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so what do you think ?

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  • so what do you think ?

    So I go out on a clogged toilet / sewer on a Sunday at 3 pm ( its about 100 f outside ) Toilets clogged. Tub, lav and kitchen sink draining fine. Pull the toilet and clear the line at 10 or 12 ft. Run cable out to the end (80 ft.) and pull back a plastic shopping bag and some roots. Reset the toilet and flush toilet 5 or 6 times. Collect $200.00 for 2hrs on Sunday (job was 2 blocks from my house). I got the vibe from customer like I ripped him off.

    5 days later they call and toilet is clogged the same way. I go out pull toilet and clear it (its again 100 f outside), tell customer I think a newer toilet would be a good idea. He calls the wife and picks up one from home depot while I am there. So I install this new toilet and go out to fill out the bill and I am thinking this guy thinks its a freebee. I only charge him $100.00 (2hrs on the job again).

    3 days later he calls clogged again. I tell him I think I need to run a camera and maybe install a clean out. You have problems under the house and maybe in the front yard. He has the landlord call me. This is adding up, he says before he hangs up on me. Landlord wife calls up and says her husband will drive down and fix it himself (300 miles one way). Also says what kind of plumber wouldn't crawl under the house to check the sewer the first time. Husband says he can fix it in 3 hrs.

    I drive by and this guy had been there all day and is now digging around the yard looking for the sewer pipe (I guess). Wife calls and leaves me a message saying husband crawled under house and removed the clean out plug. Supposedly rootered the sewer from underneath the crawl space and all is good. Wife says he's going to install a clean out. The wife leaves me a message and only wants to pay $150.00 for everything I've done. The tenants paid me $300 with their credit card. Landlord wife wants me to reimburse her $150.00 off my two original invoices.

    I know what I want to do....what do you guys think about this?

    Sewer Rat
    Last edited by sewer rat; 07-09-2013, 12:12 AM.

  • #2
    Re: so what do you think ?

    If you have one; always run the camera after snaking the main drain.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: so what do you think ?

      What did you pull back the second time you rodded the line? What did you use to rod the line?
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: so what do you think ?

        Why did you charge him the second time 5 days later, you offer no warranty ? What size line was it and what size bit did you run down ? The line felt good ?

        I would have ran a camera down the second time to verify the line.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: so what do you think ?

          Originally posted by Sierra2000 View Post
          If you have one; always run the camera after snaking the main drain.
          a valid point. I run the camera on virtually every job I do. sometimes before I ever get the machine, cable, & augers out of the van. this way I have a feel for how far I need to go and what I may encounter. after the job run it to confirm the line is open and, draining properly and/or what the issue is and locate any problems. this gives information to the client and confirms to me the line is clear or what needs to be done to rectify the situation. a client with useful and valid information can then make intelligent decisions about what to do next.
          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: so what do you think ?

            Originally posted by stxrus View Post
            a valid point. I run the camera on virtually every job I do. sometimes before I ever get the machine, cable, & augers out of the van. this way I have a feel for how far I need to go and what I may encounter. after the job run it to confirm the line is open and, draining properly and/or what the issue is and locate any problems. this gives information to the client and confirms to me the line is clear or what needs to be done to rectify the situation. a client with useful and valid information can then make intelligent decisions about what to do next.

            When my $10,000.00 SeeSnake rolls outta my van someones going to pay for it

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: so what do you think ?

              if somebody comes behind me with an auger and fix's what I couldn't, then the customer gets a full refund.

              you just need to prove that they are trouble free after the landlord augered the line.

              If he was doing other repair work out front then keep the money.

              I just reread your post. yep I would give a full refund. as long as the landlord did no repairs in the yard.
              Last edited by saysflushable; 07-10-2013, 07:36 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: so what do you think ?

                The main question is what caused the choke. Did you find this out on both occasions. Also yes you should have used the camera to prove the choke was clear.
                What we have found with tenants is lack of concern for property. Always ask up front who is paying and give indication of minimum charge-out especially on weekend. Doesnt matter how far from home you still have costs. I am in the middle with this one as there is a lot of info missing. You may want to do a good faith refund but either way they will probably always refer to you as a hack because you didn't follow through. However one other important thing that many forget is that when the camera works, so too SHOULD the till. You have to pay for service and upkeep and we aren't charities last time I looked.

