How common is it to punch hole in main line for clean out and leave it?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by agogodaddyo, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. agogodaddyo

    agogodaddyo New Member

    Dec 21, 2012
    los angeles
    I would like to know if this is common practice. Three months ago we had a main line clog. Our regular plumber sent 2 guys out. They dug out the line in the front yard, close to the house. I did not watch what they did. They snaked the clog and filled the hole. All done. I was never told if there was a clean out or anything, just that the clog was cleared.

    Now I have a similar clog. This time though, after having the same location dug up to expose the same pipe, I now realize that the guys that came 3 months ago punched a hole in the iron main line in order to do that clean out and just left it that way; just filled it back in with dirt. I called the owner. He tells me that this is what is done often in the business.

    Here is the NEXT frustration. When the guys dug down to where the main line is and saw the water seeping out, they said they could not fix the clog until I installed a clean out in the backyard. Once they cleared the clog that way, they would fix my crack. MY crack. They did not investigate the pipe further to see that the "damage was caused by one of their employees. They left for another job, leaving the clog. I dug and bailed out the site until I was able to see directly that the pipe was broken.

    Please tell me how often this is done to complete a clean out.......50%, 10%, NEVER?? Is this a code violation? Is this an ethics violation in the plumbing business? How should I react to this with him. Please advise.

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    "Lousy" plumbers do it all the time, because it is a ''quick and dirty" way to do it. Sometimes they use tar to seal a piece of tin over the hole, and other times they just lay the tin on the pipe to try to keep the dirt out. Your second plumbers were not much better than the first ones. I dig up the line, clear the line and then install the cleanout. I don't know how they expected anyone to install a cleanout if the pipe was full of water. Find a good plumber, one without the words "Rooter" in the name and not one that advertises on TV.
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  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Nov 29, 2010
    Hacks doing illegal work.
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