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View Diary: Saturday Morning Home Repair Blog (97 comments)

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  •  Rainy and quiet here today (4+ / 0-)

    but last weekend was a real pain in the ass when the drains all started backing up including the bathtubs.

    The first I noticed was that the toilet in the back didn't want to flush so I grabbed my handy dandy plumber's mate and took on the toilet. After a bit, I started to think the main sewer line might be plugged so I tried flushing the toilet in the other bathroom and it wouldn't flush either.

    Not giving up, I grabbed the plunger and went to work on the toilet in the second bathroom and had no more luck than I did the first time around.

    Meanwhile, I was doing a load of laundry and when the machine started to drain that's when I knew for sure I had a problem because everything started backing up.

    After switching off the washer to keep it from overflowing, I called the plumber--the same plumber I called back in July when the same thing happened.

    This time he snaked the main drain presented me with another bill for $150 and followed up with a fiber optic video camera to see what was going on inside the pipe.

    Well, as it happens, the pipe is just full of crud. It looks a bit like a 90 year old's aorta who lived on fried foods his entire life. I can see all this on the screen and ask him what's to be done to keep it from happening again as this is getting expensive.

    Well, my plumber tells me that replacing this pipe which runs the length of my mobile home will take a full day and cost me between $1500 and $1800. That's money I don't have and I tell him that it's not going to happen before next spring.

    Meanwhile, I'm thinking there must be an alternative to replacing the 50 year old ABS sewer pipe and some research uncovers something called Hydro Jetting. So I call a couple of plumbers who do Hydro Jetting to see what it costs.

    One plumber wants just under $600 and the other wants nearly $400. The lower quote is from a guy right here in town and he assures me that they will get the pipe clean. He tells me that they will do a video inspection and if it's not clean they will just do it again which sounds good.

    So now the sewer is functioning again--barely and who knows for how long--and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays open until I get the money together for the Hydro Jetting.

    I'm also doing everything I can to minimize what goes down the drains. No more dog poop down the toilets and I'm minimizing the use of the garbage disposer and the amount of toilet paper like never before.

    Also a word of caution to anyone using a plunger. My vigorous use of the plunger caused both toilets to leak--i.e. I blew out the wax seal. These toilets were both replaced two years ago so I didn't expect that.

    Fortunately, one toilet no longer appears to be leaking and I've stopped using the other one until this problem is properly addressed and the lines are completely clear again.

    So does anyone here have any experience with this Hydro Jetting approach to cleaning main sewer lines? Does it work? What do you think?

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:51:57 AM PDT

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