                Could be a valuable lesson in this for many. Cant wait to hear the Master pipe in............................!!!!!!!!!!! Holding my breath Rick. ehheheeheheehehehe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: so what do you think ?

                  i too would have camered the line the second time around to verify the line was properly open and clean enough not to plug up again. the first time around unless i was dealing with the owner and talking with them, i wouldn't do more than a basic cleaning unless you have a track record of the line and know the ins and outs.

                  best bet at this time and have a sit down with the owner and see what they found and what can be worked out on both sides.

                  i assume its only a 1 bathroom house? are you sure that the other fixtures didn't affect the toilet. were you able to recreate the stoppage the second time around and verify the tub was good and not having an effect on the line? if it was truly a local stoppage at 10-12' in why the need for an outside c/o unless you're putting in a 2 way and know you can reach it backwards. is the toilet on an outside wall that makes the 10' outside the already? lots of questions before you can tell if you missed the real problem or are getting screwed over.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: so what do you think ?

                    The way i see it that everybody is missing is second time you installed a new toilet
                    and that's worth a $150.00 right there !
                    So both charges are justified and no refund is due
                    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


                    • #11
                      Re: so what do you think ?

                      So you pulled the W/C twice and snaked it out twice? Was there not an option from the roof? What size cable and cutter where you using? Was this sewer or septic? I beleive you earned your pay, but it also sounds like you may not have used all your options to make sure the line was clear. I'd refound them your second call ($100).
                      Will Rogers Plumbing
                      Moore, Oklahoma
                      (
                      405) 323-2852

                      "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

                      "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



                      www.willrogersplumbing.com
                      http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

                      "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: so what do you think ?

                        Originally posted by AssTyme View Post
                        When my $10,000.00 SeeSnake rolls outta my van someones going to pay for it
                        well, my little $6,000.00 Color Compact rolls out and I do get paid for it. it's not just an extra fee. now if they want a recording then there is an additional charge for that.

                        one of the nice things about being a large fish in a small pond, AND having one of the only two working camera on island, is that folks know me, know of me, and refer me to their friends and family. my only real competition has a huge 325' or so camera and they do charge an arm & leg for it. it does sit idle most of the time. they also do a lot of government contracts so I guess the camera has its place for them.

                        the peace of mind and knowledge that I (and the client gets) from knowing the problem was rectified (or knowing where further issues are) far outweighs any $ compensation. plus I only had 2 call backs last year and so far none this year.
                        In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: so what do you think ?

                          Why did you recommend a new toilet when the stoppage was down the line?

                          Stoppage call-back? Camera line so you don't own someone else's robes until the end of time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: so what do you think ?

                            Charging twice for the same blockage five days apart is not on and recommending that a new toilet is needed when the problem is a blocked sewerage pipe well I cannot see what it has to do with the main problem and to add to all this the job is close to home where this client will give you a bad name

                            Tony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: so what do you think ?

                              I don't pull toilets to clear mains anymore, last time got hung up on roots, kinked up cable, horrific mess, no more. If everything draining fine except toilet, a 3/8 down the vent should have done it within say 12 ft or so, smile. I tell them w/o an accessible clean out its hit and miss, or something similar.
                              I'm not gonna camera a line after every main line clearing, I'm not going ask them either. IMHO, that's what guys do to jack up the bill and scare them into spending more. And don't give me the yada yada bs. The camera is for making money and not making sure everything is hunky dory.
                              Another reason I don't pull toilets is the guarantee scenario.
                              I used to run across these sort of problems when I was younger, but not so much anymore, I'm older and wiser.
                              I might have told them they need a clean out but I'll give it a quick shot down the vent and if that doesn't work or backs up again a clean out on Mon is needed. And I'll cut them some slack on the bill. This if the vent is only 2 inch or less.
                              Last edited by theplungerman; 07-16-2013, 02:41 AM.

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