Who you hire may depend on the size of the job as we shall explain. This is besides the obvious that if you are doing a high rise building you are not going to hire a one man show who may or may not have an assistant. That obviously won’t work. But there are other cases that are much closer and harder to call.

Get Quotes

Unless you have worked with someone for a long time, you are probably going to want at least two quotes if not three. That is assuming the job is a bit complex. If it is something like your disposal won’t work or your toilet float doesn’t work, just ask for prices over the phone.

A number of years ago, we were dealing with a rental where the water was backing up in the basement toilet. When that happens, that usually means the sewer line is blocked for some reason and since the water can’t go anywhere, or is draining very slowly, the water just backs up as you run water, say from a dishwasher, washing machine, shower or toilet.

If this happens, stop running all water, don’t flush the toilet and call a plumber immediately, or a RotoRooter type company. Sometimes the problem is that someone flushed paper towels down the toilet. They don’t break up the way toilet paper does. Frequently the problem is roots that have grown into the pipe at a joint or crack.

Expanding the Job

We had a plumber who was recommended come out and snake out the line. He charged a fairly hefty fee. A few weeks later, the same problem happened. He came out again and said he didn’t think snaking it again would help. He said we would need to take the tree down in front of the house and then replace the sewer line. The tree was going to cost several thousand dollars and its been a while, but replacing the sewer line was something like $5,000 or $10,000. Definitely sticker shock.

Finally a Reasonable Quote

So we called around and found Kirk at All Nite Sewer and he snaked it for half the price of the first guy, went a lot further and got a lot more stuff out. So $150 instead of $8,000 or $13,000. Definitely worth it to call around and get another opinion.

You will be amazed by the different prices you get when you request quotes on jobs. It can be all over the place.

But Not Always the Cheapest

We had a larger job and got prices an on this one, All Nite was higher than some large companies. It wasn’t a huge job, but they apparently had the infrastructure in place to knock it out quickly. So each company seems to have a sweet spot depending on their size and the size of the job.

You are also likely to get a better recommendation if you ask someone in a trade than just a friend. The friend may have a perfectly good person or company but finding a good company is more likely from a trade person recommendation.

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