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Thread: Is Roto Rooter Ripping Us Off?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Chgo's Avatar
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    Default Is Roto Rooter Ripping Us Off?

    Hi,

    I've posted this in two other forums, so if you've read this, I'm sorry.

    This is the only forum that matters!
    Terry
    We live in a Chicago 3-flat condo building. All three units are owner occupied.

    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
    Last edited by Terry; 11-21-2012 at 09:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Default

    It's hard to say without being able to see what's going on. But what I will say is get another estimate or two. Get the estimates from company's that don't have ROOTER in there name. These people are very well known for over pricing and not being very honest or knowledgeable.

    John

  3. #3
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Sewerratz is out running errands but he is the one you want to call !
    A archer plumbing and drain service,
    sewerratz@gmail.com
    he can clean your 6" pipe from your existing 31/2" & 4" clean outs

    630-932-9800
    Last edited by MACPLUMB 777; 07-28-2012 at 01:57 PM.

    MACPLUMB 777

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    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
    AND BOILERS SINCE JAN, 1989

    281-706-1631 7 DYS A WEEK SALES AND TECH. SUPPORT
    Trojan Worldwide Web Site


     



  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Chgo's Avatar
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    Yeah, very possibly. I see his name a lot here.

    I guess what I want to know is if it's possible to use the 6-inch cleanout at the back of the building for roots at the front of the building. I'm guessing it's 115 -125 feet. Roto said it was too far. I'm not sure I buy it.

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    My ears where burning, lol

    All of our trucks have 160' of cable on the trucks. The machine has 110' (100' cable 10' anchor), and 50' extra in a rand for those slightly longer sewers. We also carry a 4" x 6" expanding cutter for those homes with only a 4" clean out.

    So a 6" clean out is not necessary, but does makes things easer for the guys that do not carry the extra cable or the expanding cutters. As for the price, its hard to say site unseen. Our starting price for an outside clean out install is $2800 excluding any city fees and permits, and goes up depending on depth and location. We can give a firm price after seeing the job site.

    To power rod with our expanding cutters or from the back access point, our starting rate is $265.00 for the first hour, and $80.00 per half hour after the first. If you have any questions or just want to pick my brain feel free to call (630)932-9800

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MACPLUMB 777 View Post
    Sewerratz is out running errands but he is the one you want to call !
    A archer plumbing and drain service,
    sewerratz@gmail.com
    he can clean your 6" pipe from your existing 31/2" & 4" clean outs

    630-932-9800
    Macplumb, do you have any recommendations for a guy like Sewerratz on Long Island, NY? I mean knowledgeable, honest, fair, and supremely-competent? I had the $49.99 Sewer and Drain guys snake a few of my gutter drains and a patio drain, and they got those working again, but they were totally overwhelmed with my driveway drain.

    Driveway drain is a like 2'x3' grate over a like-sized brick cistern that goes down about 10 feet. A couple of feet from the top is a clay pipe (1920's house) about 4" in diameter that the extra water volume is supposed to flow into; that pipe is connected to what must have been a pretty-fancy stormwater drainage system that still kinda works (it slurps up the gutter water and water from other stormwater drains without complaint, even in big storms). However, about 10 feet down that pipe is some sort of clog, so in anything other than the lightest rain, our driveway floods. A friend/contractor jetted out the dirt and gravel that had accumulated in there with a fire-hose attachment, but he believes that at that spot about 10 feet down the pipe, and probably every 30' or so thereafter, there is likely a ball of roots.

    The $49.99 guys came with their two-man, NOT $49.99 snake and worked it for about 15 minutes before deciding that it was beyond their capability. They said it might be a cave-in, or might be roots or might be many things, but what it wasn't was something they wanted to work on. Fair enough. My buddy will dig the whole thing up and replace it, but he wants a pretty penny to do that, and I thought it would be worth a try by a supremely-competent snaker first, followed by a camera inspection if that didn't work and someone trustworthy thought it would be worthwhile. $500 or so to get a snaking job done right seems totally fair.

    Anyone you would recommend? Or anyone on here? (I haven't seen any Long Island pros on this forum yet...)

  7. #7
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Contact Ranger Sewer @ 631-368-0901
    Dan Kleinpeter
    he can take care of your problem and or give you a price to correct problem

    MACPLUMB 777

    E-MAIL
    JERRYMAC@TROJANWORLDWIDE.COM


    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
    AND BOILERS SINCE JAN, 1989

    281-706-1631 7 DYS A WEEK SALES AND TECH. SUPPORT
    Trojan Worldwide Web Site


     



  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Thank you SO MUCH!

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    DIY Junior Member DRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MACPLUMB 777 View Post
    Contact Ranger Sewer @ 631-368-0901
    Dan Kleinpeter
    he can take care of your problem and or give you a price to correct problem
    That would be me!

    Let me know how I can help!

    DRS

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