NYC Sewer Estimator Makes Costly Error

harris_logo_good_2It is very important to take the time to find a knowledgeable, reputable and experienced water main & sewer contractor when looking to repair or replace your existing water main and sewer pipes.  Below you will read what can happen if a homeowner does not take the time to do their due diligence when seeking the right company for the job. A homeowner in Queens had been experiencing sewer backups for several months, the backups were getting increasingly worst as each month passed.  After continuing to snake and clean the pipes, the homeowner made a proactive decision to replace the sewer line before experiencing any major damage to his house. Like many other homeowners in NYC, he decided to search Angies List for a reputable company to complete his sewer line installation.  The homeowner came across 2 licensed, bonded and insured sewer contractors who worked in Queens and proceeded to schedule an estimate for the work that had to be completed. Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractors arrived at the house within a few hours to assess the sewer issue and provide a price to complete the job.  The homeowner provided feedback to the Harris representative stating how unhappy he was that his sewer was much deeper than the average sewer in NYC, he was told it was going to make his job much more costly as there were additional days of labor to reach the city sewer where his sewer line had to be connected. After spending a few minutes analyzing and measuring the different variables included in performing the new sewer installation, the Harris rep had strong reason to believe that there were some additional factors that had to be researched before providing an accurate price.riser_connection  Due to the depth of the sewer trap in the house and the depth of the city sewer in the roadway, he had strong reason to believe that there was a riser coming off of the NYC sewer line.  There was an unnecessary amount of pitch on his sewer pipe which forced him to obtain a NYC DEP “spur map” which is a diagram that displays exactly how the sewer was constructed under the roadway. The Harris representative was 100% accurate; this location did have a 6’ riser coming off of the city sewer which would allow for the job to cost a fraction of the original estimate the homeowner received.  The sewer contractor did not have to excavate over 15’ to the city sewer as he was told; the riser connection would allow them to excavate 9’ to install the new cast iron piping which would take 2 days, not the 3-4 days that the homeowner was told. The homeowner decided to hire Harris to complete the job which was started the following day and complete within 48 hours.  While installing the old pipe, the Harris sewer crew found the old clay pipe broken in several spots in addition to large amounts of roots which were blocking the sewage from flowing properly


What is a riser connection?

A riser connection is a pipe that sits perpendicular on the city sewer and is used as a connection for a house sewer to the city sewer.  A riser connection is likely to be used when the city sewer is deeper than 13’ below ground level however; this is not the case 100% of the time.  A riser connection is most commonly used when there is a substantial difference in elevation from the house trap where the sewer exits the house, to the city sewer leaving much greater pitch then allowed as per DEP plumbing code. The plumbing code reads a maximum of 1’ of pitch for every 4’ of pipe installed.  The riser must also be one size larger than the pipe being installed.  Ex: a new 6” extra heavy cast iron sewer line must be connected to an 8” riser connection. A riser connection would also be used if there were underground conditions such as ground water or large amounts of rock which would make the house sewer connection more timely and challenging to install.


Why Choose Harris Water Main & Sewer Contractor’s as your licensed plumber?

Harris Water Main & Sewer contractors is here 24/7 for all of your emergency water main and sewer needs.  We are known for the highest quality of work and professionalism at the most cost effective price.  After working in the 5 Boroughs for nearly a century, we boast a well-earned reputation for our courteous professional service and the ability to accommodate any need.  Feel free to call us with any questions at 718-495-3600 or contact us here.