If you have a blocked drain, there is an easy way to tell an honest plumber from a dishonest one. And it’s all got to do with in-drain (or CCTV) cameras.
An honest plumber will ALWAYS offer to put a camera down the drain to find out what’s really the cause of your blockage. And if he’s really honest he will show you the footage so you can see for yourself what is going on down there. (Don’t worry, he generally won’t show you anything too “yucky” because he does it from the other side of the blockage.)
A dishonest plumber will simply tell you he “already knows” the cause of your blockage. But the truth is NO plumber has X-ray vision and none can see underground to know what is really happening inside your drains. Worse still if he comes and just clears what he “thinks” is the cause of the blockage he might not really handle the problem and you could be calling him back again next week or next month to clear it again. (Sometimes this can go on and on for months or even years and if you’re wise you’ll realise you’re being scammed by the plumber.)
If he’s afraid to show you what’s going on inside your drain, then he’s trying to hide something or he just doesn’t know or is lazy.
There are many reasons why an honest plumber will ALWAYS put a camera down your drain when you call to get a blockage cleared.
First, as already stated, plumbers don’t have X-ray vision. They can’t see underground. Sure they can guess what might be the cause of the problem. They can draw on their years of experience but if they don’t put a camera down the drain they are only guessing.
So how does your plumber put a camera down the drain if it’s all blocked up. Ah ha!! That’s the secret. Most people don’t know but your drains have what is called an inspection shaft or some other access point that is often close to the boundary of your property.
Normally these are easily accessible and allow the plumber to put his camera down the drain from the other side of the blockage and see what might be going on. His camera can show many things.
Is the drain full of tree roots that are causing the blockage? (This is very common and often the main cause of blockages).
Has someone put something down the drain before it got blocked? (You will be amazed what people will try to flush down a toilet – anything from kids toys to a roast leg of lamb that went off in the fridge!)
Is there something in the drain left over from the construction of the house or renovations or previous repairs to the drain? (We’ve seen drains that are fully blocked with concrete that was poured into them during the laying of a concrete slab for a new home or renovations.)
Has the drain partially or fully collapsed? (Believe it or not but PVC piping for modern drains is not that strong and it can easily collapse or break at its joints, blocking the entire drain.)
If it’s an old drain, especially one constructed with old-style terracotta pipes, then it can come apart at the joints quite easily or they can dislodge causing dirt to come into the drain or tree roots or other things to get into the drain.
Is there a creature lurking in your drains? (We’ve seen frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents etc that have managed to get into drains and then be unable to get out so they’ve sadly passed away in there and that causes a big blockage.)
Is there a build-up of fats, oils, unflushable wipes, dried up toilet paper, etc inside the drain? (Many combinations of things can cause the problem.)
This is why at The Drainman, one thing we ALWAYS do is put a camera down your drain, before we do anything. Even if it looks like the cause of the blockage is obvious we never try and pretend or mislead you into saying we already know what is causing your blockage. Truth is, we don’t have X-ray vision and we don’t know.
So we always get out the CCTV drain camera and do an inspection first. (Don’t worry, it’s all included in our service fee, no extra charge. Be warned some plumbers do charge you extra, a LOT extra, to get out their camera.)
And we ALWAYS show you the footage too, so YOU see what WE see. That way we are being completely honest and open when we discuss your drain problems with you.
Often it will help us both see there are not other major issues and so we can just go ahead and clear the blockage and you should be fine.
But if we see major problems with the drain through our in-drain cameras, we will always give you professional and expert advice on what you should do next in order to get a long-term solution that will handle your drain problems for good.
Sometimes we may recommend you reline your drains, which puts a new sleeve or lining inside the drain, to block any more tree roots coming in, or to restore a partially collapsed drain or to fix broken or dislodged joints in the drain, etc.
But whatever we do, it always comes from being open and honest and totally transparent with our customers. And that is why you can trust The Drainman. We ALWAYS put a camera down the drain.
So make sure you always ask your plumber before he comes to check out a blockage – are you going to put a camera down my drain? If the answer is no, perhaps reconsider whether they are the right plumber for you.