Monday, December 1, 2008

Drain Away Your Problems

The sink in the bathroom has been draining slowly for several months. I hate plumbing and since I am pretty good at procrastinating, I have put off doing anything about it. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had family visiting last week. They arrived on Saturday night.

Sunday morning, the sink decided to stop draining. I had a choice to make. Call my son and borrow the snake to clean out the drain myself, or call a plumber. Since I hate plumbing, I called the plumber. He arrived a couple of hours later -- early Sunday afternoon.

The pipes under the sink are very old. They probably have not been opened up in the last 20 years. The plumber thought that the pipes would probably break if he tried to open them and suggested trying to unblock the drain by running his snake down from the vent on the roof. We went up there and he located the vent. Then he offered, for a little more money, to run all the drains and give me a 1 year guarantee instead of the usual 90 days. I said fine, just get it done.

So that's what he did. Of course in the process of doing that, he discovered that he could not get the snake down the vent for the bathroom sink, so he had to take the pipes apart under the sink anyway. And of course the piping broke as he expected it to. To make things worse, he did not have the right piping to replace what broke and neither did Home Depot, so he said that he had to come back the next morning. FINE!?! Fortunately we have two bathrooms, so we were not completely out on the street.

As he was leaving, my wife came out of the other bathroom and said that something was wrong with the toilet. I took a look and saw a hole in the side of it. I grabbed the plumber before he left and told he we had a problem. It turns out the the snake instead of going down the drain, came back around and poked a hole in the side of the toilet. The plumber said that they would take care of it and replace the toilet. Of course, that has never happened to him before!

So, the next day, Monday, the plumber showed up about 9 am with a new toilet in hand. By early afternoon the toilet was in and the sink was repaired. He wanted his money.

Part of the original deal was that he was going to run our main line out to the street with a larger snake. He said that because of the toilet problem, he was told not to run the main line. I said fine, just give me a discount since you did not do all the work. He said he could not do that and that he had actually run the main line from the roof, but with a smaller snake. I just wanted to get rid of him and went ahead and paid him the full amount.

I got a call from the plumbing office later that evening and they asked about the job. I went over everything with the lady on the phone including not getting a discount that I thought I was entitled to. She said that all these reports go to the general manager and that he may call me. It's been a week now and I have not heard from him.

I told her, I have a year guarantee. If something happens within the next year I will call them. If something happens in more than a year I will call a competitor. I guess they don't care.

So now I hate plumbing and plumbing companies! What's a guy to do?


  1. Hi Jerry we have the same problem with our bathroom sink it wont drain - so my task for the day is to go out and get some Mr Muscle drain and sink unblocker and hope that that works - it usually does!

  2. What timing with company and all.

    And honestly I would have done the same thing; just pay him to have him leave.

    I knew a plumber (for businesses-not individual homes); they would break a pipe or something to make the little job a bigger job if they came out and there was not going to be much work).

    Shame; shame.

  3. Call the Better Business Bureau!

  4. Ugh, that is no fun at all. Too bad you couldn't have called my favorite guys Jason and Grant from Ghost Hunters to clean out your pipes! He heee he hee :D

  5. Jerry, I am seldom satisfied with work that is done for me, so to save the aggravation I try to do it myself. As a generalization, it seems that no-one takes pride in their work anymore.

  6. I've sworn off of big companies and instead work with independent guys. It takes longer to get them out but in the past 2 years I've had more success. The downside is little in the way of a formal warranty, but since we live in a smaller city, word of mouth is important. Hopefully you won't have any more problems.

  7. Good Lord Jerry Critter!

    Your problem out weighs mine on numerous levels... a hole in the toilet?!?! Was this guy really a plumber???

    You must be more passive then me though because I would have thrown an ever lovin' fit and argued the price down... I'm kind of a B!@#$ that way though...

    I was fortunate enough to have a friend whose a plumber though and came to my rescue and fixed my valve for $30 bucks. I've never had good luck calling on a business to fix a home problem.... and I'm cheap :-)

    *side note... I'm really dumb. I always wondered where your picture came from and i FINALLY just watched all 3 Lord of the Rings (obsessed is more like it) and now I get it!!!! John looked at me with a huge "duh" written all over his face :-)*