Modern Plumbing and Heating is writing this post today because we as homeowners had something horrible happen to us and we know that knowledge is power so let’s not have it happen to you! We bought our house a little over a year ago and it was built in 1975. Anyone that has bought an older home knows there is always fun little surprises waiting everywhere you can’t see! Because of the age of the home we had someone run a camera down the sewer line during the home inspection and were told that it was in fact Orangeburg pipe. We were not surprised by this finding because Orangeburg pipe was extremely common in these older homes! To make matters worse, this home also had a huge, but very beautiful 40 year old willow tree sitting smack dab in the middle of our front yard. When I mean huge, I mean HUGE! So, we knew the sewer line would be something that we would eventually have to tackle down before it tackled us and well, since we knew a good plumber, it could be worse right?
Let me tell you a little more about this Orangeburg pipe before I go on any further. It is the absolute worst pipe you could have at your residence. It was made from wood pulp and hot pitch, and resembles tar paper. When exposing this pipe with a hand shovel, it is so brittle that you normally dig through it before you realize what you hit. Orangeburg pipe also has a tendency to collapse on the top and the bottom, causing clogs or slow drainage. Roots also love this pipe. If you know your house has Orangeburg pipe, we recommend changing it because it will cause headaches down the road!
So back to why we are writing this. Just last week, it happened before we got a chance to tackle it. Our sewer backed up! Yes, it does happen to plumbers too! I feel like this is on the top of the list for every homeowners worst nightmare! At this point, we did attempt to run a camera again, but no luck seeing anything but dirt. So we got an excavator and started digging and praying that the sewer line didn’t run right under the willow tree for starters. Essentially, we were going in blind and crossing our fingers. What we did expect to see was Orangeburg pipe, but what we found was much worse and we were so appalled!
Previous homeowners had actually already replaced this sewer line from Orangeburg pipe to….wait for it.. Thin-wall SDR Pipe, AKA, the second worse pipe you could use for a sewer line! Sadly, plumbers are still using this type of pipe. Thin-wall pipe is not to be confused with SDR-35 gasket pipe. The Thin-wall pipe we are referring to here is only found in sewer and drain (usually gutter) lines and is absolute garbage! The major problem with this pipe is that it is so thin, just the weight of the ground flattens out the pipe, causing clogs and slow draining.
It is so UNFORTUNATE to think that a homeowner spent ALOT of money to have this issue “fixed” but come to find out, that was not the case at all and would eventually become a costly error. We can’t even imagine why any plumber would do such a thing?! Was the plumber trying to save a dollar? Was the plumber not licensed? Was the plumber not knowledgeable, or is it everything above?
As the owner of Modern Plumbing and Heating and a Master Plumber here in the Flathead Valley, we take great pride in being honest, fair and extremely knowledgable in the field. We can say that after being in business for just a little over a year, that we have not had ONE call back for warranty work and we plan to keep it that way. We use parts that will last and combine it with expert installation so we can avoid things like this.
As a plumber speaking to a homeowner, not all plumbers are equal and not all quotes are equal. It’s not always apple to apple as they say. Make sure when you hire a plumber for any size job, that they are licensed/insured and guarantee their work first off. Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. If they aren’t willing or able to answer those questions, that is a huge red flag! When you hire Modern Plumbing and Heating and you want to know how or why something works the way it does, we can and will explain it to you because the more you know the better off you will be. Like we said before, knowledge is power. Lastly, when you are doing your own research on who to hire, read reviews! These are real people that had real problems and real experiences with real companies. Reviews truly speak volumes about what kind of company they really are.
Being a homeowner is exciting, but without this type of knowledge can be extremely costly and we would rather see you empty your pocketbook on a family vacation instead of costly plumbing errors! So hopefully something this major doesn’t ever happen to you, but we know that eventually some sort of plumbing issues eventually do arise in everyone’s lifetime. When they do, please do your research when hiring a plumber and Modern Plumbing and Heating hopes that we can earn the opportunity to serve you and in turn become YOUR plumber! Hopefully this post can save you or someone you know money, time and a headache. Please pass this along to a fellow homeowner, it’s the best compliment you can give us!