Many a customer will ask us what “unforeseen conditions” means. They ask because “unforeseen conditions” are explained in our contracts as something that can cause a “change order extra” to take place — and no one wants to spend money on something they don’t understand.
On this project, our plumbers encountered a cracked bend in the soil line. Here are some snaps of the problem:
You can see the old rusted pipes are in the basement ready to go to the scrapper. The new pipe is on site waiting for the change order extra to be approved. One snap shows the cracked bend where the toilet sits. The bend is in the bathroom floor under your toilet. You can see the large ugly hole in the living room wall the plumbers had to make to get at the pipe. The last image is from the bathroom looking down into the living room. This kind of destruction can be very upsetting to a homeowner, so it’s best to get the problem fixed and closed up soon as possible.
The bend is what is under your toilet and it’s connected to the soil line, which carries the waste from your toilet all the way to the street. If the soil line is cracked inside the house, what is in the pipe gets into your house. That’s sewage: solid and liquid waste, plus sewer gasses. It’s not a nice thing. If you smell something funny, this kind of leak is something to check for.
These cast iron pipes last a long time, and they are much quieter than PVC. When they fail, they corrode from the inside. Sheets of iron can flake off inside the house causing a clogged soil line, which forces sewage to back up into your house.
If the pipes in the house have not been used for a long time, they dry out and can crack when use begins again. Tree roots can also get into them. Ever wonder how those huge trees can grow on tiny front lawns? Yum! Soil line!
A cracked soil line is just one example of “unforeseen conditions.”