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Plumbing in the Home/Cast Iron Pipe Replacement


We are in escrow on a house built in 1962 with cast iron drainage pipes. During the home inspection we spent the extra money to have the pipes snaked to check for root growth. Upon inspection the plumber said that their is a 3 foot line of section that would need to be replaced because of major root growth.

He quote to replace all the cast iron drainage pipes to cost around $10,000.

We are looking to get second opinion if the the situation is that bad and if so is his quote reasonable.

Detail from their quote:
jack hammer and remove concrete, to expose sewer main line and install new ABS pipe from kitchen to the middle of the home, also from bathroom, reconnecting to main line in the middle of the home. Pipe will also be run to connect to mainline pipe out in driveway area and install a double sweep clean out. Customer is responsible for removing carpet and cabinets. Warranty provided by is five year. NO warranty on existing or customer provided material. NO carpet or cabinet repair included. NO warranty on back ups due to usage. Concrete will be repaired to a rough finish.

Here are link to videos I uploaded:

I have gone through the videos and linked to exact section where it shows problem areas. I figure this would save all parties time as both videos are around 15-20min each. - Offset of Pipes - Root Growth - Root Growth - Large Root Growth

Any input would be great!

Dear Stephen,

I've watched the videos.  In my opinion the lines are not that bad.  The "offset" as the technician mentioned is the place where most of the root growth will occur.  You have options...

Personally, I would only consider replacing the pipe outside of the house... the inside work is what I think would be driving the cost on this.  Still, the condition of the pipe that I saw is good and still serviceable.

If it were me, I would have a cleaning done annually.  The roots can be removed with a snake, and a hydro-jet cleaning from the kitchen sink would take care of the rest...   If you ever decided to replace the driveway, then that would be the time to have the pipe underneath it replaced as well.

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Thomas Ambler


I am experienced at troubleshooting and solving all types of plumbing problems. Issues related to specific manufacturers fixtures and specifications though are beyond my field of expertise. I have dealt with problems in both rural and urban areas, and with water supply and drainage systems. Plumbing issues can be very obscure... such as odors, stains or occasional seepage. I have even had to chase rats from a customer's sewer line.


I have 25 years experience dealing with plumbing systems (which also includes hot water and steam heating systems). My main expertise is in diagnosing and solving problems. I have worked in construction and installation of new systems but do not regard myself as an expert in that area.

Asbury Park Press, Seattle Times, Denver Post.

I completed high school and one year of college. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps and have education in electronic and electrical troubleshooting and repair. I have attended classes on installing and repair of oil burners, and I have EPA universal certification for air conditioning and refrigeration. I am now enrolled as a full-time student at Everest college to re-train for a new career. Any donations of financial support would be greatly appreciated.

Past/Present Clients
All of Denny's Restaurants in NJ, Several Burger King stores, I have done work at two different homes for Bruce Springsteen. I have also worked for Jim Johnson (of J&J) and his family, Whitney Houston, Steve Forbes and many others.

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