We see this scenario over and over: It’s a holiday weekend. Visitors are in from out of town. And sure enough, this is the time Homeowner Smith’s sewer backs up. Panicked, Smith hires a company to check out the problem, and when told his sewer lines require a major, expensive repair, he quickly consents, hoping to put the problem behind him as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Smith later learns that he has spent thousands in unnecessary expense.
Consumers are particularly vulnerable when it comes to sewer repair companies. After all, who wants to be without working toilets? But when faced with expensive repair bids, we urge extreme caution. Many of our clients have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies.
Many repair companies will suggest scoping your pipes to see what is going on. Based on the evidence of the scope, they often suggest costly repairs. But contrary to appearance, scopes don’t provide definitive proof: Camera lenses and angles can amplify problems; in some cases companies will show customers pictures taken at a different location.
Keep in mind that most major sewer repairs fall into the $4,000 to $8,000 price range. If a company’s bid is much higher than this, consider this a red flag.
- Never hire the same company to scope your pipes and do repairs. In this situation, companies have incentive to diagnose big problems.
- Always get a second opinion with major repairs.
- Take preventative measures to keep your sewer lines in shape. We suggest flooding the line once a month by following this procedure: Fill all bathtubs with water. Then simultaneously run the washing machine and dishwasher, flush all toilets, turn on all sinks and drain the tubs. This will release a large amount of water into your pipes, helping clear out debris. In addition, hire a company to cut out any roots in your pipes every year or two.
- Finally, call us for referrals. We know reputable companies and will be happy to help you steer clear of scam artists.
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RE/MAX of Cherry Creek