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  • Problem with "Rooting" Company

    I had a backed up drain in my basement that was the result of a blockage (Roots & stuff/paper caught on roots) in the main line that ran to the street. About 3-4 years ago we had it cleaned out for ~ $500 and it was no problem. This time I called a local "Rooter" company and they sent out a guy that asked me if I wanted it snaked or jetted out. The jetting was more expensive and I guessed more thorough so I went with that option. He sent the jetter straight in and went to town and then he called me down to tell me that he got the jetter caught in a small offset where my pipe met the city. He and I tried to pull it out to no avail. He then called his supervisor who sent another plumber w/ assistant to address the problem. He didn't seem to make any effort to free the jetter, but sent a camera down, showed me the roots I knew were there and then the offset that the jetter was caught in. He did some other analysis and then determined that the only option was to cut into the sidewalk, remove the jetter, pipe burst the 4" line (repipe) and then replace the 6" that connected to the city which he estimated at ~$15000. I don't deny that our pipe wasn't pristine (It's a 1926 house), and that it probably needed to be replaced, but I didn't feel like it needed to be now. I'm looking for general information as to how most plumbers would approach this. Reading this and other forums and talking to a couple other plumbers that came out and looked at the problem I've come to the conclusion that:

    The best way to approach this would have been to:
    -Camera
    -Cable/snake the blockage so the camera could complete its route
    -Camera to understand nature of pipes
    -Jet carefully with an understanding that an offset existed that needed to be avoided.

    I think he went in there kind of carelessly, didn't use an analytical approach to tackle the clog, and then the plumber sent out in the afternoon was trying to turn it into a big ticket job (Probably on commision). I feel like this could have been done more professionally and that the company should have offered to pay for the work necessary to extract their equipment. I'm happy to pay for the pipe work needed to replace old pipe, but don't feel like we should have to pay a company to remove their tools. What are folks thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

    Tell them to get there jetter hose out for no charge, or you'll get someone else who will.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

      Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post
      Tell them to get there jetter hose out for no charge, or you'll get someone else who will.
      sounds good to me.

      what was on their original proposal or contract that you signed prior to the jetting?

      it sounds like the jetter hose and nozzle they used was too small and it found it's way out of the pipe.

      what was the size of the hose, nozzle, and jetter? was it a trailer jetter parked outside?

      chances are that the machine and equipment used was too small to actually do the job.

      can you post a photo of the situation. basement line with the hose.

      can you copy the contract you signed and post it.

      my feeling is they probably didn't use the right equipment for the job and got themselves in trouble.

      typically not a wise idea to jet a plugged up line from the basement. what did they do to keep the basement from flooding. typically it takes at least 10 gpm. of water to cut roots at 2500# minimum.

      i would have snaked it from a basement. my jetter for roots is only designed for 4'' and bigger pipes. it would have had to be a very large offset to get that nozzle stuck.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

        Ok from a sewer guy here's how it would go with me:

        First off I would cable the drain and "if" I got stuck I then would run my camera down. I would show you that you had a breached line. "I know I can get my cable out with the camera down the line" I would charge you for time spent on the job site and if you didn't want to fix your sewer that`s your problem not mine. I would never run a jetter down a line that had roots! You never know what the problem is till you start working. You can Not run a camera down a line that's plugged as you cant see though the nasty water. Best way is to try the Cable first, then if there is a problem and the drain is open you can run the camera and see why you are stuck.
        Like I said before I only charge for the time I`m on the job, if you don't fix your broken line that's your problem

        P.S. I have NEVER left a cable in a sewer to this date
        Last edited by All Clear Sewer; 08-14-2007, 11:05 PM.
        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

          Yes To All Clear;
          That Has Been My Way Of Doing Drains, For Over 30 Years. I Would Never Run A Jetter Down A House Sewer That Is Clogged Because Of The Extra Water Flooding Into House, You Would Need To Clear Blockadge With Cable Mach. First,
          Whoever You Had Out Is Trying To Sell You A Job, Any Offset In Pipe Has Been There Since Pipe First Laid, And The Co. You Had To Do Job Before Got Past It When They Did Work,

          Jerrymac Masterplumber
          JERRYMAC
          E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
          CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
          FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
          SINCE JAN. 1989

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

            We never left equipment in a drain and we always removed it at our costs unless we warned the client first that it might happen and they still wanted it done. I have removed a lot of equipment others left in drain lines though.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

