Routine water heater swap - yeah right. What started out as thinking our water heater was broken, turned out to be a long overdue clogged sewer lateral. Worst case scenario. While I'm not that happy about the sewage overflow situation which could have been better mitigated (and we still need to beach the hell out of that room), the solutions and options offered by Ali were professional and spoke of his experience.
To unclog the piping, snaking was attempted but failed, hydrojetting was attempted but failed (with a mess of sewage). Finally we got a camera down there to find a wall of something about 50 feet down from the mechanical room to a spot under the sidewalk. Digging 4 feet down, to find actually a pretty good condition clay lateral. Ali's man Valentino (a skilled gentleman), cut the clay and replaced it with a riser in order to install a cleanout for future maintenance. Once done, they hydrojetted for another hour to clear 7-8 months worth of waste. The camera was once again sent through to find that a portion of the clay lateral had shifted and created uneven surfaces including some penetration of tree roots. While most plumbers would probably recommending an immediate replacement, Ali recommended that since it wasn't fully collapsed, we should simply clear out the lateral as routine maintenance rather than spend all the money to replace the pipe.
I appreciate his direct communication, no sales pitch, and brief coaching through the process. While I do have 10 yrs of construction experience, and his price was not the cheapest, he certainly delivered on time and without any sense of price gouging.