Replacing Main Sewer Line project help?

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  #1  
Old 10-06-08, 02:57 PM
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Replacing Main Sewer Line project help?

Hey guys, we will be replacing our main sewer line all the way to the street as the tree roots from the tree close to street broke into the old cast iron sewer pipe in a few places and I would like to ask a few questions please. We live in Queens, NY:

1] What permit or permits would we need and where/how do we get them?

2] The connection at the street is confusing me, I am being told we would need to get a "Fernco" adapter to connect the new 4" PVC pipe to the city Main sewer line, what size would the other side of the adapter have to be 7, 8 inches? Is there a standard size for the city main connection or does it vary by State or city?

3] Where exactly would the street sewer connection be located for us to connect our line to? Is it always at the edge of the resident's property or can it be located more into and under the street, if the latter, how would we be able to fix this?

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-06-08, 06:08 PM
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Hello,

I do not know where you are from, but where I am from, only bonded excavators are allowed to dig in the city. In our city, we have plumbers and drain layers. Either is allowed to install the piping according to code.

A permit is required from the city and is applied for from the Highway Dept. These permits are usually in the hundreds. A homeowner is not allowed to do there own work. It MUST be done by a licensed plumber or drain layer.

They will supply all the proper parts that are allowed by the municipality. Some cities only allow certain fittings.
Good luck
 
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Old 12-04-08, 07:26 AM
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I called up the city, they said I can dig inside my property but for anything involving the street I will need a licensed plumber and permit.

What I did was I called and paid a plumbing company to send a camera in the pipe and we noticed that the 3 problem areaa were only 6 to 12' away from the house. I then gathered my friends one Saturday morning and we dug and found the culprit, the tree on the sidewalk, it's roots got into the 8" pipe closer to the house and started working it's way towards the house so if we had waited we would eventually have seen the roots coming into our sinks and toilets but the strangest thing we ever saw was that the roots formed the shape of the pipe so in other words, the roots were like a pipe inside of a pipe, there was now ay in hell any machine would have cleared that away and the plumbing *******s who came told me that they would charge $4,500 to "reline" the pipe, reline my ass!!

Anyway, we cut a 10' piece of the old 8" pipe off and replaced it with 8" commercial grade PVC using 2 Fernco couplings and that solved the problem. what would have cost me thousands of dollars ended up costing me a total of $600. $200 for the Camera job, $150 for the materials and the other $250 for Beers and food for the guys. Not bad huh considering the estimates I got for replacing the entire pipe from the house to the street were in the $12,000 range.

I really can't beleive that some plumbing companies can be so unscrupulous to cheat people out of money, those guys with the camera who gave me the estimate to Reline the pipe had to have known that the pipe could not have been relined but would have to be replaced. I hope I have given others here good ideas to avoid being cheated by some companies.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 02:08 PM
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Please do not throw all plumbers into that basket. I for one always try to save the customer money if I think there is a way to do that.

Flat rate plumbing shops are the ones to be afraid of. They are way overpriced and there employees get paid commission on sales. That is why they want to change everything, for commission.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 02:20 PM
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Eight inch for a residential sewer? Is this an apartment house or something?

You might be surprised how much might have been able to have been cleared from that old pipe by boring and then relining. That cost, from house to street doesn't sound out of line to me. As for the $12k estimate, again you must remember that was for replacement of the entire line, not just ten feet. I can assure you that labor costs, even for day laborers digging a ditch, are pretty steep in NYC. Then there is the side sewer permit itself which might have had a pretty price connected to it. Also, if the pipe was more than four feet deep they would have been required by safety regulations to shore up the sides of the ditch and that would also have jumped the price.

Yep, you got off pretty reasonably by DIYing the job but then you only did a fraction of what you originally thought you were going to do.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 02:32 PM
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My apologies guys if I came across as knocking all plumbers, my personal friend who did the job is a licensed plumber in NJ, it was him who showed me how and why the relining people were ripping me off. The first time these people came, they charged me $450 to clear the line, when asked why so much when everyone else charges around $50 they replied that they have a special snake which no one else has which is needed to clear the amount of roots in there, my friend brought his snake with him and told me that there is no special snake, that he has both a low and high torque snake and it it the high-torque snake they were referring to.

Anyway, 8 months after that the lines got clogged again so this time they said they cannot use a snake so they will use a water-jet for which they charged me $600 which only cleared some dirt and sand, they did not clear any tree roots this time. It was at this point that I got fed-up and decided to do the thing myself and be done with these guys who has a very bad rep in my area.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 02:59 PM
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Thank you for the additional details. I would agree that any company that thinks they can remove roots via a water jet is indeed ripping off unsuspecting customers.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 07:32 PM
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When my father-in-law died I had a chance to review his bills as part of his estate. This was the kind of fellow that a screw driver in his hand would be a lethal weapon.

I expected to be shocked and I was when I saw what they charged him for the outside condenser unit of his A/C unit. But I also saw his bill for when they replumbed the house and was shocked at how fair it was.

The plumbers could have ripped him off big time or done a really crappy job, but they did okay by him.

The A/C guys on the other hand, raped him.

To me, learning how to do things yourself doesn't mean you will actually do them, particularly when you get older, but that you can at least know when someone is trying to BS you.

p.s. If you have a pickup truck, the Bario is always hiring.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Vey View Post
To me, learning how to do things yourself doesn't mean you will actually do them, particularly when you get older, but that you can at least know when someone is trying to BS you.
That is as true a statement as I've ever heard!
 
  #10  
Old 12-11-08, 02:20 PM
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Open-trench replacement of the line sounds like it was the right solution in this case. If the line runs under a substantial improvement (e.g., a concrete slab), the relining (or re-routing) is needed...and both will cost more than the simple case.

Some plumbers use rotary saws on their cables, which do have the ability to cut large roots. Unfortunately, as happened to you the first time, the roots quickly grow back.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 04:18 PM
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I have used root cutting blades many times, especially when I was younger and lost my license. My boss hired me a driver and because we were 2 people, we got all the sewer calls. I was the sewer king for a while

We very rarely needed to replace sewer lines unless they were really bad. We had a few maintenance customers that we returned to yearly to clean the roots out. I recommend snaking with a root cutter and then flushing a root destroyer down the line for maximum effect. If problem happens more than once a year, I would think about replacement.
 
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