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plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

Posted by mibryan2000 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 17, 11 at 15:01

I have the problem alot of people seem to have. Plumber snakes out my lateral line (90ft of snake) and gets stuck. Leaves stuck for over 4 months and tries to charge me $10,000 to dig up. I refuse. He says i have rootball and compromised pipe. I say how can you say that if you didnt send down a camera, do you have x-ray vision?

This is he say she say and i dont care for that what i wanna know is "what is the law"? there must be written in some plumbing manual or rule somewhere please help. What is the law on this matter on responsibility? it happens so frequently so it must be written somewhere... who is responsible (more so where is the rule in writing?)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

He has to get the3 snake out and/or restore the drain to the condition he found it on on his nickel.
It is risk of doing business.


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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

From what your telling us you have a catch 22 situation.

On the one hand, if the plumber got his snake stuck in the drain it is his problem to get it out, but on the other hand, you stated that it is out 90ft. Code requires a cleanout every 80ft so that could shift the problem back to you.

Having said that, I cannot see all the circumstances but my gut reaction is that his estimate to dig the line is too high.

I would call a couple other plumber and ask them what they would charge to install a 90ft, then ask them what they would charge to just dig yours up in the approximate area and correct the problem.


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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

I guess it varies depending where you are at, but our one and only local plumbing company will only snake 50 feet, unless there is a clean out at 50 feet. then they will go farther. I learned this from a friend who had a downspout emptying into a 4 inch Pvc pipe with a 65 feet run.The pipe emptied into a drainage ditch. The plumber snaked both ends and was able to get it unstopped. He couldn't provide my friend with any written rule for the 50 feet limit. Must be a local thing.


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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

"Code requires a cleanout every 80ft so that could shift the problem back to you. "

The plumber ran it in 90 feet.

Not the owner's problem.


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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

ok thanks for all of the input guys... the problem actually is deeper than i stated, didnt know how much to say but the plumber said that i was stuck on a rootball and my pipe was comprimised. He ran the snake so far that would have to be dug up at street/sidewalk so that is why the price was so high. Anyhow after 4 months of that bull my buddy and I pulled the snake out by hand and now the plumber is suing me saying that i damaged his snake but dude after leaving it in my drain for 4 months i cant just leave it in there. His snake was not damaged nor did it have ANY rootballs at the end, just rag... Further he should be grateful that he is cleared of the situation but he is not. He is now suing me for over 1000 dollars for damaged snake, so that is why i am asking about the law of who is responsible. Everyone tells me that he is but where do i find this in writing somewhere?

I know his insurance should cover but he is being difficult, that is why i want to know where to find who is responsible in writing...


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RE: plumber got snake stuck in drain... what is the law???

"He is now suing me for over 1000 dollars for damaged snake"

Hire an attorney and counter-sue him.

It may be enough to wake him up, and make sure your homeowner's insurance is aware of everything.


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