Leak in Sewage Line

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by repoman911, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. repoman911

    repoman911 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    I had a plumber run a camera down my sewage line that starts in the laundry room, is fed by the kitchen sink, and runs at an angle all the way across the house to the main line and we found a hole in the line pretty much in the dead center under my slab foundation. I was quoted $5k to get it fixed because they would have to dig about 23' to be able to get to it. One fear I have is that even if that get's fixed there could be other damage further on down the line.

    Are there any alternative ways to get to the line? My Uncle wants to jack hammer through the slab to get to it but I'm not so sure that's good for the foundation of the house. The line is a 2" line by the way. Also would it make sense that if the integrity of this whole line is in question would pipe bursting possibly be a solution? Or can this not be done under foundations?

    Another question that I have is that is it possible that a shift in the foundation over time would cause that line to level out and cause build up? I've snaked that line myself before, I can tell when I hit the hole in the line but if I jimmy it enough it will pass that hole and loosen up whatever is causing the slow drain but this is always a temporary fix.

    Feedback appreciated

    Thanks
  2. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    What does the $5K job entail, details help? Are they re-routing the line? Is the line not sloped properly?
    Is your slab a post-tension slab? (cables within the slab)
    On my house breaking the slab to fix a line wouldn't be too difficult, it would be messy.
    Sanitary lines generally do not "burst" as they are not under pressure.
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,401
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As already mentioned, the type of slab will make a big difference. I do not think pipe bursting would be an option. This requires a hole at each end of the line and I'd be concerned that bursting the pipe would cause damage to the slab. If the slab is not post tensioned, since you know exactly where the leak is, it would not be too difficult to open the slab enough to make a repair. I would have a professional concrete cutting company do it rather than jackhammer. They're quicker and much less messy. A liner, even if possible, would not be a good option because your pipe is already smaller than ideal and a liner would cut that down even more. I think there would have to be access on each end much like the bursting. You might want to consider the possibility of a new pipe. If that could be done, use a 3".
  5. repoman911

    repoman911 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    According to the plumbing co the cast majority of the cost is the digging, once there the fix is easy. Not enough slope is pure speculation on my part. I don't know if it is a standard assumption on your part but the line in question starts at the very rear or the house, really right on the edge of the slab, and runs diagonally all the way to the opposite end very near the front of the house. Both of the bathrooms are on the far side of the house opposite of where the 2" line starts and both bathrooms feed directly into what I'm assuming is a 4" line. Because the 2" line runs diagonally that is what puts the leak dead center(under the foundation) yet either end of the line is probably easily accessible.

    I saw someone mention that 2" may be too small, I have no background whatsoever but keep in mind that the only thing that feed into the line are the washing machine (in the garage where the line starts) and then the kitchen sink/ dishwasher. Also, the house was built in 1976. I don't know what kind of slab it is but if the time frame helps in the speculation process then there you go.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,401
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Washing machines require a 2" drain, but with a 40 foot run, 3" seems wise to me.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,296
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I would question what made the hole, since that is NOT a normal occurance. Breaking the floor at the hole and repairing the pipe would be the easiest and cheapest solution, as long as the pipe does not have slope problems.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
  9. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States


    Do not attempt to repair pipe your pipe is cast iron and if it has one hole in it then chances are the the pipe is rotting out on the bottom !
    Because this is cheap cheap china pipe !
    I would most seriously recommend that you consider the relining process this will
    give you a new pipe and if you watch the video that REDWOOD posted
    it will show you how it covers any breaks or holes in the pipe

    In over 30 plus years as a master plumber and drainman i have never ever seen anything
    larger then 2" used for a kitchen / laundry line
    I only use 3" for running bathroom groups on and out to city sewer for a whole house
    with up to three (3) bathrooms !
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