Sewer Line Help Please

6 Replies

So I was about to close and the buyer backed out last minute as there were roots discovered in the sewer line which I understand is a common problem.  The sewer pipe works fine, haven't had any issues.  I was quoted 7k to get it lined and 16k to get it replaced.   At this point I'd rather just take it off the list price but I'm hesitant to take 7k off as the pipe is in working order.  

Does anyone have any experience with something like this?   Advice/thoughts/suggestions?  Thanks.  

Roots are common in a sewer line, but also a sign of potential problems.   If they scoped the line, they should have been able to see if it was a major breach or not.  Since your post just mentions roots in the line and not a major breach, I'll assume that the line is generally OK.  Thus, it seems the seller got cold feet and used the roots as an excuse.

I'd consider using RootX plus rootering to clear the line and then put it back on the market.

Have you had a plumber out to scope it? Are you sure it needs to be replaced?

Older lines can be maintained with jetting (picture a pressure washer fed down the pipe to cut all the roots) and subsequently RootX type products. If the pipe isn’t collapsed or seriously impacted, this solution can easily last 10+ years.

If you do need to replace, get another quote or two. When I had mine done, I got estimates between $4-12K for the same replacement... quite the difference.

I would consider dropping the price by half of the liner cost. Mostly, because it may not even need one as some people have stated. So I would come down $3500. Even if it is $7k I don't think I would let a qualified buyer walk away. If you split it you are only $3500 apart from each other on a final price. If these are first time buyers they may not really understand how roots can be dealt with and the whole line may not need to be replaced at all. 

We had one in Ontario. The roots were a yearly nightmare & the monster tree was city property. After 25 years of dealing with root infested old clay pipes & renting the roto-rooter 2xyear the city tore up the street to replace the sewer lines. BUT each home owner was still responsible for the cost from the center of the street to the basement $4,500 back in '97. We held off & when they moved in heavy equipment over my front lawn they crushed our lines & we got a free replacement. BUT our plumbing guy suggested we add a sewer check valve ($595) & sure enough the new sewers flooded the basements in the street but not ours.

We have had a few properties since & I always replace the sewer lines as the ongoing maintenance is brutal & when it blocks & floods the tenants basement you're usually away on vacation. 

We had a similar issue in Arizona. The pipe was in good shape and the roots discovered, both in the tank and line, were very hair. Super common. Our buyers were not deterred by it and did not ask for repair. Like others have mentioned, you certainly need more information before taking it off the listing price.

A scope for us was around $200. 

I hope everything works out for you- I HATE SEPTIC ISSUES. 

@Phil Leighton get it rootered. You’ve stated it hasn’t been an issue so even they will likely last a long time in your case. You can also get it video’d after. Proving it to be clear. Root killer fluid works great... IF your sewer isn’t sloped properly and the roots are long enough to absorb it before it flows off down the drain... get it mechanically cleared and carry on