Monday, March 30

More Plumbing Woes

In January, we called a plumber because our pipes were backed up. Some of my readers may recall that he charged us $60 and didn't do a thing. My regular plumber was on holidays at the time, so I had to call someone I didn't know. Well, in February, I had to call a plumber again for the same problem. He changed some pipes because there was 2 inch pipes where there should have been 4 inch pipes. In fact, the pipes that were there weren't even really for plumbing. The person who owned this house before us had just installed any old pipe he could find. When the plumber was done, everything worked great, so we thought our problem was solved.

Wrong! On Friday, sewage began to back up into the house again. Of course it waited until late in the afternoon to do this and there was no one available. So, early this morning I got on the phone and called my plumber. He told me that there must be tree roots in the sewage system, because he had cleared everything else. He explained that since he was a small, independent plumber, he didn't have the four-inch auger needed to clear this mess.

The tree that causes roots to grow into our drains is on city property and therefore I knew I had to call the City. They came just after 1pm, dug up my flower bed to get at the access pipe and ran their long auger down the pipes. No, it wasn't tree roots between the house and the road. The man went into the basement and told us that the problem was in the pipe that goes through the foundation. Great! Now I had to find a plumber who would take on this job.

Keep in mind that we couldn't shower, bath, wash dishes or use the bathroom during the entire weekend. Both hubby and I were getting a little tired of this and so we called a company that offered emergency plumbing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They told me that the man would be out as soon as he was finished with the job he was doing.

At 4pm, I called the company back and asked them if I could have an "expected arrival time." They told me about a half hour. Well, the guy showed up after 6pm. The dispatcher assured me that the problem would be taken care of before the plumber left. Wrong! He looked at the job, told us the pipe was broken and had tree roots in it. He would have to clear it but since it was the end of the workday, he would be back tomorrow. Say what? I thought they had emergency service 24 hours, 7 days a week. Not according to him.

Now my dear friends, I must admit I lost it. I looked at him and said, "Why tomorrow." He told me that it would take too long to do the job tonight. I freaked. I asked him how we were to shower, wash dishes and use the facilities. He told me he had cleared the line enough that we could shower or do dishes, but not to flush the toilet. Whoa!!! We've already been without facilities for the entire weekend. So, forgetting that I'm a lady, I asked him, "What do we do if we have to use the bathroom?" (only a little more bluntly.) He shrugged and didn't say a word about what I was to do but proceeded to tell me the job would take two days and cost between $4,000 and $15,000 dollars. Then, I really freaked.

I understand that 6 feet of pipe will cost money. I understand that these guys get about $120 per hour. However, what I don't understand is that he thinks I'm going to go without facilities when the company offers emergency service 24/7, have to go to the gas station to do my business and then allow him two days to install a piece of pipe. Does this girl look stupid? My Dad did all his own plumbing so I certainly have some idea what we are looking at here and it is not a two day job nor is it between $4,000 and $15,000.

So, tomorrow I will get up and call the company to see what his superiors have to say. I told hubby and the plumber both, not to be too surprised if they didn't get the job. I can't use the bathroom for two days anyway, so may as well get another estimate or two.

I'm done my rant now. I hope you all have a good week and take good care of your plumbing. If not, you may find yourself in a similar predicament to mine and that wouldn't be good. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Messed up plumbing is the worst...I hate dealing with no bathroom facilities...Hope this gets fixed soon!

  2. Oh Mary - I am so sorry and am upset for you! It sounds like you are getting the run around. I'll be praying this gets cleared up quickly and that you get a much better price.

  3. Oh no Mary. I hope you get a much better estimate. That is highway robbery for sure. I remember about 2 years ago we had to replace all the plumbing underneath the house, it was expensive but not at all that bad.

    I would have gotten his address and driven to his house to use his bathroom. LOL

  4. Mary,
    This plumber doesn't sound very ethical. He seems to know you're in an awful predicament and is taking advantage of you.
    I'd definitely get some additional estimates.

