Sewer Jetters Aren't for everyone

drain_ctaWithin my industry, we hear of service providers using certain tools that we don’t think are the right fit for the customer. One example is using a jetter or mini-jet on a residential property. We have found jetters to be fantastic for large commercial drain cleaning jobs where sludge, grease and sediment are problems. Butt (hehehe), for residences, we use a machine created in the late 30’s and consists of a tightly wound cable with blades on the end. The size of the blades depends on the circumference of the pipe we are cleaning. We feel it is the best tool for clearing most clogs, including roots, hair and food. If a person has roots in their 4″ line, why would someone choose to blast them with water from a jetter? Why would they use 2″ blades and not cut along the edge where they are growing in? Why would they risk flooding someone’s home with high-pressure water gone awry?

Here’s another too that’s not right for everyone: tankless water heaters. They just aren’t the right fit for certain people. We have found their high cost coming down as the technology improves. We have found restaurants to be big fans of these as they require high volumes of hot water on demand to be critical for business. Butt, hehe, empty nesters really don’t require them.

Thirdly, don’t embarrass yourself with chemical store-bought drain cleaning products. If you would like a solution besides one of these products, please call or e-mail me because, here’s me standing on a soapbox, in my opinion, they cause more problems than not. I have technicians who have gone to homes to clean lines when these products didn’t work and have gotten severe chemical burns on their arms, necks and faces in some cases. Other times, we have seen pipe damage that could only be remedied by replacement. Feel free to search the internet for the negative effects of drain cleaners.

I ask that if you have questions, call us. We won’t laugh. We won’t criticize. We will offer advice based on our 72+ years in the drain-cleaning industry in Denver. Now go have fun! And if you want a jetski, by all means, get one!

With Love & In Fun,


PS. and I NEVER want to hear another joke about plumber’s crack!

Realtor Sewer Scope Presentation

garvins_cta3Over a month ago, we were contacted by a Realtor whom we had dome business for, asking us if we would do an educational presentation. I wasn’t sure if we were to expect 6 people or 100, but agreed.
We have seen an increased unethical practice within our industry where homeowners are being told they need a sewer line repair and our second opinion investigations are not showing that to be true. Because of this, not only are homeowners making fear-based, uneducated and expensive decisions to do such repairs, but Realtors are losing their closings (and their clients are potentially losing their dream homes). We wanted to educate Realtors on what a break looks like, how it happens and how to spot those “red flags” of sewer line repair dishonesty. We took a look at some sewer scope video to show how they’re being misread by less scrupulous sewer repair techs.
The seminar had over 5o people in attendance. The presentation went so well — questions were being asked and answered, stories were told of disasters, and of course, the sewer and plumber puns and jokes were flying. All in all, we had a great time and think we really helped some Realtors with their questions. In fact, we later received this brief testimonial from one such Realtor in attendance:
Hi Kris and Mitch,
Thank you, thank you for sharing your services at our Keller William Sales Meeting this past week.  The information you shared was timely and well thought out!  In fact today, Bob [omit] in our office came by asking me if I had your phone number.  I started digging in my files for your number from a sewer scope you did for my son on [omit] Holly and then I remembered I had your magnetic business card in my purse.  Needless to say, you made an impression on Bob who has been in the business for over 30 years.  Way to go!
Thanks again!  Cheryl
Thank you as well Cheryl (and Bob)!
If you are in the Greater Denver area and would like Mitch and I to speak at YOUR Realtor or homeowner’s association meeting, we are happy to do that free of charge. It is an educational meeting and we will need 20-45 min. to speak and answer questions. Contact Kris at (303) 571-5114 to schedule, and visit our facebook page!

Q: To Sewer Scope or Not to Sewer Scope

GarvinsLogo200WaterDear PlumbingGirl,
We had a sewer backup last week and you guys came out and sewer snaked our sewer line and got things working again. The line was not sewer scoped. The person that came out did not know the cause of the line becoming plugged. Would you recommend a video scope to make sure that there are not structural defects in our line such as sags or cracks?
Kevin of Louisville

Hi Kevin,

If the line is now flowing well and you don’t have another back-up within a year, I personally say, don’t worry about using a sewer scope camera on the line. Typically, if a homeowner with normal line use is experiencing back-ups more often than 6-12 months, then I suggest a sewer scope. Some homeowners only require a sewer line cleaning every few years. Some people, just for curiosity or peace of mind, will do a scope anyway. If you choose to do one, the cost is $235 and that includes a DVD.

Thanks for asking!

Too good to be true?

mZSRc-video-24-512Have you ever received a flyer in the mail or heard an advertisement on the radio about a free or a discounted price on a sewer scope video inspection of your sewer line?

This seems to be a great deal, but like all good things, there just may be a catch. Please know some companies offer promotions to open the door for the opportunity to get thousands of dollars from you, by replacing or repairing a sewer line that doesn’t need to be fixed.
If you do decide to go with one of these promotions, here are 5 pointers:

1) First, don’t waste money trying to camera a line full of water. If your sewer line is plugged up all you will see is a pipe full of water or debris.

2) Make sure you are with the service tech when he is doing the inspection and have him scan the area he is working in with the sewer camera, so you know that it’s your home sewer line that he is taping. Watch the monitor with the tech, and ask questions. When done, ask for the recording of your sewer line, if they can’t produce one be very leery, especially if they want to replace your sewer line.

3) Don’t be alarmed by seeing tree roots growing into your sewer line. Just finding roots in your line does not mean that your sewer line needs to be replaced, as this is a normal occurrence with homes that have clay tile pipes. All you may need is to clean the roots out of the sewer line at least once a year.

4) Some sewer lines will have low spots, which means it has a belly and can cause a backup. Again remember that the camera rides on the bottom of pipe and sometimes this makes the low spot looks worse than it really is. If the low spot is only a couple of feet long it really isn’t worth digging up the sewer line. Once again preventive maintenance on the sewer line could save you thousands of dollars.

5) If there is a problem with the sewer line, a reputable company will mark the spot and give you a fair price. It is always a good idea to get a second or even a third estimate. A couple hundred dollars could save you thousands!

In closing, be aware what’s going on when hiring a sewer camera inspection for your sewer line. The cheapest price doesn’t always mean the best or honest service. If there is any doubt about the condition of your sewer line, always get a second opinion, the money that you spend just might save you thousands of dollars. Preventive maintenance on the sewer line goes a long way to prevent a collapse or a break in the line. Additionally, using root killer to slow down root growth can save your sewer line for years to come.

Mitch Gebauer
Service Manager, Garvin’s Sewer Service