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Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 21801
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Is there a problem when a roto rooter passes through a check

Customer Question

Is there a problem when a roto rooter passes through a check valve during a main lin cleaning. I have a situation where I had a roto rooter service clean out my main line and then ran a tv camera in to check and we discovered a check valve with a broken flap. The roto service said that was where my problem was and that I needed a new check valve which was under a cement slab . They then quoted me an exorbitant price to break the slab and replace the valve.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: I just had the cleanout yesterday and was told about what was needed the same day
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: It depends, If I can show the roto service that they are the ones that broke the check valve I will have them do it otherwise I will get a second opinion on the price.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Just need to know if it is possible that the check valve could be broken by the rooting process
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

The purpose of a back water (check) valve is to prevent a sewage back up outside the house from overflowing inside the house. These valves must be accessible for cleaning and maintenance. Whoever buried it in the slab apparently didn't know this. If the broken flapper is catching solids and causing a back up then it will have to be dug up and removed. Replacing it however may or may not be worthwhile. Their only benefit is to prevent a sewage back up down stream from overflowing inside the house. Also when they are working and it closes to stop a back up it also stops any waste water inside the house from draining thus causing a back up on the house side of the valve. If you decide to replace rather than remove it must remain accessible. You might want to get more bids for the work.

Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

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