Toilets overflow in Raleigh home after crew drills fiber optic line through sewer drain pipe

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, July 21, 2022
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A Raleigh family is dealing with sewage issues after a fiber optic line was drilled right through their sewer drain line.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh family is dealing with sewage issues after a fiber optic line was drilled right through their sewer drain line.

"We have a toilet downstairs that's overflowing and sometimes even coming up from under the toilet on the floor and the sink (is) making gurgling sounds," Robert Kobet said.

When Kobet called out a plumber, the problem became clear.

"He came up with his camera and his locator and found a red cord kind of drilled straight through the sewer line, and he said 'That's what's catching toilet paper. That's what stuff is getting caught on, causing you to back up,'" Kobet recalled.

Kobet and his family were dealing with more than just toilet backups. They were also having issues every time they tried to do laundry.

"If I run this laundry is my toilet going to overflow on this side of the house?" Kobet said that the fix isn't so simple. "It's underneath the driveway so that driveway will need to be dug up, the pipe repaired, then the driveway repaired.

With an invoice from the plumber and a proposed fix of the problem that claims the fiber line is drilled right through the Kobets drain line, Kobet reached out to AT&T--the company responsible for the fiber optic line.

"I went through AT&T customer service trying to get in touch with their risk management with no luck and no response to voice mails or pretty much just getting sent in circles," Kobet added.

Kobet reached out to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and Wilson reached out to AT&T who at first said they didn't have any fiber projects in the area.

Kobet said he had another service provider and a city crew come out to take a look at the issue. Eventually, AT&T did take responsibility and cut him a check for his out-of-pocket expenses, and his drain line is now fixed.

The Troubleshooter takeaways are to always document everything just as this family did. Plus, just to be safe, try not to pay for any repair until you have assurance the company who caused the damage will reimburse you for it.