Replacing about 4ft of exposed waste line, calcium deposits in the pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Joe1, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Joe1

    Joe1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    NJ
    We recently bought a home built in 1960. We were having issues flushing the first floor toilet and found that the waste line was almost completely blocked with calcium deposits. Our plumber tried to dissolve it with acid but he couldn't get down deep enough. We are on septic, so I didn't push for using any more chemicals. The waste line is 4 inch cast iron and totally exposed for access in the basement ceiling. There is about 4 feet of line that he is proposing to replace with PVC. It has two bends in it and connects to 3 other smaller lines before it goes to the brand new PVC piping for the septic system. Originally, the plumber said about $300 to replace but they just called and said that now the cost is $750 because he has to cut and reconnect the other pipe connections. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks for your input!
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,121
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Not being there, that would be only a guess.
    I think $300 would have been way low!

    I've seen salt in toilet lines before. Those are customers that tend to rarely flush the toilets to conserve water usage. In the Northwest, we don't get calcium deposits in the pipes. What are others doing for that?

    If it's salt, I would consider using some Bio-Clean on it.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    I don't know, but am asking...would a cutter head on a snake clean that out? They seem to ream most stuff out of pipes, but I do not know about this...
  4. Joe1

    Joe1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks, everyone for the thoughts. The toilet was already removed so we actually ended up putting some more acid down the pipe en literally chipping away at the build-up for an hour or two and I think it's cleared out. So far so good.
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