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Fixing Clogged Plumbing

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Song in Alaska has a question about a rental property. Welcome to The Money Pit. 

    SONG: I have this older, split-home rental house that’s been flooded several times. The renter told me last spring – what he realized was after he took a shower from downstairs …

    TOM: Right.

    SONG: … and the water wouldn’t drain from the tub, he realized that the toilet wouldn’t drain either from downstairs and then he realized the toilet didn’t drain from upstairs either.

    TOM: OK.

    SONG: So he plunged it, the toilet, downstairs and he couldn’t get it through and then he had to take the toilet seat out and run a very long snail.

    TOM: Snake.

    SONG: And he said his hand actually reached over, probably about a foot or so, into it and then he heard this noise like a perforation noise (ph) (blows air into the phone) and then he said everything started to drain again. So, my question is, does this solve the problem or do I need to have this camera examination?

    TOM: Well, have you had it happen again since he snaked the drain out?

    SONG: No. 

    TOM: OK. Well, I think that you should leave well enough alone. It very well may have been something that was stuck inside the pipe that the action of using the snake, you know, freed up. And so I don’t think it’s necessary for you to have a drain camera inspection done unless you have an ongoing problem; we’d need more information. At that point, you can have a drain camera inspection done. 

    And basically, it is exactly that: they take what looks like a plumbing snake but has a camera on the end of it, run it through the pipe. And it’s very helpful if you think that the pipes are old or cracked and you don’t know where the breakdown is.

    LESLIE: Where there’s a root issue.

    TOM: You can visibly see it; I mean, you can watch this thing go through the pipes. I’ve seen these tests done.

    SONG: Right.

    TOM: But if you – but if they – if he’s already broken through the clog, then I think you’re good to go. And I think you’ve got a pretty handy tenant there, too. (Leslie and Song chuckle)

    SONG: Thank you. Thank you.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 

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