As you may be aware, the City of Santa Barbara is requesting certain property owners to have their sewer laterals inspected, repaired and/or replaced if necessary. While the objective of this program is valid, there is also a large probability that property owners could be scammed by unscrupulous plumbing contractors looking to increase their profits by recommending that more work be done than is required, or failing to inform the property owner of all potential solutions.

We had a well-known local plumbing contractor do the lateral inspection for my elderly mother-in-law’s home. They emailed and called us the next day and for several days thereafter, pressuring us to sign a contract for a $5,900 repair well before we were ever contacted by the city with the results of the inspection. Alarmed, we scheduled a second inspection with another plumber. Confused by conflicting inspection results, I met with city officials to discuss both inspection reports and the overall issue.

While we do have an issue that needs repair, it was during these discussions with city staff that I was informed of new trenchless liner/sealer techniques that could repair our issue for a fraction of the first plumber’s estimate. My advice: fully investigate your inspection report findings and look into all possible repair options. You may save yourself a lot of money and headaches.


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