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Question DetailsAsked on 7/5/2016

Plumbing issue . What is the cost to dig down 4 feet spot repair pipe war hog the line , install access clean out

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Depending on digging conditions, and on whether the hole has to be pumped out due to high water level or a lot of leaked water in the ground, because you are down the depth where trench support will be needed you are probably looking at about $500 minimum - more like $1000 ballpark likely. In the fairly rare cases where there is a LOT of water coming in or the ground is so wet or non-cohesive (typically river or beach silt and sand) that it is "running" or flowing, can run double that amount because of the need to install cribbing or temporary steel manhole to hold the hole open as it is dug. Also, if it leaked a lot so most of the dirt being dug up is sewage-soaked (and hence needs to be hauled off and disposed of off-site and new suitable fill material brought in to backfill the hole, can commonly add $400-600 additional range. (If excavated material suitability for backfill is in question, go for the removal and replacement with compacted structural fill to avoid significant future settlement issues and possible displacement of the cleanout as the filkl settles, which can displace the pipe and cause leakage and blockages. I have ween this a number of times as an inspector/contract city engineer, where they just dumped the saturated excavated material back into the hole without drying or compaction and the repair ended up breaking again within days or weeks. Also - if the leak saturated a lot of soil that is unsuitable for reuse as is, you don't want it sitting around in your yard stinking up the neighborhood.


The above costs assume the repair is at the cleanout location - like just outside the foundation. If cleanout needs a second hole dug to install that, then another $500 to $1000 (commonly, for second excavation, towards lower end unless bad soil or water inflow conditions) probably if outside (and done at same time). If indoors cleanout installation can run $250-500 range depending on access to the pipe and pipe materials - cast iron and asbestos pipe the most expensive, plastic (ABS or PVC) the cheapest.


This assumes you do not have interference with other utilities to dig down and fix it - get locates first.


Plumbing is obviously the Search the List category for this type of work - though the plumber will likely either sub out the digging to an excavation contractor, or ask you to. My recommendation - leave it all in the plumber's hands even if it costs a bit more, so coordination with the excavator is HIS responsibility - you don't want him charging you standby or additional service call charges because the promised excavator is not there yet - or vice versa if plumber is not there but excavator is. (Likely to be done with backhoe - especially if the needed cleanout location is not the leak location), but at 4' depth could go either way depending on local conditions, especially in stable soil conditions - some plumbers give their apprentice or a temporary laborer a shovel and tell him to call when he is down to and cleaned out around the pipe ready for the plumber to do his thing.


BTW - for those reading this and wondering what "war hog the line" means - Warthog is the brandname of a pipe jetting system, to fllush out the line with high pressure water jetting.


My recommendations on the cleanout - make sure the line is inspected by camera or flashlight for rocks and such FIRST which might be able to be fished out for the first few feet of the line from the opening - because a jetting (or sometimes routing) tool can push them partway down the line but not all the way, making another blockage point in short order. Also, especially with jetting (which can skip a lot of spots in cleaning a line) I recommend requiring an on-board video camera so you can actually SEE the line as he pulls it out after jetting, to be sure everything was cleared out andall roots were cut. Routers a lot less of a problem - as long as it is not shoved through very quickly, they basically do not miss much and if the operator knows his business he can feel (though the cable) as he goes to know if he is getting all the roots and clogs such.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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