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How much does a sewer scope inspection cost?

Video sewer scope services from Garvin's Sewer ServiceWe get calls from a variety of people looking for a sewer scope inspection, which can also be called a sewer snake or a sewer camera inspection. And people really have different reasons for wanting one. The main reasons we see are addressed in the blog post “The Value of a Sewer Camera Inspection in a New Home Purchase”.

In Denver, we have heard industry prices for a sewer scope inspection ranging from Free to around $300. That is a very large range, so I will break down the differences from our perspective.

Free Sewer Scope Inspections.

We found some companies either offer Free sewer scope inspections for a few reasons:

  1. It sounds like this: “We clean your sewer line and then to prove to you that we did a good job, we will send the sewer camera down the line to show you.”

Our problem with this is that, if you can’t trust them to clean it correctly, then why did you hire them to begin with? ALSO, see point number 2.

  1. It is an opportunity for an “upsell” to other sewer cleaning services. Most sales profit-driven companies know that most homeowners are not aware of what their sewer lines look like and because of this, can tell them there is something wrong with the sewer line. When they do a sewer scope inspection for free, they are looking for a problem to “solve” with the help of your lack of understanding and your fat wallet.
  2. They don’t give you a copy of the DVD without a charge that makes them now enter into the Mid to High Priced range.

Mid-range ($150+) and High Priced (300+). (for 2015)

We put these in the same category because there is not a ton of difference here in what is being offered.

Understand that a sewer camera is an expensive piece of equipment and the repairs are also costly and time-consuming as they usually have to be sent out for repairs. This is what you, as a consumer are paying for when you hire for a sewer scope inspection- that and expertise.

Anyone can run a sewer camera, but not everyone is equipped to interpret what is being seen. Be sure to hire a reputable company (ones that have been in business a long time, or have online reviews or awards that corroborate their skill.)

Keep these tips in mind when you call for a sewer scope inspection:

  1. Ask them their price. If they want to send someone out first to quote you, you will likely be charged a service call charge or the technician will attempt to sell you the service, typically at the High Priced range. Why do we say this? Because the costs involved in sending out a technician need to be recouped somehow. This is not bad, it is a business practice that is chosen by the owner or management. It is why the price can, and usually is, higher.
  2. Ask them if they are going to provide a copy of the DVD and if that is included in the price. Some companies offer the service for a low cost and then charge extra for the DVD.
  3. Be informed about what you will be looking at. This BLOG on Sewer Scope Scams will help with that.
  4. Never feel pressured to take quick action. You have a right to a second opinion. Many city sewer and water departments will take a free second look at your DVD (which is why it’s good to have a copy.)

If you have any questions about sewer scope inspection costs or are interested in a free second look at your DVD, please call Garvin’s at (303) 571-5114 and ask for Mitch.

Garvin's Sewer Service Cares About your winter plumbing

dreamstime_xxl_24937967
Spigots are sexy.

Well, not really. But they are important.

Why?

Because if treated properly, they won’t flood your basement. And if not, they will.

It’s almost like you have to succumb to the power they yield.

Submit.

It’s a shame they can have so much power, but they do. And while Garvin’s Sewer Service is all about drain cleaning and sewer cleaning, we have a few suggestions for your fall and winter plumbing.

Tame your spigot by:

1. Detaching your hose BEFORE the first frost. In Colorado, that is usually around the last part of October.

2. Making sure you have a frost-free spigot installed.

3. Know where your emergency water shut-off valve is so you can turn it off in case the spigot does split.

 

If you have questions, please contact Garvin’s Sewer Service at 303- 571- 5114

How to Plumbing FAILS! – Should you try your own sewer cleaning?

Ok, so tons of people every day are looking for ways to save money on their Do-It-Yourself Home Projects.

And, I think there are lots of very valid things you can do.

However, there are some you should not because:

1. You frankly just have no clue and no amount of YouTube How To Plumbing Videos are going to help you

2. Some things really do require professionals due to codes and permits and that pesky thing called “law”

3. It is easier and even cheaper to hire someone

For more on this, see my blog titled, “DIY Plumbing” which goes into more detail of the things that are appropriate and NOT appropriate in How To Plumbing, Do It Yourself Projects.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

So, instead of installing a drain pipe, the toilet bowl (which, yes, leads to a perfectly good drain), is acting as the p-trap for this wash basin. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Who cares it’s ugly, marginally functional and inconvenient… it’s more inconvenient to pull the dang thing and actually pipe it… stupid basin!

