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Old 03-14-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Is This a Good Price for Replacement Underground Waste Piping?

The night before last, I was doing a load of laundry, and when it discharged the wastewater, it started coming up through the floor drain in the laundry room. Then...the water wasn't really draining at all. I tried snaking the floor drain with my 25 ft pipe snake, no dice. I opened up the cleanout on the main waste stack, and the liquid line was standing at about slab level...so I tried snaking that too. Still nothing. So I called roto-rooter and they came out yesterday. He brought out his motorized 150 foot auger and after a little while, he finally got the clog undone...but he said it felt rough all along it. So, he got out the pipe cam and we had a look. The first 10 feet were fine...cast iron. Then, abruptly, it changed to this stuff that he called "orangeburg" or something like that, which is apparently rolled and cured tar paper. It was supposed to last a long time, but they discovered that after awhile, the hot water running along the bottom of it makes it bubble up.

So we looked further, and it's all blistering up, very nasty, and very likely to clog up again. Then we got out the camera locator and walked around the yard trying to see where the line was...it goes straight out back to a manhole in my neighbor's yard. The roto-rooter guy said that it obviously needs to be replaced, and that they could do it for $4500. It doesn't involve trenching, though...what they do is dig a hole where my cast iron ends, then dig a hole just before the manhole, and push this heavy duty rubber piping through, with a big cone blade on the front which essentially displaces the old pipe as it goes along and pulls the new pipe through with a cable and hydraulics. He also said they'd refund half the cost of coming out yesterday ($250/2=$125), and while they were waiting for the line to go through, he would take care of another plumbing issue in my laundry room (the waste water from the washing machine backs up into the utility sink) for free.

SO, does anyone know anything about this new magic underground replacement stuff, and if so, is this a good price for the service? We're looking at about 100 feet from where the cast iron ends to the manhole.

Thanks!

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Old 03-14-2009, 02:00 PM   #2
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So does the cone blade split the old tarpaper pipe, or does it push it out of the hole near the manhole?
$45/lf sounds a little high but i'm comparing it to directional boring for commercial (IE long runs).

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Old 03-14-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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That is the trenchless technology, they also fuse the pipe sections with heat. If you are concerned about your yard, or your neighbors property being dug up, that is an option, especially if it goes under expensive patios, or things like that.
If not concerned with digging in the yard, call a local plumber and get an estimate to replace.

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Old 03-14-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quick google search combined with familiarity with search terms yeilds...

A technical PDF - don't feel like reading it, but it might not be a bad idea for you to...

and

A wikipedia page Pipe bursting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hope that helps...

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Old 03-14-2009, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJTomatoguy View Post
That is the trenchless technology, they also fuse the pipe sections with heat. If you are concerned about your yard, or your neighbors property being dug up, that is an option, especially if it goes under expensive patios, or things like that.
If not concerned with digging in the yard, call a local plumber and get an estimate to replace.
Yeah, it goes under the patio, under a stone wall and fence, and under the neighbor's yard. Trenching is really not an option, so I'm glad they have this technology, but I just have no idea how competitive this price is.

Quote:
So does the cone blade split the old tarpaper pipe, or does it push it out of the hole near the manhole?
It splits and displaces it outward, creating a space for the new piping to slip in after it. It doesn't push it forward.
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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I was with Roto-Rooter when that technology came out. Went to the training and everything. It is one long run on a roll, they only cut it if something ties into the line. That is a very good price. Consider the other option.. Plumber comes and does his thing, then you get to pay everyone else to fix what was done. Also depends how much of a PITA your neighbor is...

In summary, you are getting a new line with minimal damage to your property, your neighbors property, getting half the cost of the previous job back, and getting another issue fixed.(laundry line.) Sounds more than fair.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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Get bids. Shop around. If his is the best price it will show.

If not...

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Is the technology proprietary? Can someone else do the same thing? If not then I would go with the rooter, it's worth it to not have to redo a patio, fence and sod...

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Old 03-15-2009, 02:24 AM   #9
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I'm gonna call "speedy-rooter" on monday and see if they can do the same thing, and if so, for how much.

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:11 AM   #10
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Definitely good to at least get a second estimate (and ideally a third). The question for Roto-Rooter is, can the cost be quantified?

-How many man-hours (assume maybe $60.00/ hour for a foreman, ~$40.00 for a laborer)
-Material costs + 15% markup
-Equipment usage costs
-Other overhead (travel, vehicles, etc.)
-If the technology is proprietary, that's worth something

Obviously, they need to make some profit here, but I doubt all that adds up to $4500. Heck, you could build a brewhut for that. But I'm not a plumber... just a skeptic with construction estimating experience.

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Last edited by menschmaschine; 03-15-2009 at 03:16 AM.
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