Benjamin Franklin Plumbing - The plumber broke off his snake in my drain, then charged me a lot to fix it.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing sent me a plumber to fix a clogged sink drain line. I signed an agreement for him to clean out the sink drain line. He used a powered plumber's snake to clean out the line but the snake broke broke leaving 20' of cable in my drain pipe. The plumber was willing to take my money and leave the snake in the pipe, but I considered leaving the snake in the pipe to be a bad idea. I have a pier and beam house, so we went under the house and looked at the situation. There was no easy way to take the drain pipe apart to get the snake out. He claimed that the pipe looked damaged, and must have broken the snake. He claimed that there was no way to get the snake out except to cut the iron pipe. I asked him to cut the pipe, get the snake out and check out the condition of the pilot before deciding to replace the pipe. The plumber claimed the pipe had to be damaged and got me to sign an agreement authorizing him to replace the pipe. (A big mistake.) Taking down a 10' length of 2 1/2" PVC and two rubber couplers, he went under the house and remained for a very long time, so I went under to find out what was going on. The plumber had already cut out the pipe, which was NOT damaged, and replaced it with the PVC. He claimed that the pipe was clogged with grease, however my examination of the pipe indicated that he had broken through the clog and the pipe was open. The sink drain pipe that had been clogged went to a 3" cast iron fitting that went down 45 degrees to a tee which apparently part of the main line for the house. Apparently the snake broke when it entered the tee. There was a lot of rust on the floor where the powered snake had been operating and I think that the snake was weak.
Regardless of whether the plumber broke the snake because of carelessness or because his equipment was deficient or intentionally, I was left stuck with a problem that was his fault, and he wanted nearly 4 times the original quote to fix the problem. I felt sorry for him and I offered to pay him for replacing the pipe, but not cleaning the old pipe. He accepted the offer, which was still about 2.5 times the original quote.
In thinking about it, I realized that I still thought I had been had. I don't think that I should have to pay to fix an error caused by a service technician's incompetence. Further, a few minutes research showed that a retreval tip, that Ridgid makes especially to auger into a broken cable and retrieve it, would have probably solved the problem without even having to go beneath the house. I would think that Benjamin Franklin Plumbing would have the resources to keep one of these in every truck. Of course, it would not have allowed the service tech to run the price up.
Review about: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Plumbing Service.