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Phil, Mechanical Engineer.
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 8517
Experience:  Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.
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We just bought our first home in the spring and are now

Customer Question

Hello! We just bought our first home in the spring and are now having issues with roots in our main sewer drain. We had Mr Rooter come out and they removed roots from about 100' of drain line, but our water line is still so clogged that our shower is pooled with water and our toilets are filled. They told us they'll need to install a second access in our front yard to clean the rest of the drain line out to the sewer, which is across the street. We've been trying to use root killer/dissolver as a last resort just to try avoiding this $2,000 project and I wanted to get one last opinion before moving forward. My question to you is - would cleaning 100' feet of roots really make no difference at all? And does this price for an access point sound fair? The only other neighbor who has this access point in our entire neighborhood is the run-down ghetto house, which also made me question this. For reference, our home was built in 1957. Thank you for your time!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.


Summary: Cost depends on how deep the line is at 100' away from the house. and if the plumbing contractor digs the hole or if you dig it. $2,000 is a reasonable price.


Cost depends on how deep the line is burried at the point they want to fit a new access point...

If the line is 2 feet deep at your home, and slopes 1/4" per foot, then in 100 feet it is 5 feet deep where they will have to cut the line and fit a wye...for the clean out.... that is a fair size hole about 6 feet deep and 5 feet wide, they will have to bring equipment in to dig it.... its a two man job for one day...cost of labor with insurance, social security tax, bonds and over head etc is in the $60 to $80 an hour range... so you are looking at maybe $1,500 for labor expenses, plus equipment rentals, overhead and profit.

If you dig the hole yourself you can save at least $1,000 of that... you can hire that done by casual labor for $300 or $400 by hiring men that work out of the Home Depot parking lot.. there are more than a few risks in hiring unlicenced casual labor however. You could also rent a back hoe (small tractor with a big digging bucket on it) and dig the hole yourself, half day rental would run a few hundred dollars. The risk is that you could hit a buried electrical, gas or water line.... you would have to check with the local utilities on the location of their underground pipes.

The clean out wye installation can be done by one man in 2 hours or so and with about $120 in fittings, that will save you a lot of money.


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