Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Whazzup with plumbers?
Our kitchen sink backed up a week ago Sunday. After trying the usual Liquid Plumber and, when that didn't work, an actual plunger it became obvious that our problem was more serious than just the usual clogged drain. So I got underneath the sink and disconnected the j trap and let everything drain out. The j trap was clear so the problem was obviously in the galvanized pipe that the PVC j trap connected to. I tried to clean out the galvanized pipe with a snake, but that didn't work either. So I had to take off an elbow at the end of the galvanized pipe to see if that would give me a straighter shot with the snake.
I got the elbow off and, man, what a mess. The galvanized pipe was completely full of disgusting, vile, black stuff. I mean I was amazed that the drain had worked at all because this stuff had to build up for years. I cleaned some of it out before realizing I had a bigger problem. The galvanized pipe was corroded, and the end where the elbow had screwed on was completely disintegrated. So I had reached the end of my plumbing ability.
We called two plumbers the next day who had been recommended by friends. One of them called back to say he didn't do "that kind of work" (I'm not sure what kind of work a plumber does besides plumbing) and referred us to the other guy we had already called. So we called him again. He never called back. We called another plumber. Again, no call back. Ever. Vicki's boss recommended a plumber, and we called him. He was out to take a look at our problem the next day, but the price was high enough that we wanted a second opinion.
So we called another plumber. I picked this one because his advertisement said they answer the phone. That actually seems to be a novel idea in the plumbing business. Someone did answer the phone. This was on Friday and they told me they would have someone come out Monday. By mid-Monday no one had called to say they would be out so I called them back. A different person answered this time and said she would get right back to me. By the end of the day, we hadn't heard back from them. So I called again yesterday and they said they would have someone get in touch with us first thing today. Do you want to guess what happened? Nothing. No call.
So out of five or six plumbers we've contacted only one has even come close to panning out. That's a pretty poor performance rate for a group in the service sector. So does anyone know a good plumber? Are they out there? Do they really exist? I feel like I'd have better luck tracking down Sasquatch.