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Thread: Blocked sewer gone bad

  1. #1

    Default Blocked sewer gone bad

    Here is a good one:

    Homeowner has a backed up sewer line.
    Plumber comes out and cannot unblock it with a snake.
    City goes out to dig up their area and finds a Fernco that was put on and buried with no clamps. The weight of the soil pushed the Fernco through the gap and into the pipe causing the blockage.

    Plumber who showed up and could not fix the problem only ran his snake in to the blockage point. He gives the homeowner a bill for $550.

    Homeowner calls city hall to complain.

    City fines plumber $1,000. for working without a permit.

    Lesson learned,..........don't gouge.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Chicago, IL
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    1,705

    Default

    I explain to all the home owners what my rates are and that they are paying me to put my rod into their sewer. They still have to pay me regardless if I open it or not.

    I had a job where I rodded the line and the rod would not past 60 feet. When I pulled back the cutter was all shined up. I put a cone retriever on the rod and brought back rocks. I explained to the home owner their line is broken and is in need for repair and handed her a bill for my hours work ($265) She had the option to hire me to locate the trouble spot for an additional $280. Or she can hire me for $3200 to make the repair. She knows a lot more about her sewer than she did before she called me. I and any plumber that sticks their rodder in the line should get paid for their time to diagnose the issue.

    In Chicago if you do any rodding you do need to get a permit though. Its 10 bucks and all you do is call it in and they mail you the bill. There is no inspection when your done or anything. Its just so they have a running documentation of any troubles that home may have had with its drainage system. The suburbs do not require a permit for power rodding.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Connecticut
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    7,463

    Default

    No permits required for rodding here...
    It's hard to say who the crookeder crook is... The plumber or the city...

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
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    25,633

    Default plumber

    Here, it would be the Registrar of Contractors who would fine them for working without a license, give them a felony conviction, prohibit them from doing ANY more work, AND not allow them to apply for a license for two years.

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
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    5,984

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    Here is a good one:

    Homeowner has a backed up sewer line.
    Plumber comes out and cannot unblock it with a snake.
    City goes out to dig up their area and finds a Fernco that was put on and buried with no clamps. The weight of the soil pushed the Fernco through the gap and into the pipe causing the blockage.

    Plumber who showed up and could not fix the problem only ran his snake in to the blockage point. He gives the homeowner a bill for $550.

    Homeowner calls city hall to complain.

    City fines plumber $1,000. for working without a permit.

    Lesson learned,..........don't gouge.
    What City...

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,633

    Default fine

    I guess that means that the city's budget got $1,000 extra and the homeowner was out $550, so all the contractor really paid was $450 of his own money. If he had charged $1,000 the money would have went from the homeowner straight to the city.

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