Plumber uncovers possible cover-up

But proving a pre-existing sewer problem won't be easy

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DEAR BARRY: We purchased our home just last week and had a sewage backup within 12 hours of moving in. Our first load of laundry caused flooding in the basement, so we called a plumber. He said the main sewer line is full of roots and has been that way for a long time. His estimate to replace the line is more than $5,000.

According to the sellers’ disclosure statement, all drain lines were in good working order, but the plumber says this cannot be true. So now we are stuck with a major expense that we cannot afford. Our home warranty doesn’t cover tree roots, and our homeowners insurance says it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Are the sellers liable? –Amanda