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Question DetailsAsked on 7/1/2016

can i remove the toilet and use this as a clear out to the sewer?

my house was built in 1938 and does not have a sewer clear out . my bath tub and toilet are backing up so i have opened the side vent outside of the bathroom and this is where all is draining. i had a plumber come out and they quoted me $5000 to install a clear 0ut but they first HAD TO LOCATE MY SEWER LINE AND THIS WIL COST
$375 ,now that they know where the pipe is they need to dig up the drive way where the sewer pipe is located.
why cant they just use the TOILET drain since this is the same line?

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Sure - this is a normal access mode, assuming the toilet is "upflow" from the tub - or if you have a sink upflow of both its trap can be disconnected and go in through there with a snake, though a router will not always make that turn OK to be able to rout out the entire line that way. But can get in there (below the basin) if needed to clear a blockage in the main stack near the toilet/tub (within 10-20 feet of the basin), then if necessary go in again by removing the toilet to run the full length of the sewer line to the street from there. Sometimes even if you do have a cleanout that is near-horizontal on the head end of the stack, the toilet route is still used because low-angle run cleanouts can get messy.


Normally $50 or so extra charge to remove and replace toilet - and if you have thick flooring (tile or laminate) that goes in under the toilet or a low-set toilet flange on the pipe, be sure he uses a thick flooring wax seal when putting it back on if nexessary to avoid a gap or weak bond between toilet and flange or it can leak.


$375 to locate pipe - pretty steep - usually more like $150 using a camera with radio transponder. $5000 to install a cleanout - absurd - I can't think of a situation where it should cost that much. You can usually totally replace your sewer line for about that amount - time to get quotes from a few other Sewer and Drain Cleaning outfits. I am afraid if he quoted that high on a cleanout, what is his price or possible during-the-job gouging going to be for the routing out of the pipe ? I would stay away from this guy unless other bids come in at the same range - then ask WHY so high. If sewer is installed under a concrete slab a foot thick or so maybe (though $5000 still probably too high even then), but in a normal house - no way.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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