There is no such thing as a convenient plumbing problem. They interrupt your life, and their repair can rarely wait, but must be dealt with immediately.
There’s a sewer pipe from your house to a city drain or your septic tank and on to the water treatment plant. Depending on how old your house is, that pipe can be made of cast iron, clay, perforated piping or PVC pipe. The newest is PVC and so far seems to be better than its predecessors.
You first suspect a problem when toilets can’t be flushed, tubs and showers won’t drain and sometimes raw sewerage can back up onto your lawn.
Sewer pipes no matter the age, can break. When they do, your life stops until it is repaired. If it is indeed broken, you have to find the right plumber to fix it.
Often people hire a friend or handyman to dig up the pipe and look for a leak. When they are finished, the lawn is a mess and there’s good possibility that the leak is not repaired.
Find a licensed plumber that will get to your job quickly. Check the company references, check Angie’s List, and the BBB. Ask to see a license. Most companies have their license numbers on their trucks and on their letterhead. Get the company’s insurance agent to send you proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
When you are satisfied that you have a trustworthy and dependable plumber, you will find that the sewer pipe may not have to be dug up at all. A good plumber will have a camera that he can run through the pipe to check for blockages, tree roots, grease or children’s toys that may have plugged up your plumbing.
He will give you an estimate based on what he found in your pipes. In that estimate he will outline the scope of work and how he plans to repair it. He will tell you when he is going to start and when he plans to finish. He will give you the estimate in writing and usually in the form of a contract that is signed by both of you.
Find an honest and experienced plumber. You will be glad you did.
We are lucky that we have a plumber here in Mountain View that we trust to take care of any plumbing problems. If you live near here, his name is Jim Baker at Baker Plumbing.