Before you consider watching a How to Plumbing Video

Before even typing How to Plumbing into the search bar

Before trying to do it yourself, ask yourself,

And more important, answer honestly:

When do I know it is time to call a professional?

 

 

Do you have any stories or pictures of your own that were complete How to Plumbing fails?

We would LOVE to see them and HEAR the stories! Thanks for sharing!

Roots in my Sewer Line, Oh My! Do I need sewer service?

dreamstime_xxl_5223167Although roots grow year-round, it’s best to do preventative maintenance in the spring. After the winter thaw and run off, the trees and bushes are looking to grow again, wiggling their roots into the joints of sewer lines and through the porous clay pipes. Also, people may be hosting parties and guests in the winter, causing more bulk in their waste lines. These two items together, increased root growth and heavier usage, can cause sewer back-ups.

Many homeowners with root issues choose regular preventative sewer cleanings. How often they need to be cleaned will be on a case by case basis. This can be determined by having the line ran to see how much root growth there is between cleanings.

Here’s how you can know if preventative maintenance is right for you:

  1. You have systematic sewer back- ups. These may not happen like clockwork, but if you have ever said, “Every Thanksgiving…” or “Every summer, it seems like we get a back-up.” You might need sewer service
  2. If you have a clay sewer line. Clay sewer lines can last for decades, but they do require maintenance. A regular cleaning is important to prevent the line from getting cracks or holes from root growth.
  3. If you just bought your home, especially if it has been sitting vacant, it is a good idea. Get your sewer cleaned.

Basically, for under $200 in most cases, you can have the peace of mind of knowing your line is clean and free of problems, before you need to spend thousands of dollars later for repairs. Please visit our blog post “Red Flags of Sewer Scope Inspection” to learn more about root penetration in your line and what it can mean to you.

Spring Drain Cleaning

drain_cta_revIs it time for spring drain cleaning yet? If you are itching to get some things in order, here are some helpful plumbing-related tips:
Give some love to your dishwasher and sink. Your dishwasher and kitchen sink are usually tied together and will affect each other. For example, if you put too much food into the disposal, it could back up into the dishwasher. Likewise, if you leave too much food on your dishes, it can clog the food trap in the dishwasher.

Clear the dishwasher of any food and run it empty, using baking soda or vinegar as the detergent. Freshen your disposal with a lemon peel and ice or with a commercial freshening agent like “Disposer Care”, found in the dish soap isle of the grocery store.
To prevent back-ups and clogs, scrape your plates into the trash or compost, rather than using the disposal or dishwasher to deal with the excess. Both appliances are really only designed to deal with “licked clean” plates.

To restore the sparkle of your faucet, a mix of half vinegar and half water can remove water spots and fingerprints. Be careful to not use an abrasive cleaning product or cleansing sponge that can damage your faucet or sink’s finish.

Water damage can be slow and sneaking and catastrophic- do a check of your plumbing around the house to find moisture. Hopefully it is dry, but if not, is something loose? Does it need a seal? Is there rust? Water can be very damaging, leaving mold, moisture and corrosion.

Remember to check:

  • Under the kitchen sink.
  • All bathroom sinks.
  • Caulking and grout around the tub and toilets and see if it needs to be repaired to prevent water damage.
  • Under and on top of the water heater- any moisture there?
  • Near the washing machine. How are the faucets? Hoses? Drain line?
  • The hose spigot outside- are there any visible cracks or dripping?
  • Are your gutters and downspouts clear? Are they able to release water without it damming?
  • How is your furnace and air-conditioning unit? Is it able to drain properly? Is it free of debris? Have you changed the filter?

Follow these drain cleaning pieces of advice and your drains will last longer. For more information, tips or questions, give us a call! 303-571-5114

Plumbing tips for Moms to avoid sewer service

dreamstime_xxl_5940031We get a lot of calls from moms. We get a lot of questions from moms. I am a mom, so I thought I would write a blog on plumbing tips just for us. These are some great ways to avoid needing sewer service in the future.

