It all started with a backed up drain pipe in my basement. My husband tried snaking the drain but it remained clogged.
Plumber #1: We called Rescue Rooter who snaked the drain ($248) as far as they could (which was not far enough). They sent a camera down (free) and determined our sewer pipe had collapsed. They provided a quote of almost $5K to repair the sewer pipe. The dude from Rescue Rooter seemed more like a sales guy than a plumber guy, plus he had a Chicken Little kind of attitude (don't flush toilet paper!) so we went looking for a 2nd quote. I searched online for sewer repair reviews (of which they are few) and asked my network for referrals (online and off).
Plumber #2:Online searching came up with Calhoun Plumbing. They ran a camera through the pipe ($255), gave us a dvd of the video, determined the sewer line had collapsed and said they would provide an itemized quote within a day. I asked for an off the top of their head quite of estimate and was told $7K.
At this point, I am wondering how much a first born child goes for on the black market. (Kidding. Just kidding.) And we are taking all showers and doing laundry elsewhere as we are afraid to end up with something terrible arising from our basement drain.
Plumber #3: I had been relaying all our drain drama to my networks via Twitter and Facebook. I received multiple suggestions of plumbers. Most of them do not touch sewer repair. One of my Facebook Friends (a previous client) suggested Muetzel Plumbing (which does not have a website). They sent a rep to provide a quote. I told their rep my story, including that I had become distrustful of his industry. He sent a camera through our sewer drain. He then asked me "How do you know you have a collapsed pipe?" I said "It was snaked and then I was told it was collapsed". He said "Did you see the video?" I said "Yes, but I had no idea what I was looking at, plus the 2 videos I have seem looked entirely different." He was not convinced the drain had collapsed. He suggested they run a power wash type of tool called a Jetter through our sewer pipe for $253. I said "do it". Anything to avoid putting my first born on the black market. Can you guess the end of this story? The Muetzel Plumbing power washing tool worked! Turned out it was roots! He then showed me on the video how my drain was clear all the way to the main sewer. He even found a few roots left in the sewer pipe so he ran the power washing tool again! Honorable. FINALLY. A skilled and honorable plumber.
The skilled and honorable plumber was found how? Facebook Friend. Who is actually a colleague. And my network comes through again.