09:15AM | 06/05/07
Member Since: 06/04/07
2 lifetime posts
This morning, water started backing up in both of the bathtubs in our house. I called a plumbing company to have them come clear the drains. My husband stayed home to wait for the plumber, and, according to him, after the plumber cleared the drains (all the way to the street), everything appeared to be draining smoothly.

Here's the problem - the plumber told my husband that he used to camera to view the drain to ensure that it was clear and that he belives that we need to replace the master drain for the house, at an estimated cost of $20-30,000. My house was built in 1978, so it is only 29 years old. The drain is, according to the plumber, a cast iron drain, in which he did not see any cracks. I have a few questions:

1. Is it even reasonable to think we would need to have this done? And will it really cost that much?

2. If the drain is not cracked, how can he tell that it is worn thin enough to be replaced?

We have only lived in the house for two years and have had no problems with the drain before now. Thank you for any help you can provide.


11:20AM | 06/05/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
I have replaced XHCI pipe but it was slightly over 100 years old or someone allowed lots and lots of battery acid to to enter the system or they were installed improperly .

Many of the buildings I work in were built in 1922 and the cast iron is in the same pristine condition as the day it was was installed.

Unless there is SEVERE root infiltration or noticeable cracks Or several sections back pitched I would thank the plumber for his concern and ask myself the following.

If the drains are working why fix what is not broke?

If the "plumber" snaked and line and did a video inspection how did he see the integrity of the piping that would be encased with soap scum and grease deposits?

When I am called to evaluate if a line is in good condition I use a water jetter to scour the internal piping and then video inspect as cleaning these lines will show defects often hidden by the years of accumulation of deposits from kitchen and other waste that adhere to the inside of the piping.

$20,000 -$30,000 your asking is a fair price

Let me ask you Is my paying $127,500 for a car a fair price in 1987

How can you honestly expect anyone to dare venture a guess on something sight unseen?

1- What diameter is the piping

2- What permits are needed /filing fees

3- Will there be shoring as required by OSHA 1910

4- How many MILES / feet of piping are going to be replaced

5- What kind of back fill is he planing on using

6- How much black top /cement /trees are going to be destroyed and have to be replaced.

7- How much does the backhoe guy want per day

8- How many hours /days /weeks / months is this undertaking going to last?

9- How much rock is going to be encountered and then removed from the area as CLEAN back fill must be used void of rocks which will damage piping

10- If this job is in Mid Town Manhattan I would tell him "Bless you" and let him do it


06:05AM | 06/06/07
Member Since: 06/04/07
2 lifetime posts
Thank you for your reply. I know very little about plumbing, but it seemed extreme to me that we would need to replace the master drain on our house, when it is only 29 years old. I have lived in this neighborhood my whole lfe and don't recall hearing about that kind of work needing to be done one any of the houses in our neighborhood. The "plumber" was from one of those emergency "rooter" places, and he did not show my husbsand what he saw which made him decide that this needed to be done. We are certainly going to get a second (and maybe a third) opinion before we do anything.

As to the cost, I understand that no one could give me a cost estimate sight unseen. I was looking more for a sense of reasonableness. As I said, I know very little about plumbing, so I cannot answer many of your questions, except to say that our house is 2,000 s.f. on a slab foundation. It is in a suburban neighborhood, set back about 50 feet from the street. The house was built in 1978, and we live in a suburb of Dallas.

Thanks again for your help!!


08:10AM | 06/06/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1626 lifetime posts
Me office1
"The "plumber" was from one of those emergency "rooter" places, and he did not show my husbsand what he saw which made him decide that this needed to be done. We are certainly going to get a second (and maybe a third) opinion before we do anything."

The so called ROTO guys are most of the time by no stretch of the imagination even a qualified "plumbers helper"

These folks brag about "training" in 6 weeks To to become a Journeyman plumber which is just a plumbing mechanic my training was 10,000 hours (5 years) and 744 hours of class room studies.

To these these mongrels can train someone in 6 or 12 weeks is ludicrous.

Many times the roto guy is paid by commission and of course human nature being what it is t many crooks find a home doing roto work selling unnecessary work as the more work they create the more commission they make.

I strongly suggest you find a local licensed master plumber as roto is like the uncaring HMO's

For example my name is Sylvan Tieger and my plumbing company is named S.Tieger plumbing.

Why? Well I either loved the company so much I named myself after it OR I believe in honesty and integrity and knowing all one has is their good name why not flaunt that I am not ashamed to place my name on every job I do and NOT hide behind some franchise to cover any short comings.

12 weeks or 12 MONTHS does not make a person a "plumber"

Ask to see the license not the person working under it BUT you want the Owner the one who actually knows to diagnose the problem and show you the proof (Video)

There are master plumbers and licensed journeymen asccpt no one else to dabble on your plumbing or drainage systems..IHMO

Feel free to type "Tieger plumbing" on any search engine and look at some of the articles I had written in 1999 about these non skilled calling themselves "plumbers"

Please feel free to contact me any time
9317 tieger plumbing
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