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Thread: Root Removal Problem

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  1. #1

    Default Root Removal Problem

    My daughter had her floor drain backup and called in a drain service to check things out ... they ran a root cutter into the 4" main and ended up getting it stuck ... at that point they said the line must be damaged and ended up calling in a construction company to dig up the street to retrieve the cutter. At that point it was discovered that no problem existed, other than a lot of roots in the line, and the cutter was hung up because the operator couldn't pull it back ... it was all wadded up with roots and it had been pushed past the 4" cast iron line and into the larger clay tile under the street.

    The question I have is for the plumbers here as I was wondering if it is normal practice to bill the customer, my daughter in this case, for all of the excavation costs in this kind of a situation? While I understand the roots should have been addressed sooner (had she known) but it seems to me that at least some of the fault lies with the drain service for not being a little more careful in clearing the line

    Feel free to tell me I'm an idiot for thinking this but my daughter doesn't have the thousands of dollars to pay this kind of bill and this has put her in a big bind

    Thanks!
    Dave

  2. #2
    Rancher
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    I'd say if they lost their cutter past your daughter's line, then they are at fault. They didn't have to retrieve their cutter, they chose to do that, excavation was not on her property...

    Rancher

  3. #3
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd have my lawyer explain to them that they are supposed to know what they're doing, and if they screw up, it's their problem, no matter where they lost their cutter. Surely they carry insurance for this sort of thing?

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    One of the advantages of hiring a licensed professional is that they assume the liability of damages to property. This is clearly their problem. If they are seeking your daughter to pay for this, then I would urge her to consult an attorney immediately.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I agree. Fight the drain cleaning company. Anyone who does drain cleaning as a profession knows that you have to be very careful on root bound lines.

    Slowly keep digging into the roots, pull back and clear the end of your cable and repeat till it is a easy path through the main.

    The discovery of roots only and no collapsed line was a misjudgement on their part which has no responsibility back to your daughter. All she is liable for is the drain cleaning charge, no excavation.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  6. #6
    Rancher
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    In fact, you might try paying them only the drain cleaning fee, and tell them your attorney said they have no legal right to recoup any money lost due to damages beyond her control.

    Rancher

    Be sure you pay them the drain cleaning fee!

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