The Citizen Kane of Sewer Movies

I learned two important lessons from a sewer guy last week.

Lesson 1: Take the time to learn about things where ignorance could cost you a lot of money. I now know far more about sewer inspections and the condition of my sewer line than I ever thought I needed to know. What would have been the price of my ignorance? About $6000.

I’m selling my house. When we bought the place 12 years ago we were satisfied that it had a working sewer and left it at that. Today, it is de rigueur for the buyers to order a sewer inspection and a DVD tour of said sewer to ensure it’s not only working, but will never have a problem, ever. (Yeah, I thought that last part was funny, too. Any homeowner comes to realize that Murphy’s Law is alive and well in home maintenance.)

I have actually seen 2 different versions of My Sewer: The Movie. The original version came from the buyer’s inspector and featured a recommendation that we replace the sewer line. He thoughtfully included a quote for $8600 to do the job. We gave it a thumbs down as he gave no real explanation of what we saw in the movie. (Bad plot or no plot, in our opinion. Not persuasive at all.)

My Sewer: The Sequel was, in comparison, The Citizen Kane of Sewer Movies. I hired Dean, the sewer guy to clean the line after a city inspector viewed the original epic and voiced an opinion that it just needed to be cleaned.

By this time, I wanted to see the process in action. So, I found myself hovering behind Dean, watching him clean the drain by feeding a cable with cutter thingys down the clean-out in the basement. (The clean-out is the big main drain through which all waste leaves the house. More stuff I didn’t think I needed to know.) Then came the movie magic – he popped a DVR disc into his recorder and fed a camera – also on a long cable – down the sewer. And then, to my surprise and appreciation, he narrated what we were seeing on the screen.

I was not expecting a soundtrack. I was impressed. Dean’s narrative took me foot by foot down my sewer via the camera and showed me, the audience, exactly was was up with the line.

My review on The Sequel? To quote another movie review, I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.

Most importantly, it educated me and saved me the hefty cost of replacing the sewer line.

Lesson 2: Take the time to educate your customers. Your credibility and reputation for honesty will get you all the referrals and business you will ever need to be successful. Your customers will tell everyone. And that’s the most valuable advertising you can do.