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Thread: Plumbing Disaster at The Worst Possible Time - Advice Please!!

  1. #1

    Default Plumbing Disaster at The Worst Possible Time - Advice Please!!

    So we just sold our house but the closing hasn't happened yet, and we just had a flood last weekend. It happened while relatives who were in town for a graduation and a marriage were staying in the house, and they had to go to a hotel as a result. The roto-rooter guys came and determined which drain had backed up, and then came back to stick a camera attached to a hose-like thing down it to see where the problem was.

    The guy couldn't even get past the trap (when he tried, the camera got pushed into the wrong pipe and went into the house). He determined that the trap is clogged up, likely from tree roots, and quoted us about $2700 to replace it, working completely from the inside of the house (the trap is half-inside, half-outside, but there is an 8-foot porch sticking out over the outside part). To do the job, he said we'd have to rip out the cabinets in our basement that go over top of the beginning of the trap (where he twisted off the cap to stick the camera in), and then drill through the cement there. After replacing the trap, the guy said, he can run the camera again to see if there are any other problems farther along.

    He said one thing we could try is blasting water down the pipe to see if it would unclog the trap and take care of the problem, for about $500 (I forget the term for this!). He says this is risky because the water can shoot back into the house if it doesn't go through, but we are going to tear out the carpet down there anyway since it's all nasty from the flood and was old anyway.

    My questions are:

    1.) Does that quote ($2700) sound reasonable, and is it possible there is a better way?

    2.) Is it worth having them try to unclog the drain by shooting water down it? The guy said he didn't think it would solve the problem.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It sounds like they are trying to go through the house trap by going through the vent both to snake it and with the camera... As you can see its not working! Is there other access? In my experience there are usually 2 cleanouts directly over the trap. These are where a snake may be pushed through the trap to clear the line. Trying to get anything to go through a trap from several feet and bends back is very difficult. See the diagram & pictures below so you might better understand what you have...





    I would strongly recommend getting a second opinion from a plumber that does drain cleaning,,, Maybe one without rooter in their name....

    Jetting is what they were talking about and it is possible that it may help. But I would find other access and snake it through there if at all possible. Most of the time the clog is right in the trap!

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Throw the guy out of the house and lock the door. Then call a reputable plumber who will try to snake the drain the proper way, and not add several hundred dollars to the price for a tv inspection

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    HJ the diplomat! LOL
    I hope that you didn't pay for their incompetence!

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