  5. I'd be shopping for another plumber and fast. Then I think I would contact the Better Business Bureau or some equivalent, perhaps even someone within the city govt. too and put this company and their workers on some kind of notice to the public in that manner. Highway robbery -that's exactly what that is!

  6. Oh Mary, I'm so sorry. This is my nightmare come true. I hope you get some satisfaction soon and every thing gets fixed. Thinking of you...j)

  7. oh nooo that is frustrating! Sounds like you need Mike Holmes.

  8. Good grief! You're having about the same kind of luck with your plumbing as I am with my computer! But at least my computer problems don't force me to put my whole life on hold!

    I'd definitely get some more estimates and I don't think I'd use that company even if their price was the lowest, just on general principles because of how that goof off treated you. Sometimes the lowest price isn't always the best deal.

    I hope it's sorted out soon and to your best advantage, Mary.

    Love and hugs,


  9. My hubster has said many times, if you can find a plumber as a friend, keep him forever! Nothing worst than plumbing problems! Costly and inconvenient!
    Best of luck to you!

  10. My first reaction was to say "Oh crap!" before I even realized what I was saying. :)

    Really though this is very stressful, and I hope it works out soon. I often think that modern sanitation is a almost a miracle that we take for granted, and your troubles reinforce that thought.

  11. I can't believe that it would cost that much. Do get another estimate. I can remember when we had water problems before, we would take a ride down to the local fast food place to their bathroom. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

  12. Mary
    What a problem. The quote price is ridiculous. I would get several estimate if I were you. Peace

  13. Sounds like a royal mess-I'm sorry Mary. Hope you find a good plumber that will help you figure it all out-and fix it!!

  14. My book came today. Thank-you so much. I hope to read a little tonight...m.

  15. Mary, I am so sorry you are having problems with your plumbing. I really don't know why plumbers think that they can get away with the things they do. Hope you can get some satisfaction quickly.

    God bless.

  16. Sometimes one takes all one can take and then there bests not be anyone in ones way!

    I have a award for you tomorrow. Hoping all is solved for you soon.
    Mama Bear

  17. There's no way it should cost that much, Mary, so I do hope you can finally find someone who will do the job for much less. Too bad E doesn't live near you, his job is sewer and water and he's unblocked quite a few pipes in the 34 years he's been working for the city! lol Don't blame you at all for freaking out, this is ridiculous! xoxo

  18. Mary.. I am so sorry...... YOu have had your share of these plumbing problems........ There is nothing worse.......... I pray that you find someone that will do this job at a BETTER price......... and not take advantage...

    I will email you later........ we have another issue out here with Mother........ I choose not to blog about it ......

    Love ya!

  19. Oh, my goodness. We have some plumbing issues in our house, but hope they never get this bad! Plumbers certainly do have us over a barrell!

  20. Oh, I wish I was there! I bet we (you and I) could take care of replacing that piece of pipe!!! I used to help my dad when he worked on stuff like that. He wasn't a plumber, but he could fix anything! What an awful time for you!!! I do hope you are getting other estimates now. They are trying to take advantage of you. You can plumb an entire house for that much!!! Do keep us posted as to what's happening! We care....

    ((( HUGS )))

  21. That looks bad. I hope you’ve found a solution that didn’t really put a big hole in your pocket. And if you had to, I hope it was worth all the expenses. To avoid this predicament again, you might want to regularly check your plumbing system from time to time for clogs and leaks. Levi @ Capital Plumbing

  22. I am not against hiring a “small, independent plumber”, as they’re the best service to call on minor plumbing woes. However, in complex cases like this, where the problem involves roots of trees sewers and major problem involving your plumbing system, you should call a reliable plumbing company. That way, you know they have the adequate tools and knowledge to properly address your concern.

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing

  23. While hiring independent plumbers may be cheaper, it may not be worth it if they aren't able to fix the job in the end. It looks like your plumbing problem was more than just a simple clogged pipeline, so you need a more competent plumber with sufficient tools to fix it. I hope you found the right one for the job. Take care!

    Gordon Patton @ Bison Plumbing