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I had to unclog the laundry line. The kitchen line was also connected to it underground.

My 3/8 and several bits wouldn't go further than 2 feet and about 6 inches after the underground elbow. I think I hit clay.

I tried the 5/16 with the same results. I think the underground pipe is broken and filled with packed clay. I still charged the 2 hours I spent there including the installation of a C/O

What are opinions about this?
 

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I told them to get a second opinion but weren't thrilled, 99% of other companies are bad apples around here.

Anyone else agree it's clay? I could make a lot of money breaking concrete and fixing it.
 

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I told them to get a second opinion but weren't thrilled, 99% of other companies are bad apples around here.

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are you out of your mind?????? telling a customer to get someone else for an estimate....you give the people the price and or estimated cost for a job, but tell them no guarantee on final price as its clay, now if the CUSTOMER says they want to get another price fine, but you DONT EVER suggest that....
it shows your not sure of yourself and the next guy will steal the job with a fake cheap start price and them hit them with all the extras....
 

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Like I said I'm in unknown territory. Not 100% sure it was clay. I prefer to err on the safe side than being wrong and doing something stupid.
 

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Like I said I'm in unknown territory. Not 100% sure it was clay. I prefer to err on the safe side than being wrong and doing something stupid.
do you have a camera? take a look whats down there....but if the drain cleaner cant go through it you take your best guess and go for it..if its a broken pipe in your best opinion then sell it and do the job, either way the pipe needs to be cleaned, either removal and replacement or drain cleaner...you tried on method now its time for plan B..dig
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a cam, it won't fit in 1 1/2" pipe. I could see the if the mainline just beside also has clay. I would have to cut out the brass cleanout.
 

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Clay or dirt retrieved on a cutter like that means one thing. Rotted out line. Sometimes I get them open, sometimes it’s a bust up. Closer picture would be helpful, but you have a rotted line.

When you bid, remember the fact you’re going to be dealing with nasty sewer soaked dirt! Make it worth your time.
 

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The line isn’t filled with packed clay, there’s a hole in the cast iron and your cable is going into the dirt. I just did one the other day. My neighbor ran his snake through the tub waste/overflow, tested to see if it was clear and water was pouring out.

He called me and I busted up the slab for the repair. I found a lot more rotten cast under the slab.
 

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Don’t want to, but looking at a 36 unit occupied underground.


Did I say I don’t want to? If not, I’d like to say I don’t want to.

Right now, not including cement we’re at $110k. If this goes through we will need to hire extra workers, and I’m going to strong arm for more $ from my Master!
 

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That's the pictures I have. I'll call them tomorrow morning to see if they haven't hired another company.

I was thinking staying on an hourly discounted rate. I have no idea what I need to replace once it's broken up. It's safe to say I'll be spending at least 10 hours breaking concrete, replacing the rotted part and re-cementing. If it didn't affect the main line that's right beside it.
 

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I don't know what it's like up there but I love those jobs since they're usually a guaranteed sale. They need their drain working plus you've already built a rapport with them, at least you should have if you've been in the house for hours.
I usually give them an estimate on the spot since I carry a full size and micro camera. If it's broken under the slab I'll recommend they call their insurance since 70 to 80 percent of the time it will be covered and nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket when they could just pay a deductible.
I'll usually ask if they'd like to me to wait while they call insurance since I know they're more likely to approve the work if it's explained in a professional manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't know what it's like up there but I love those jobs since they're usually a guaranteed sale. They need their drain working plus you've already built a rapport with them, at least you should have if you've been in the house for hours.
I usually give them an estimate on the spot since I carry a full size and micro camera. If it's broken under the slab I'll recommend they call their insurance since 70 to 80 percent of the time it will be covered and nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket when they could just pay a deductible.
I'll usually ask if they'd like to me to wait while they call insurance since I know they're more likely to approve the work if it's explained in a professional manner.
Thanks that's useful info! I own a 3' mini ridgid cam which is not really good. and a real ridgid micro is about 6 or 9 thousand dollars I can't remember. Never will I buy that at that price and the image quality is as bad as the 3' x 130$ one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't know what it's like up there but I love those jobs since they're usually a guaranteed sale. They need their drain working plus you've already built a rapport with them, at least you should have if you've been in the house for hours.
I usually give them an estimate on the spot since I carry a full size and micro camera. If it's broken under the slab I'll recommend they call their insurance since 70 to 80 percent of the time it will be covered and nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket when they could just pay a deductible.
I'll usually ask if they'd like to me to wait while they call insurance since I know they're more likely to approve the work if it's explained in a professional manner.
Do you guys rent a fan and flexible exhaust to the outdoors to get the dust out while breaking the floor? It's a tiny space /bathroom and outside of that it's a finished basement,
 

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Do you guys rent a fan and flexible exhaust to the outdoors to get the dust out while breaking the floor? It's a tiny space /bathroom and outside of that it's a finished basement,[/QUOTE]

We own one of those fans. We we're doing enough inside digs where it became cheaper to buy than rent. We also have 2 jackhammers and 2 OSHA compliant silica dust vacuums with attachments for the jackhammers.
With the attachment and silica vacuum we really don't need the fan. The amount of dust released is negligible but we use it anyway.
I don't know what micro camera you tried but our Ridgid micro reels have an excellent image. Probably close to DVD quality. We have an 80' and a 100'.
I've seen some used units for around $2,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thinking it over night I'm not sure I want to do this. 2 feet away is a shower sitting and connected directly on top of the main. That means 2 -3 feet from the abs clean out I installed is the main which is right by the foundation and footing. I probably have to remove the shower stall. What if the connection to the main is bad(cast iron) then I'm up $hit creek as its right at the foundation footing. I'm not about to dig under the foundation or have a backhoe dig the front yard.

I think it's too much risk for it to go wrong as a one man shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That looks like soap and grease not dirt but I could be wrong.
I think its clay, it was very sticky and it had a crunching sound between the spring of the bit. Clay is always gritty. I don't know if you can see in the picture but the bulb on floor for the 3/8 cable bent out of shape.
 
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