Supposedly our main drain/sewer line is finally fixed. It only took three weeks and about 635 dollars. For those three weeks we were able to run everything water related except the washer, because it let out to much water at once.
The cost breakdown:
$51.70 rental cost from Home Depot as an attempt to snake the drain ourselves
$134.00 first attempt by professional to snake it, but could only get it partially done because of only having access to the floor drain
$271.15 cost of having a professional bring a specialized camera out to try and find out if our entire line needed to be fixed do to it collapsing. This is after a 10% discount.
$119 the second trip out with the camera because Nathan didn't get a copy of the tape to give to the City also discounted.
$60 ish the cost to snake from the outside access that was found the 2nd time the camera went through.
So for those of you that haven't had the experience of going through major plumbing problems here is some good advice:
1. Find out if you have outside access to your main plumbing/sewer line. If we would have found this right away we could have probably saved about $400.
2. Three magic words: Sewer Lateral Program. If our pipes had been collapsed (which it didn't, we had roots) underground in the yard, this program would have paid for most if not all of the cost of digging up our entire yard and replacement. Our municipal (and most in STL) have this program and it is kick ass.
3. Make sure your floor drains are covered.
4. Do maintenance on your pipes by running a snake through every two years or so. You can rent one (from Home Depot) and do it yourself fairly easily if you have the outside access.
No I am not happy about dropping all the money we did, but we definitely learned a lot about our plumbing system. One of the joys of being a homeowner I suppose.