The last thing anyone wants is a sewer backup that prevents drainage from their home, or worse, pushes dirty, potentially hazardous water back inside the house. If something like this happens, it’s fairly normal to panic a bit and call up the first sewer cleaner you can locate in the phone book.
Don’t do this.
It’s certainly possible that the very first cleaner listed in the phone book is perfectly competent and reasonable, but it’s also possible they could turn out to be a complete nightmare that only makes your situation worse. Two very important things you need to know before allowing any contractor to perform any work is if they are licensed and if they are insured. In most places, a sewer cleaner needs to be licensed in order to actually do this sort of work. Insurance is a must in the event the cleaner injures him or herself on your property. Otherwise you could be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
Given the nature of a sewer backup, it’s not usually possible to pinpoint the location of the problem without equipment designed to do so. Ask if the contractor will be able to use a camera on a line to push through the piping until it encounters the blockage. The camera will provide a feed on a monitor so you’ll know just where the issue is located.
Once the problem is located, find out exactly what will need to be done, how long it will take, and ask for a cost estimate in writing. If you cannot get an estimate in writing you need to seriously reconsider using that particular cleaner. Problems can range from fairly simple clean outs of debris and greasy build ups all the way to a complete replacement of the sewer, therefore in order to protect your wallet, a written estimate is a must. The estimate should also include a description of the problem and if possible, the steps that will be taken to correct it.
Another important question to ask is if the work is guaranteed. That is, if repair work is performed and the problem returns again in a week, will the cleaner return and correct whatever error they made the first time around at no charge? Guaranteed work is highly preferable and is another statement that should be received in writing.
Finding a cleaner for your sewer backup doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By knowing the correct questions to ask and things to look out for, you can rather easily make the right decision on your very first attempt, and then resume life secure in the knowledge that your sewer is once again functioning properly.
Need a sewer cleaner in Farmington, MI? Let Danwood Plumbing and Heating help you out!