Everything You Need to Ask Your Drain Cleaning Company

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Serving the Greater Seattle Area

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You can never go wrong with hiring professionals for any job, especially when it comes to drain cleaning. If you’re considering hiring professionals to clean your drains, there are a few questions that you should always ask before hiring a drain cleaning company.

Our team here at Bob Oates Sewer & Rooter is proud to be a leading provider of quality drain cleaning services.

We are experts in the sewer and drain cleaning industry. This is our main focus. Bob, the owner, is a second generation sewer cleaner and we pride ourselves on getting to the root of the problem. We succeed where others fail.

Read on to learn what you should discuss when talking to a prospective contractor.

Do You Have a License?

The basic cleaning of a drain or sewer doesn’t require a license to perform the work. However, you must have a business license and insurance if you provide a service in the state of Washington.

Ensure that the drain cleaning company you hire has all the necessary licenses required. This includes any certifications needed for them to be able to do the job that dealing with clogged sewers or drains entails. In our city, any and all plumbing work requires the technician be licensed plumber in Seattle. A company performing sewer repair work needs to be a registered side sewer contractor. This includes carrying the proper licensing and contractor’s bond as required by law.

And checking to see if they’re licensed is not hard to do! When searching for “drain cleaning near me,” quickly stop by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries contractor verification page. It only takes seconds (for example, here’s ours). This is for your safety and protection, and will give you immediate peace of mind!

Are You Fully Insured?

This is one of the fundamental questions to ask a drain cleaning company. It’s vital that your contractor has insurance for their workers, their vehicles and their equipment in case of an accident. Not only will this protect you and your property, but it also protects the professionals working on your property. This way, if something goes wrong while providing drain cleaning services or sewer repair work, the problem will be less stressful to handle.

This is important especially if you have subcontractors on your jobsite — trust but verify is always a good policy. Sometimes a certificate of insurance is required. This will spell out exactly how much and what type of insurance a company carries. (Although this requirement is usually for commercial or industrial customers). Bottom line: Any company worth their salt will have no problem providing the necessary paperwork to a customer.

Do You Charge Flat or Hourly Rates?

While it’s true that many plumbing or sewer and drain cleaning companies out there charge hourly rates, others also offer a flat rate. There are advantages to both methods.

If budget is a concern and you want to be able to prepare how much to spend, it’s important to ask how much your potential contractor charges per hour or if they charge flat rates for certain types of problems.

It’s important to be upfront with a customer so there are no surprises or unexpected costs upon completion. At Bob Oates, we prefer a flat rate for most jobs; that way, our customers know the price before we start.

Will You Clean Up the Mess?

Another important thing to ask is if the crew will clean up as part of the drain cleaning services. This way, you won’t have to worry about doing it yourself or having to pay extra if it turns out that cleanup is not part of the package.

Ideally, the drain cleaning company should also be the one to clean up all of the dirt and debris left behind. Cleaning up after a sewer or drain backup can vary widely; once on site, the technician will best be able to determine if we can help with cleanup or if a more extensive remediation is required. In most cases, however, we can clean up small areas as a consideration to our customers. “People helping people” is not just our motto — it’s what we do every day, 365 days a year!

Does Your Company Offer Financing?

Each drain cleaning company has a policy in place that works best for them — some offer financing while others don’t. At Bob Oates, this is a common question we receive, and the answer is YES! We offer several different financing options, with our most popular one being 12 months, same as cash, OAC.

Do You Offer Discounts or Coupons? What About Deals if You Clean More Than One Drain on the Same Visit?

These are great questions to ask professional contractors before they start work on your property. At Bob Oates, we offer discounts to military families and senior citizens, and check our coupon page for rotating specials and deals for new customers. And yes, we always offer discounts for multiple drain cleanings at the time of initial service!

Does the Completed Job Come With a Warranty or a Guarantee?

This might seem like a basic query — but we highly recommend asking any drain cleaning company this question before they start work! Bob Oates stands behind all completed work, and any reputable drain cleaning company should do no less.

For us, warranties will depend on the service performed. Our professionals will be happy to discuss the warranty details of your project.

Can Cabling or Water Jetting Cause Damage to My Pipes?

We use cables and or jetter hoses designed to clean the inside of your pipes. Properly installed sewer pipes not already damaged or collapsed will suffer no damage in jetting services basic drain cleaning rendered for drain clog removal.

Which Is Better? Regular Cleaning With the Cable or Water Jetting?

We can tell you what we here at Bob Oates Sewer & Rooter truly believe: From our experience, water jetting is superior to cabling due to the thoroughness of the high pressure jets which clean and flush the line at the same time, cutting roots and removing grease and/or sludge like no other technique can.

Can a Smaller Drain Line Like My Kitchen Sink Be Jetted?

Yes we have smaller hoses and machines that can perform the same service and do a better job of cleaning your older pipes and today’s newer plastic piping.

Is It Safe to Use Drain Cleaning Chemicals in My Home?

Other drain cleaning companies may take a different approach to this question, but it is our humble opinion to never use strong acids, like sulfuric or muriatic, as these can cause leaks in older piping and are generally bad for pipes (or worse).

It may be worth a try to use a liquid drain cleaning chemicals if you strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely. The product works better if you allow it enough time to dissolve the sludge. Don’t forget to flush it out thoroughly and let the service technician know you used chemicals if a service call is still necessary.

Who Is Responsible if Tree Roots Grow Into My Sewer?

Most of the time tree roots are just part of life. We all love the shade and beauty trees provide. However sometimes a tree planted directly over your sewer line can do damage and that would have to be determined if someone or some entity was responsible and liable.

At Bob Oates, we specialize in dealing with tree root invasion and have written an article dedicated to combating the problem: How to Tackle Roots in Pipes

Do You Offer Solutions to Avoid Yearly Sewer Backups?

At Bob Oates we do! Aside from common sense advice like using hair strainers in bathtub and shower drains, we offer several permanent solutions to common sewer problems. Sewer pipe lining and pipe bursting are two cost effective methods of replacing damaged pipes underground. Give us a call and we are here to help with all things sewer!

Wrapping Up

Have any more questions about sewer & drain cleaning or sewer repair? Contact us today and we’d be happy to provide you with what you need to know! Free estimates and sewer camera inspections from an accessible cleanout are also services we provide. We are home of the second opinion. Call us first or last — we’re here for you!

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"Nothing but great experiences with Bob Oates! Would highly recommend for all your sewer and plumbing needs! Honest, hard working company!"

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CALL (206) 789-4944

Serving the Greater Seattle Area