Is Roto Rooter Ripping Us Off?
I've posted this in two other forums, so if you've read this, I'm sorry.
We live in a Chicago 3-flat condo building. All three units are owner occupied.
This is the only forum that matters!
Last week, our main sewage drain, under the basement leading to the city sewer line under the street, clogged and backed up.
We called Roto Rooter, they came out and managed to unclog the pipe.
Then the guy with the camera came and told us we had some roots growing in.
The cleanout in the basement is 3 1/2 inches and is at the front of the building. Outside in the front of building is a 4-inch pipe leading to the main sewer line and has a downspout running into it. At the back of the building, about 115 feet from the roots, is a 6-inch pipe leading to the main line and that too has a downspout running into it.
Roto Rooter wants to tear up our front lawn and install a 6-inch clean out. They say that because the main line is six inches and the two clean outs at the front of the building are 3 1/2 and 4 inches, they need a six inch cleanout to get the roots. I asked if they could use the six inch pipe at the back of the building, but the guy said 115 feet was too far.
This is the first trouble we've had with the line since the building was rehabbed 12 years ago.
I'm having a hard time believing they can't use there blades from the opening at the back of the building. It seems like it would be pretty much a straight shot to the roots once they were in the pipe.
Roto Rooter wants $4000-plus to dig up lawn, pull permits, install cleanout etc. It's an additonal $500 if we choose to have a jet wash.
Am I right about the 6-inch cleanout in the back of building? What do you guys think.
Thanks for your help
Roto Rooter Vancouver - not the best option out there
I have hired Roto Rooter a couple of times here in Vancouver and after the last time - Never again.
Here is a picture of what my drain line looks like right now. This picture was taken under my driveway under the row of Cedar Trees. You can see the roots taking hold of this sewer pipe.
I have a 4" cleaned out at my garage and a 6" clean out at the edge of the city property line.
You can call the city and wait for there trucks or snake your own line.
I know the rooter rooter guys charge to snake and then also charge to look. We hired the "Plumber" who must have been 22 or 23 years old and he used an arrow head attachment and then just punched a hole through the roots. Then he looked with his camera and billed us $600 some odd dollars. No cutting no other work.
The sewer line backed up a few months later and then I rented a snake with a root cutter. My home has been fine for a couple of years now but you can see this should be done every other year at least.
Some water flow action. The camera I shoved under the street to take a look. We will need to call the city to clean their portion of this drain line.
Camera Inspections - A look at a West Vancouver homes rain water leaders
With a camera snake you can get a good look at the work that was done on your home. Hang out with the crew and make sure what you pay for gets done!
These cameras also come with a tracking device. The device can tell you a lot. For one they tell you where they are but better than that is how deep they are.
If you hold the camera at the same elevation off the homes foundation (ie first course of siding) you can determine if the proper grade is in effect. We found that this home had a large belly down under the home's heat pumps. It is most likely that the concrete slab settled and cracked these rain water leaders. So for years the roof water is going right against the homes walls and not down the rain water leader to the home's sump.
We measured and mapped out this for our clients here in West Vancouver. New home construction requires a site plan for these drain pipes to be on file. If your lucky check with city hall and find out.
If you just built a new home a few years ago I would suggest you re-inspect or inspect the work to make sure nothing changed when the home settled.
My own home suffered a crack in the rain water leader and I found out that my guy installed a Y fitting backwards! I'm glad I found this now instead of years later after thousand and thousands of gallons of water was shot down straight to my foundation.