              Originally posted by joust View Post
              I had a backed up drain in my basement that was the result of a blockage (Roots & stuff/paper caught on roots) in the main line that ran to the street. About 3-4 years ago we had it cleaned out for ~ $500 and it was no problem. This time I called a local "Rooter" company and they sent out a guy that asked me if I wanted it snaked or jetted out. The jetting was more expensive and I guessed more thorough so I went with that option. He sent the jetter straight in and went to town and then he called me down to tell me that he got the jetter caught in a small offset where my pipe met the city. He and I tried to pull it out to no avail. He then called his supervisor who sent another plumber w/ assistant to address the problem. He didn't seem to make any effort to free the jetter, but sent a camera down, showed me the roots I knew were there and then the offset that the jetter was caught in. He did some other analysis and then determined that the only option was to cut into the sidewalk, remove the jetter, pipe burst the 4" line (repipe) and then replace the 6" that connected to the city which he estimated at ~$15000. I don't deny that our pipe wasn't pristine (It's a 1926 house), and that it probably needed to be replaced, but I didn't feel like it needed to be now. I'm looking for general information as to how most plumbers would approach this. Reading this and other forums and talking to a couple other plumbers that came out and looked at the problem I've come to the conclusion that:

              The best way to approach this would have been to:
              -Camera
              -Cable/snake the blockage so the camera could complete its route
              -Camera to understand nature of pipes
              -Jet carefully with an understanding that an offset existed that needed to be avoided.

              I think he went in there kind of carelessly, didn't use an analytical approach to tackle the clog, and then the plumber sent out in the afternoon was trying to turn it into a big ticket job (Probably on commision). I feel like this could have been done more professionally and that the company should have offered to pay for the work necessary to extract their equipment. I'm happy to pay for the pipe work needed to replace old pipe, but don't feel like we should have to pay a company to remove their tools. What are folks thoughts?


              House from the 1920s...You would think that the piping was replaced at one time or another, and if not, common sense wouldve told your company that was out there, that if it is original, heres possibly what we could run into....Along with the other guys, i to in 13yrs have never lost, or left a cable stuck in a line....Good luck


              Greg
              The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

              www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                sounds good to me.

                what was on their original proposal or contract that you signed prior to the jetting?

                can you copy the contract you signed and post it.

                rick.
                yeah, post the contract if you can. If it was the rooter company I used to work for in Seattle, the contract states that they are not responsible for the condition of your pipe and any additional work due to the condition, will be an additional charge.
                Brent

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                  Originally posted by Drain Medic View Post
                  House from the 1920s...You would think that the piping was replaced at one time or another, and if not, common sense wouldve told your company that was out there, that if it is original, heres possibly what we could run into....Along with the other guys, i to in 13yrs have never lost, or left a cable stuck in a line....Good luck


                  Greg
                  In Seattle probably 60-70% of the buildings have either clay or concrete sewer lines.

                  I would have started with a snake and not the jetter, unless this was a repeat customer that I knew only the jetter would clear it.

                  I had one customer that I went to once a year who had sludge problem and I jetted from the basement . I'd push the jetter hose out about 30 ft. which was beyond the stoppage. Then jetted the problem from the far side. this way very little water came into the basement.
                  Brent

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                    Originally posted by joust View Post
                    I had a backed up drain in my basement that was the result of a blockage (Roots & stuff/paper caught on roots) in the main line that ran to the street. About 3-4 years ago we had it cleaned out for ~ $500 and it was no problem. This time I called a local "Rooter" company and they sent out a guy that asked me if I wanted it snaked or jetted out. The jetting was more expensive and I guessed more thorough so I went with that option. He sent the jetter straight in and went to town and then he called me down to tell me that he got the jetter caught in a small offset where my pipe met the city. He and I tried to pull it out to no avail. He then called his supervisor who sent another plumber w/ assistant to address the problem. He didn't seem to make any effort to free the jetter, but sent a camera down, showed me the roots I knew were there and then the offset that the jetter was caught in. He did some other analysis and then determined that the only option was to cut into the sidewalk, remove the jetter, pipe burst the 4" line (repipe) and then replace the 6" that connected to the city which he estimated at ~$15000. I don't deny that our pipe wasn't pristine (It's a 1926 house), and that it probably needed to be replaced, but I didn't feel like it needed to be now. I'm looking for general information as to how most plumbers would approach this. Reading this and other forums and talking to a couple other plumbers that came out and looked at the problem I've come to the conclusion that:

                    The best way to approach this would have been to:
                    -Camera
                    -Cable/snake the blockage so the camera could complete its route
                    -Camera to understand nature of pipes
                    -Jet carefully with an understanding that an offset existed that needed to be avoided.

