LESLIE: Catherine in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we help you with today?
CATHERINE: Well, I’ve got a cracked vent pipe and I’ve opened up the part that was cracked and it’s going up to my third floor bathroom as well as to the roof beyond.
CATHERINE: I don’t know how I can repair this.
TOM: Is this for your plumbing system?
TOM: And is it a cast iron pipe?
CATHERINE: Correct …
TOM: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
CATHERINE: …. and it’s cracked right along the length of it.
CATHERINE: At the elbow.
TOM: Yeah, very, very common condition. That’s pretty much the way those pipes wear. They’re very heavy, there’s a lot of weight above them and they go through different forces and they will crack. So how do you fix that? Well, generally, you replace it. Is it leaking now, though?
CATHERINE: Well, actually, I’ve disconnected the toilet because sometimes the water backs up into the crack. So, the third floor bathroom is not functioning and it hasn’t been for a year because I can’t find a competent individual who can give me a reasonable answer.
TOM: Right. Well, you know what you ought to do? Are you familiar with Angie’s List?
CATHERINE: Angie’s List? No.
TOM: It’s a really good service. It’s online and, basically, if you join Angie’s List, it’s sort of a social networking site that helps you find contractors. You have thousands upon thousands of people in any one area that are on Angie’s List and they all openly share ratings on contractors and I bet if you spent a little time on that service you’d be able to find a good guy because it definitely sounds like you’re not talking to the right plumbers. You know, cracked cast iron pipes is sort of Plumber 101. If you don’t have a plumber that can fix it, you’re not talking to the right guys.