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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy Cracked plumbing

    I own rental property in Chapel Hill, NC, built in 1970 on a concrete slab. It is surrounded by ancient oak trees. Last fall our renters complained about rodents in the toilets. After a plumber ran a lighted instrument down the drain into the pipes, he discovered cracks that are allowing the rodents to enter. He could actually see them darting around!! He says we will have to rip out the parking area, remove the trees, and replace all the pipes - to the cost of $10,000 starting, with no guarantees about the upward costs! Please, is there anything else we can do? I think we saw a TOH show on running some sort of sleeve into the plumbing that repaired the crack without replacing everything. HELP!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,762

    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    What you saw on the show is called trenchless sewer line. It could be an option for you, depending on your existing line. Something that is unknown here: will the rodents chew the trenchless line?

    I prefer the old fashioned way of replacing the clay, cast iron or copper sewer line with black ABS - as your plumber probably suggested. Roots can't penetrate it, nor rodents.

    The cost? shop around. One estimate is not enough.

    The digging must be done professionally and safely. Learn about it beforehand, by asking questions at your building dept.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    3

    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    The problem we ran into with getting estimates is that it requires the lighted probe thingy (whatever it is) to assess the problem. We could only find one person with the equipment. We feel trapped .... like "rodents."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Betsy Hester View Post
    The problem we ran into with getting estimates is that it requires the lighted probe thingy (whatever it is) to assess the problem. We could only find one person with the equipment. We feel trapped .... like "rodents."
    That "thing" is called sewer camera/video. But once you had this done, you don't need it again - you already know what you have in your line.

    Just call other plumbers and ask them for estimate to replace your complete main line.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    And another thing: many plumbers don't have this camera, they just sub the job to a guy with a camera.

    In any case, now you don't it inspected anymore.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    Thanks for the feedback ... one more thing ... Super glue won't work, huh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Betsy Hester View Post
    Thanks for the feedback ... one more thing ... Super glue won't work, huh?
    I like your sense of humor. It will help you through this.

    Super glue might work but you will need a boat load, which will cost more than new pipes

    However there is a silver lining here: all work will be deductable, or the cost could be spread over a few years if it exceeds the total annual rent income, since it's a rental house (check with your tax adviser).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,675

    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    Make sure you get an itemized estimate. The plumber you already contacted may have factored excavation, landscaping, and concrete repair into the estimate. You may find it less expensive to be your own general contractor, and hire the excavator, plumber, concrete crew, and landscaper separately.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Cracked plumbing

    Sounds to me like you have quite the rodent problem. The sewer video could be helpful to other contractors if you want to get more than one estimate. See if a company will do the estimate for free. Our company offers that service, unsure if some in your area do but definitely worth asking about. Also, you may want to see if the original company is willing to let you have the video for a fee. That way you can comfortably shop around opinions and estimates.

    Hope that helps.

    Retroloco-LJ
    http://fhfurr.com
    Don't kill the dream, execute it.

    Retroloco-LJ
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