Monday, July 12, 2010

Scared, but Not Crapless

Well, the pipe liner guy (who clears out pipes, and then inserts stuff inside them that hardens into a pipe liner, effectively a new pipe) was here all day, and we are no better off than we were before he got here. In fact, the water is more backed up than it was when I got up this morning. He said that it will trickle down through the main line, that it got filled with water when he ran the pipe cleaner machine because he ran water down while he was cleaning the pipe in hopes it would rinse away the block when he came to it. Since he didn't manage to clear what's blocked, or even find the main blockage, all the water he ran down there has to trickle out into the city pipe past whatever is beyond what he's found.

At one point during the day, he said that we should call the city, because he was starting to think that it wasn't in our pipe at all, but in the city sewer somehow, so I did, and - the only bright point of my day - they were here in TEN MINUTES. It was astonishing, and I'm so grateful that they came right away. They flushed out the city pipe from the manhole area near our house, and said that tomorrow they'll be back to use a camera and see if they can see what's going on on their end, in case it *is* them, and they'll be able to see into our line as well.

Here's the scary part - the guy painted a line from our pipe into the middle of the street, where it connects to the city pipe. He said that if, for some reason, our pipe under the road has to be dug up, we have to pay for it. I don't know how much money that means, but I'm guessing it's a LOT, like $10-15k. I'm terrified. That would only happen if the pipe under there is smashed up so badly that the liner guy can't get the liner through it *at all*. Still, the fact that it's an option scares the bejesus out of me, it really does. We don't have that kind of money, and even to put it on credit would probably strain our finances to the breaking point. I literally don't know what we'd do. I still have ten months of grad school where I will be unable to bring in money, plus even if I'm fortunate enough to get hired to a job right away, my pay won't start coming in until the school year starts, so we're over a year away from me bringing in a paycheck. Technically, I can max out my student loans and get the money from that, but if I don't get a job right away, it'll only delay the problem while building interest.

The liner guy said that the next step for him will be to hear what the city scoping guys say tomorrow, and if they don't find anything on their end, he'll bring in a guy that does cleaning with some kind of jet, like the city uses, that should dislodge anything in its path and completely clear out anything in a way that the spinner thing can't.

The thing is, if the street-dig ends up being our only option, why is it that the city can take ten feet of our property for public works - take our entire HOME if it's in the way, like they did with our last house, and force us out - but if we have a problem in a pipe that's under a city street, WE have to pay for it, even if the pipe isn't on our property, because it connects to our house? Why is it always this way? And why is it that things always seem to go from bad to worse? Please, please, can't we catch a break (and I don't mean one in our pipe), just this one time?

7 comments:

Shelly Overlook said...

ACK! Fingers crossed that it's all the city's fault.

Swistle said...

This article comforts a little when it says that tearing up the road might bring the cost up to $5,000: http://www.squidoo.com/broken-sewer-line

I mean, $5000 is AWFUL---but it's not as awful as $10,000-15,000. Which is not to say it WON'T be that high, but this makes it look less likely. And won't it be GREAT if it's the city's fault???

Swistle said...

Or how about a live link instead of a dead one? http://www.squidoo.com/broken-sewer-line

Swistle said...

This is so confusing, as I'm doing more research: it's almost all people just posting their own experiences, and people are saying totally opposite things. Some people say that the pipe is only the homeowner's responsibility to the edge of the property, and after that it's the city's; other people it's the homeowner's problem all the way to the city line, even if that goes past the property line. Some people say they did the whole job, including digging up part of the street, for $4500; others mention numbers you don't want to hear. What the heck? It seems like this is the kind of thing it would be easier to find information about.

LoriD said...

Have you talked to someone from the city? I'm sure it's different everywhere, but here the pipes that run under the roads/ciy property are the city's problem.

creative kerfuffle said...

i'm crossing my fingers and toes that this problem is not yours but the city's. and, if they come back and say it's yours i'd seriously start doing some research or talk to a lawyer or something. oy vey.

d e v a n said...

Ah, geez. Good luck!