We often get calls from homeowners asking for an estimate to repair issues found by another plumbing company. Sometimes the homeowner has a sewer camera video. And other times they have sewer leak test or leak isolation results from the other company.
If the homeowner provides us with enough information when describing what the other company proposed—amount of tunneling, number of leaks, a diagram, etc.—we can give a ballpark estimate.
In some cases when there isn’t enough information, we will go out to the house to get a better idea of their particular situation before giving an estimate.
(The only information we don’t want is the other company’s pricing or estimate. The best way for you to know we are giving you an honest and fair price is by leaving out the pricing details given by another company.)
However, with each estimate, we include the cost for us to verify the other company’s test results by performing our own investigations.
Sometimes, though, homeowners worry this is just a money grab by us. And we can completely understand why a customer might think this.
But as anyone who knows us and has worked with us will tell you, this is far from the case.
There are a couple reasons why we do this.
The Problem With Sewer Cameras
First of all, many plumbing companies use sewer cameras to find leaks. But as we’ve said before, it is impossible for a sewer camera to determine if you have a leak and to find them.
Additionally, because a sewer camera significantly magnifies the images it captures, it’s easy to misinterpret the images on the screen. In fact the image is so magnified, sometimes what looks like tree roots in the line turns out to be a single strand of hair.
In either situation, it could be the case of an unscrupulous plumber or just sheer lack of experience.
But because we know sewer cameras can’t find leaks and that videos are sometimes misinterpreted, it is necessary for us to verify the problems.
In-House Plumbing Company Guarantee
Second of all, we guarantee every In-House Plumbing Company customer never pays for any unnecessary work that we told them was needed.
So let’s say we come out and determine from one of our own sewer leak tests, you have a leak. We then come out and do a a sewer leak isolation test. Based on those results, we go under the slab to repair the leaks.
And let’s say once we get under the slab we find the leak is not where we said it was but is instead three feet from there. In this case, we have to dig an additional three feet. But because the leak wasn’t where we originally said it was, you don’t pay for the extra leak location or for the extra three feet of digging.
Even if the leak is 20 feet from where we originally said, you will not pay for any unneeded work.
Or in the extremely rare situation that there is no leak at all: We went under the slab to repair the leak we said was there and it isn’t. And then after a whole house test if we find there are no leaks anywhere, you won’t pay for any of the work we did to get under the slab or the excavations. And we refund the money for the leak isolation test. So in this situation, you only pay for the original sewer leak test.
Of course, every house and every case is different. So it’s impossible to lay out every possible variable in a blog post. Just give us a call at 972-494-1750 and we’re happy to discuss your specific situation with you.
Essentially, we guarantee you will not pay for any work we do based on our own investigations and recommendations.
Because we guarantee this—we put our own money on the line—we won’t make that guarantee with another company’s results.
Dishonest Plumbing Companies
It’s an unfortunate truth there are a lot of dishonest plumbing companies out there. We have firsthand knowledge of this as everyone from the owner to the team members worked for other companies before In-House.
Before starting In-House in 2001, Shawn worked at a company where they would break through the slab, excavate to the leak only to find it wasn’t there. When this happened, the owner told his team to cut a piece of the pipe and “repair” a made-up leak. Then he had them find the actual leak and charge the customer for both the real and made-up leak repair.
So we won’t gamble our own money on a potentially dishonest company’s work.
It is our opinion that anyone who accesses pipes through the slab is responsible for the problem being as it was presented whether they presented it or not. So we won’t do that unless we presented the information in the first place. This is for our customer’s protection as well as ours.
And we can’t stress this enough: You should never let anyone access under a slab (by either going through the slab or tunneling under the slab) unless you trust that person. You must feel confident the person you hire will tell you the truth about what they find and never charge you for any unnecessary work if those findings are inaccurate.