Mid-way through our renovations, we discovered a hole and a crack in a section of 4" cast iron sewer pipe under our garden unit (we have no basement), while trying to improve our backyard drain. Alex Figliolia did a video inspection of the entire 36 feet of pipe. While there were no more apparent cracks in the rest of the pipe, it is full of rust and has some standing water (partially back-pitched). The plumber who did the inspection thought the whole thing needs to be replaced - their quote is $5800. Our contractor will do it for 10K and restore everything. He also says (1) the plumber would often damage other parts of the home like walls and flooring in trying to get the job done quickly, and restoring everything to its original state could cost another $6000, and (2) they may find other problems while working and we could end up paying far more than their quote (An estimater from Figliolia mentioned they would inspect the line outside the house leading to the city sewer "for free.").

Naturally the cheaper option appeals to us, but are these valid concerns? Has anyone used Fagliolia or other plumbers for this type of job, and had damage caused by plumbing work? And do they often create more work for themselves?

The other big question is we're not even sure if this needs to be done. Pipe looks old and clogged, but we've never seen the inside of an old sewer pipe. If there are any plumbers out there willing to take a look at this pipe, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lta0Dy748hY

(The said crack seen at 13 - 15 seconds into it, top right corner of screen. This is after our contractor used a snake to clean it out.)

This new problem comes right after a couple of hiccups including flooding on Saturday 13th. We're running out of money, and having a difficult time deciding what to do -- just patch up the pipe and bury it, pretend we never saw it, or spend addional 6 - 10K and have peace of mind. So hearing from anyone who's gone through a similar situation would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for your help.