Drain backups

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by bjames316, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. bjames316

    bjames316 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Maryland
    Just bought and moved into an old (1910)house. Did the 1st load of laundry and when the washer was emptying, the first floor toilet and shower drain backed up. As soon as I shut the washer off, all water drained out. Had Roto Rooter out and they snaked down through the toilet and found some roots. All was fine until yesterday, 5 days post "snaking" when it happened again. What do you think?
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    South*East
    If they ran the snake through the toilet with out pulling it there is no way they got all the roots.

    John
  3. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Main line roots

    Call roto rooter back talk to service mgr. Or owner they owe you a freeby

    if they did not do it the correct way the first time !

    Do not let these plumbers tell about drain cleaning co's

    roto-rooter is only as good as the person they send out

    and most drain / rooter co's are run by clean honest people that do work at

    a fair price, i have over 30 years working with these co's and i am a lic.

    Master plumber
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    Snaking from the toilet opening, and not through the toilet, is the worst way to do it, and I avoid it unless there is absolutely no other way to clear the drain.
  5. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    South*East
    You may be licenced but most of there tech,s are not.

    John
  6. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Main line roots

    To all plumbers we have a proud trade and i have always been proud to be

    a plumber,

    but having said that there are a lot of states where drain cleaners are not

    required to be licensed plumbers !

    And having work both sides of that, i can honesty tell you they do not have

    to licensed to work to protect the " health " of the nation !

    They are just as dedicated and trust worthy as any licensed plumber out

    there !

    Are there cheats among them yes they are ! Just as they are the same kind of

    people that are licensed plumbers ! People are people no matter what their

    " licensed " status is,

    i am plain getting sick and tired of plumbers bashing drain people !
  7. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    There is a saying that you can take a guy that started out in drain cleaning and he is good at it, and get him into plumbing he will make a great plumber. But if you take a guy that started out doing plumbing and try to get him into drain cleaning later he will make a horrible drain cleaner.

    We drain cleaners are a special breed. Yes some of the corporate ran places like the Roto Rooter here in the Chicago area, you may end up with an under trained simpleton in your home to clear a drain. And in some cases you might get a well experienced drain cleaner as well. Now to bash franchise drain cleaning companies in general is wrong. I know a lot of one man franchise shops that are ran by guys that can run circles around plumbers when it comes to cleaning a drain. Hell my father is not a licensed plumber, but he is licensed in the City of Chicago and Cook County as a Sewer and Drain layer contractor which is required to get the needed permit to clear main sewers in Chicago or to do any sewer repair. Well anyways my father cleaned drains all his life, he gets called by plumbers to clean drains for them. Back in the day we used to subcontract for a dozen different plumbing shops cause they just could not get the hang of drain cleaning.

    Now I have a plumbing license but I started out in drain cleaning, so it is something I am pretty good at. I consider myself a plumber's plumber, meaning I get many calls from other plumbers to help them with drain cleaning. I have a few shops around here after watching me do drain cleaning they went out and bought all the equipment to stock their own truck and hire a guy to clean drains, televise lines, jet sewers, and locate sewers.. Well they still call me, all that equipment is either broken down or they do not know how to use it properly or both.

    Well that is my two cents on this subject.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain cleaners

    quote; There is a saying that you can take a guy that started out in drain cleaning and he is good at it, and get him into plumbing he will make a great plumber. But if you take a guy that started out doing plumbing and try to get him into drain cleaning later he will make a horrible drain cleaner.

    I am not sure who thought up that saying, but I can almost guarantee it was a drain cleaner converted to a plumber. You can learn drain cleaning in a couple of months, but it takes years to become a good plumber. RR started out as a drain cleaner ONLY firm, and then made their "technicians" into "90 day wonder" plumbers just like the army used their OCS to produce "qualified officers". There is NO plumber, assuming he really knows the business, which is less than the majority of them, who cannot become proficient in cleaning the majority of drains in a week or so of intensive training. The ones who cannot use the equipment proper, are the ones who should not be doing it, just like the drain cleaners who cannot fix a faucet should not be doing plumbing. I have been cleaning drains AND doing plumbing for 55+ years, and have NEVER called another company to bail me out, BUT I have gone back on many cleaning jobs done by plumbers AND RR type firms, to do the job properly.
  9. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    South*East
    Right on hj, I to have been in the business for 50 yrs. 48 as a owner. When I had to take my test you had to wipe a lead joint. Heating systems were done with black iron pipe and waste & vents were CI and galvanized pipe. The cast iron joints were lead & oakum. When I first started out we did nothing but new work. In the last 15 yrs we did repair only. It took me about two weeks to master drain cleaning.

    John
  10. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I still use black iron pipe, use lead and oakum, also still plumb with galvanized pipes. I even know how to wipe a joint, make a shower pan out of lead sheet, Never did get into making my own lead traps and pipes but my sponsor did show me how. My father been doing sewer and drain cleaning for 60 years 50 of owning his own companies, which all three are still in business.

    I heard Frank Blau use the saying about taking a good sewer and drain cleaning tech that would make an excellent plumber, but a guy starting out in plumbing and you try to get him into drain cleaning he will be bad at the drain cleaning. Then he went on to explain most guys that start out doing plumbing only then you try to get them to clean drains they resent doing drain cleaning they feel it is beneath them. But a Good drain cleaner, is usually more than willing to learn the plumbing trade, and will have a better prospective about putting in new systems cause they are coming from the service side.

    There has been many times I wanted to kick a new construction plumber in his arse for the way they plumbed in a drain system, for it was a royal pain in the arse to clear the drain.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Blau

    Quoting Frank Blau about anything, to me, is like asking a Home Depot guy a question. He thinks anyone who does not agree with him is mentally deficient, just like the "expert" in PHC magazine.
  12. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I may not agree with him on his busness practices and flat rate pricing, but I do agree with him on the comment he made I posted, from first hand experance. Way to many times I seen guys that started in new consturction, then tried to get into service work and failed at the service end.
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    After 5 years of doing service work a plumber will just be beginning to know what he is doing...
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    plumbing

    "New construction" plumbers usually only know how to install pipes, and even then they usually need a foreman to tell them where to put them. Using them as a barometer for ANY other phase of plumbing is almost useless. As I tell my wife, "When a plumbing company goes out of business, the next week all its employees are on the street with magnetic "plumbing company" signs on their trucks, but if you go through the phone book and call all the plumbers in it, half of the numbers are disconnected."
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