Roto Rooter- how much of a set back?

Downstairs bathroom toilet overflowed last night. Advised the kids to stay out of there until dad got home and went up stairs. After showering and numerous toilet flushings upstairs, it turns out our downstairs toilet overflowed all the way to the kitchen and filled up the bathtub to about an inch of overflowing.

So with three young ones and constantly buying toilet paper, it was either a toy or too much paper flushed into the toilet. We don’t have a septic tank, our house is 5 years old and we’ve never had this problem before. What’s something like this going to cost? We don’t have a choice, it has to be done, but man, what bad timing financially for us.

IIRC when I had Roto Rooter come out (San Francisco) and snake one sink, it was ~ $145. More sinks are more money, as are bigger issues than can’t be resolved with the snake.

I have an excellent plumber who, when it happened here, came out at a moment’s notice, snaked that sumbitch all the way to the main line :eek: , and charged me 40 bucks. Can’t hurt to ask friends, colleagues, and acquaintances if they know anybody good who might be cheaper.

He’s here already and it was $146 but because we have too many overgrown shrubs he was unable to locate the main water line box so he’s taking off the toilet to do something or other- its going to be $200. :frowning:

You can RENT everything you need for about $65.

Sure, you haven’t done this before, but we’re not talking debugging MS Longhorn, either. Ask the rental guys for tips. Better yet, let Google be your friend.

When it comes to plumbing issues in my own house, I defer to someone who knows what he’s doing. And I do debug Longhorn. :slight_smile:

I’ve called Roto Rooter twice. I won’t call them again. First time was the kitchen sink, simple thing, went to the basement and snaked out the pipe. I think it was $89, maybe a little less. The second time was the tub. The initial visit was just a technician, they had to send the “real” plumbers to fix it. The “real” plumber wanted to rebuild the entire bathroom drain, “Probably be $350 - 400.”

Co-worker convinced me to call a different plumber, we got a referral from a friend, the guy came out, snaked out the pipe in the basement and left. Took about 10 minutes from the time he put the truck in park till I signed the check. And it cost $79.

Do not call Roto Rooter again, is my advice. Find a “real” plumber.

Well it turned out to be $186.97 with a 6 month guarantee. When he tried it with the first snake, he said he wasn’t able to clear it out because of the feminine products! I was like- what the toilet was manufactured by women? And he said no- its the tampons!!


Consider me having learned my lesson and will not be calling Roto Rooter again.

Look at it this way: They are willing to guarantee pipes that they cannot see with their own eyes (for six months!) because they’re burried under ground. They didn’t install the pipes and there’s obviously something wrong that caused a back-up.

So why is it their fault for charging what, if you did your homework, is definitely a competitive price?

I’m in that industry and I’m sick of people blaming the people who fix the problem FOR the problem. Drain lines are self cleaning if they’re operable and you use them properly. Tampons swell to the size of the Hindinburg when they’re sitting in your pipes absorbing water.

Lets go through this…Tampons, paper towels, baby wipes (even flushable ones) and most stuff shoved into garbage disposals are going to cause a problem sooner or later.

Just to add: some older houses have tera cotta (clay) sewer pipes. They’re generally two feet in legnth and the only thing joining them to eachother is cement. After several years trees mature and the roots seek water. If your house is 100 feet from the curb, this leaves 50 opportunities for roots to grow into your pipes and block the flow. How’s that roto rooters fault? :confused:

I take a great, sick pleasure out of toilet plumbing. Family members call me up when their toilets break because they know of my obsession.