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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111496
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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Is it the accepted standard when you re a plumber to clear

Customer Question

Is it the accepted standard when you hire a plumber to clear the main drain in your coming into you house causing water and sewage flooding that said plumber snake all the way out to the City Main Water Line. My pipe in my basement was backing up and causing flooding. I hired a plumber to clear the drain he billed me for three hours and said he ran the snake 50 feet out and thought he had it cleared. Less than a month later my basement flooded to about six inches from the same drain I paid to have snaked so I called them back to come and fix it. A two man team came and said they couldn't believe that the first plumber only went out 50 feet and he should have ran all the way to the City Main. they were nice and explained it would be very expensive to empty the water and take care of the sewage and it was something that I could easily do by myself and then have them come back and just take care of the main. So I rented a sump pump and cleared out all the water and the debris and the next day another team of two plumbers came out from the same company. They both agreed that the plumber should have run all the way out to the City Main. They ran it out around 100 feet and it took them 45 min to do. The first plumber charges me $375 dollars to go out 50 feet. I then got a receipt for a $100 credit for not snaking the line all the way to the main the first time so they admitted fault in writing. The second flood caused water to get in my water heater gas valve and I had to have it replaced at a cost of $517. Can I hold the Plumbing company liable for the cost
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Yes, if the first plumber did not properly do the job and you were caused damage by him failing to do so, then you have grounds to sue him in small claims court without an attorney for those damages. You would need to have the second plumbers come to court to testify that the first plumber should have properly gone all the way to the city drain and that his failure to do so caused the second flooding and damages from that flooding occurred.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can I just take in evidence and statements from the plumbers I have talked to instead of dragging the employees in and make then testify against their own company. May just threatening to take them to court and explaining what that would all entail they will find a reasonable set up for me. I am not trying to get work done for free i just feel like they didn't do the job i hired them to do and although I paid them a high fee to do so it was their fault that the second flood happened.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is considered hearsay in court to just use written statements in a trial, because the other party has a due process right to question your witnesses and they cannot question a written piece of paper.
You can tell them you are going to sue them, but if they still do not pay, you have no option but to file suit.