No, the toilet is not a toy hot tub.

Many kids find it fun to watch items go down the toilet tornado into “Nemo” land. We have had to rescue toy cars, army men, hair brushes and massive amounts of toilet paper, paper towels, entire rolls of either of those items, blankets, etc. If your child has a fascination with items being flushed, consider one of these alternatives:
a. Put a child lock on the toilet
b. Keep the bathroom door closed and/or consider installing a chain lock on the outside of the bathroom, higher than the child’s reach, to keep the door locked from the outside
c. Keep tempting items away from the toilet- ie. Keep bath toys in the cabinet instead of next to the tub (and consequently the toilet)
d. Talk to your children about their interest and find other ways to play with water where it is appropriate- a kid pool, kitchen sink or bathtub
e. ALWAYS have a plunger accessible for any toilet a child or teen may use

I’m embarrassed to admit my teen daughter may be a Sasquatch.

It is not unusual for girls, especially teen girls, to clog shower drains. They tend to use a significant amount of lotions, hair products and ‘spa’ items that all build up in the line. These grease based products coat the line and will hold onto clumps of hair that gather then get washed into the line. Chemical drain cleaning products work to dissolve the grease so the hair can slide through the line, but they don’t dissolve hair. There is NO product that will dissolve hair (despite great commercials that give the impression this is what is happening). To clear a hair clog, we recommend earth friendly drain cleaning. This can be done by a professional, or a hand machine or mini-snake available at a hardware store.

Oh sweetie, thanks for washing the car (& flooding the basement).

Your little pumpkin may want to help with car washing, but always check the hose faucet before the entire car is washed (or the entire lawn and garden is watered). You can even make it a game- have one person stay in the basement while the other turns on the hose. If the basement partner doesn’t see or hear any indoor running water, wetness developing on dry wall or ceiling tiles, proceed with the hose help. Otherwise, shut off the hose immediately and call a professional to deal with the leak on your hands. Lots of water damage is caused by faulty sprinklers and hose faucets.

Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me: askplumbinggirl@hotmail.com

We are there

This news report came out last night on Denver Channel News 2. We’ve been out there this week trying to help out. Woodmoore Condos residents, let us know what we can do to help.

Then water main was repaired but is failing and is pushing sand and debris into the homes. Many residents have been without water for days. Garvin’s is working to flush the lines for the residents.

See News Video HERE

Why to hire a professional for water heater install

I recently watched an episode of Myth Busters where they dealt with an issue of a water heater exploding in a house. Water heater replacement isn’t the cheapest home investment, and some homeowners choose the less expensive option of DIY. Although you may be able to get a budget friendly water heater at a home improvement/ hardware store, most plumbing companies won’t warranty parts they don’t supply. Also, unless you purchase the high-end units at those stores, you can expect it to not last as long as the water heaters that the professional plumbers will have access to. And, as you can see in the video, proper installation is critical. We always recommend a professional when it’s time for a new water heater.

Furnace Special from Garvin’s Sewer Service

dreamstime_xxl_36762895Don’t sleep in the cold, call Garvin’s TODAY to keep your winter nights WARM. 303-571-5114

Garvin’s Sewer Service is so much more than just…well, sewer service! Clean and tune any furnace and get ready for winter.

Price to include the following:

1. Clean return air compartment and indoor blower motor, adjust any belts where applicable and oil any parts
2. Replace filters
3. Check for carbon monoxide levels on heat
4. Adjust ported burners
5. Clean flame sensors and pressure switch ports
6. Install battery operated carbon monoxide detector*
7. Check for proper operation

Pre-Winter Special: $150 (This is NOT available after Oct.15th, 2010)

On systems with central air conditioning, for a nominal additional fee, we will clean air conditioning “A” coil, which is recommended for more efficient operation of furnace

*NOW A COLORADO STATE LAW

Call now to set appointment before Oct. 15th.

Don’t sleep in the cold, call Garvin’s TODAY to keep your winter nights WARM. 303-571-5114