I'd agree, unless there's a lot of pavement to repair or it's an especially long run, I'd go the replacement route. I can't imagine it would be all that expensive to dig and re-lay PVC.

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