My Plumber — Incorrect diagnosis and trying to sell me work I don't need!
In Nov 2010, the water backed-up when we ran our wash machine. It would come out in the kitchen sink (but never overflowed, thank God) and water would spill out of the airpipe on top of the roof located over the washer. We had a local company fix the problem for us (for about $400) but were only able to warranty it for 30 days. In April 2011, same problem happened again and we decide to go with another company since the work from the first company lasted only five month. We picked Myplumber.com since they look to be a big company in this area and also had the video service so we can ensure the work is properly done.
First issue with them is communication within their own company. We explained to the dispatcher that we had this problem before and they would need to send two guys with a ladder to get to the problem as it needs to be snaked from the roof. Only one guy came, with no ladder. I could either help the guy myself using my own ladder or we can make another appt and start over. The guy did the job and did give me a discount for my assistance (came to about $400 again WITH the discount). He says he cannot give me a warranty period until the the video guy came to do a free video inspection of the line.
This is the good part. The video guy to come out a few days later and scoped the line. Told us there was a break in our underground pipe beneath the family room and marked the location of the break. The family room is next to the kitchen which is next to the laundry room. Told us we can either replace just the section of the underground pipe beneath the family room for about $5000, that came only with a 2-year warranty OR we can replace the underground pipes from the laundry room to the kitchen to the family room for about $10, 000 and they will warranty that for 20 years. (Plus, I would have needed to shell out another $4200 to replace the flooring for the laundry room, kitchen and family room!) On top of that, we don’t even know what’s beyond the pipe breaking point in the family room as the camera was not able to go beyond the break. This is very disturbing as once they open up the ground, there’s no going back. There may be other pipe issues from the family room to the street that we don’t know about. We could end up needing to replace ALL of the underground pipes to the street! The guys says there are three guys in the company who’s full time job is to do video inspection of the line and often they are the bearer of bad news.
After he left, I was stressing out so I asked around for a plumber recommendation for a second opinion. Jimmy is the owner of Alpha Plumbing and is my sister’s neighbor. I explained the situation and he came at the appointed time with his assistant. He did a video inspection of the line and came to a stoppage about the same place as marked by the video guy from myplumber.com. Jimmy told me that he cannot make any conclusion based on what we saw on the monitor and snaked the pipe further with different snake head/length setting. More than an hour later, Jimmy cleared the blockage and the video camera had gone pass the mark, all the way toward the main drain. It turns out the so-called breakage in the pipe was nothing more than shoddy work (blockage in the pipe was never fully cleared) done by the previous plumber from myplumber.com.
At this point, I think myplumber.com should really refund our money for not properly clearing the blockage. If it was fully cleared, then the video guy would have not assumed the stoppage point of the video camera was a breakage. Also, this could have been avoided if they had the same guy doing both the clearing and the video inspection.
How do you like that for making more money for your company!