Did you know the sewer line that runs from your house to the street is made of clay? This piping is usually put together in six foot sections and often held together with cement. Over time, the cement cracks and allows intrusive roots access to the waste water. As those roots grow in size, they can block the flow of waste water and in some cases will actually misalign the pipe. Having an exterior mainline cleanout is essential for snaking (also called rootering) the line to remove roots before they get large. Once you have a cleanout, annual maintenance is a good idea to avoid a blockage (inevitably on a weekend or holiday). Many companies that offer rooter service will insist that you need to repair or replace the line. They will often give a half-hearted attempt at clearing the line before using high pressure sales tactics to sell a big job. If you do need any type of rooter work, follow these quick tips when looking for a plumber:
1. Stay Local – Use a company located in your community. Look for a small to mid-sized company that has good reviews on google.com and or yelp.com .
2. Avoid Large "Franchise" Companies- Especially the ones that advertise heavily on T.V. or radio. Those ads cost big money.
3. Ask your friends- Many times the people you know and trust have a plumber they know and trust.
4. Avoid "Low Cost" ads- If it sounds too good to be true…It probably is. Many companies use low prices to get in the door so they can sell a big job. Typical stoppages should cost in the neighborhood of $100-$150. Most reputable companies will give you and idea on the phone as to what your job would typically cost.
I hope you find this post useful. There are many great companies out there, but there are also many salesmen and not so great companies out there, too. Use your instincts. If you don’t trust someone, get a second opinion. Also, avoid liquid drain cleaners…they can cause damage to your plumbing system.