                    I think he went in there kind of carelessly, didn't use an analytical approach to tackle the clog, and then the plumber sent out in the afternoon was trying to turn it into a big ticket job (Probably on commision). I feel like this could have been done more professionally and that the company should have offered to pay for the work necessary to extract their equipment. I'm happy to pay for the pipe work needed to replace old pipe, but don't feel like we should have to pay a company to remove their tools. What are folks thoughts?
                    Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
                    In Seattle probably 60-70% of the buildings have either clay or concrete sewer lines.

                    I would have started with a snake and not the jetter, unless this was a repeat customer that I knew only the jetter would clear it.

                    I had one customer that I went to once a year who had sludge problem and I jetted from the basement . I'd push the jetter hose out about 30 ft. which was beyond the stoppage. Then jetted the problem from the far side. this way very little water came into the basement.

                    Definitely, we run into alot of clay too....Im just going by, that this was a 1st time customer...Either way...your right, if the only access is inside, definitely cable it 1st, at least clear, camera it, then jet it....at least after you video it, you know where the problems are, you send the jetter head up to the camera, and go to town
                    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                      Why is the expert asking you what you want? That's why you pay for his services and knowledge. He should have made the choice for you on snaking or jetting. As an average homeowner, you don't know advantages and disadvantages of each other than cost. I often don't give my customers an option how I will fix their problem.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                        Back when I first started drain cleaning I worked for a guy and his father and we got his snake stuck. We knew distance wise we had to be in the town main so we called the town and got permission to enter the main with a camera. Of course the whole crew came out to watch with plans in hand. It turns out that section of the town system was rebuilt in the late 80's and the current home owner just happened to be the sewer director at the time. So we have all these "experts" telling us this and that and we are sitting there looking like incompetent fools. We camera the main and find no tie in for that home or the one across the street. The "experts" are saying " nope its right here on the plans" and there looking at us like we had some kind of trick camera something. The home owner starts swelling his chest and saying " I was in charge when this was done and theres no way in hell this didn't get tied in" At this point the old man has had enough of us having to sit and look like fools and we know somethings not right here so, he too starts swelling his chest and things start getting heated so we ended up bringing him home and called in the excavator. As it turns out, that home and the one across the street were never tied in to the new system so for 10 years or so they were dumping into the disconnected system. I guess the old main acted like a septic system. Public beach 1000' away down hill. Gee I wonder why it was closed so much due to bacteria levels?
                        The guy I worked for ended up paying for half the cost for the dig and didn't give the home owner any bill.
                        This is when I learned when when you suspect something may happen, ALWAYS stop and explain the situation to the home owner and let them know if you continue and get stuck it will be at their expense.
                        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                          Using a jetter for roots?

                          Sounds to me, that the person they sent out was not properly trained, or the slightest clue about anything..especially roots or the design of a Plumbing system.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                            Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                            Using a jetter for roots?

                            Sounds to me, that the person they sent out was not properly trained, or the slightest clue about anything..especially roots or the design of a Plumbing system.

                            the person was most likely on a commission. and true not properly trained in the first place. hence your drain cleaning license post

                            to be honest a proper jetter and nozzle will do a better job on roots, grease, mud almost everything out there.

                            once again, under the circumstances, i would not have even suggested a jetter.

                            the city trucks are mainly combination jetters and vacuums now. the old rodder trucks are being phased out.

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Problem with "Rooting" Company

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              the person was most likely on a commission. and true not properly trained in the first place. hence your drain cleaning license post

                              to be honest a proper jetter and nozzle will do a better job on roots, grease, mud almost everything out there.

                              once again, under the circumstances, i would not have even suggested a jetter.

                              the city trucks are mainly combination jetters and vacuums now. the old rodder trucks are being phased out.

                              rick.
                              I learned something today.

                              I guess from being taught by an old timer...it was always a cutter to use..then wash it out.

                              Since I never owned a jetter (still debating) I never would of thought a jetter could clear thick roots.

                              Comment

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