Beware of Sewer Clearing $ Specials $
- Plumbing Services
There are plenty of people out there (not necessarily plumbing companies) who offer low price sewer cleaning specials. Quality Plumbing Services see this as the ultimate bait and switch tactic. Even some national plumbing chains use this tactic. They will offer an initial low cost sewer rodding, and then tell you there’s a problem with your sewer, i.e. root problem, collapsed sewer, or a spot they are unable to rod through, and they will need to perform thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Or they will do a flow restoration, where they create a small opening in the obstruction which allows water to drain for a short time. When the sewer backs up again and you call them back, that is when they sell you the expensive sewer repair.
On several occasions Quality Plumbing Services has been called by customers asking for a price on a sewer repair. After discussing the situation or visiting the job site to give a proper estimate, we come to find out that so-and-so rodded the sewer and was unable to clear it without digging up the sewer. Or the customer is told, the tree roots are so bad they cannot be be rodded. On several occasions we were allowed to power rod the sewer and do a proper video inspection. We were able to clear the sewer of tree roots or obstruction without excavating the sewer. In fact, we rarely have to perform sewer repairs after we’ve power rodded. The majority of our excavations stem from broken overhead sewers. This is a very common occurrence where the cast iron pipe snaps or cracks at the foundation wall. Also, we excavate for clean-out (rodding access) installations where limited access to the sewer is available.
When Quality Plumbing Services performs sewer rodding, we try and clear as much of the tree roots or obstruction as possible. A lot of that depends on the clean-out size or the access to the sewer. We’ve found other companies are more interested in flow restoration than sewer cleaning. Then once they get in the door, try to sell sewer repairs, a sewer liner, or more big ticket items.
Recently, Quality Plumbing Services was called to a residence and the customer stated he needed his sewer video inspected. He had a sewer backup and had a “plumbing” company perform a $250.00 sewer rodding special. This company not only managed to get the rodding cable stuck in his sewer but did a terrible job rodding.
The purpose of our video inspection was to pinpoint exactly where the cable was stuck and where the sewer would need to be excavated to retrieve the cable. This bargain company obviously did not have the proper equipment to video inspect and locate the area which is not that surprising knowing the cost of our camera and locating equipment. Our locating equipment will not only pinpoint the problem spot, but give an accurate depth as well. Our video equipment which uses a laptop computer and an interface between camera and laptop ranges somewhere in the neighborhood of about $10,000-$11,000. So I understand why some of these bargain companies don’t have the proper equipment. When our journeyman plumbers arrived at this particular home, we managed to retrieve the cable using some tricks that we’ve developed over the years that I’d rather not broadcast over the Internet on my blog post. We also performed a video inspection of the sewer and found that whoever rodded the sewer in addition to getting stuck did a very poor job. The following video illustrates this:
If the rodding cable would not have become stuck in the sewer, this company would have left the sewer in this condition. The customer would have never been aware of just how poor a job they did for him. At least until the next time he backs up which in my opinion would not have been very long.
Unfortunately the customer decided, he was going to call that person back because he did pay for their service, even though they did a poor job. So I do not have an after video. I would have thought he learned his lesson? I have several stories similar to this one – Quality Plumbing Services has saved a number of customers from unnecessary sewer repairs. We take pride in our power rodding procedures and know what it takes to properly clean the sewer, not just restore flow.
If your sewer has not been rodded in several years, or you already know you have a tree root problem, or your sewer needs to be rodded frequently, please give us a call for a fair, honest sewer assessment. One of our plumbing experts can surely help. Call and schedule your appointment today at 847-259-0200.