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Don't Rely on Luck, Rely on HomeServe

 HomeServe Technician

No one likes dealing with the hassles and messes of homeownership. Especially issues with your plumbing system.

Overflowing toilets. Sink clogs. These aren’t issues most homeowners like to talk about, let alone deal with. But when something goes awry with the plumbing system in your home, you need to spring into action as soon as possible. So let me tell you a little story. One about how my indoor plumbing breakdowns surfaced and were addressed - and how having a home warranty plan in place from HomeServe was worth it as it helped me manage the costs.

Signs of the problem

As pointed out by The Spruce, the emergence of brownish or blackish wastewater from one or more drains - or the toilet - represents a pretty clear sign of problems with the pipes that connect your home to the local municipal sewer lines. Multiple plumbing fixtures backing up all at once is an even bigger red flag.

If the sight of disgusting brown/black water doesn't immediately alarm you, the odors that often accompanying the dark water definitely will. That's what happened with me - I first noticed it in the kitchen sink, while rinsing off some dishes. What should've been a routine chore quickly turned nasty and gross.

I followed the advice of SFGate Home Guides and set out looking for additional signs of clogs in the plumbing. Unfortunately, this isn't quite as easy with pipes that are connected to a city or town sewer system, as opposed to a septic tank, where you can check the inlet and outlet baffles yourself. So I operated on the assumption that tree roots problem were to blame, as they frequently are in sewer clogs, and carefully deployed some organic drain cleaner - metam sodium herbicide, in this case. I figured that the problem was solved, but was wrong.

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When the toilet stopped working altogether, I had a local plumber come look at it, and while the cleaner I'd used wasn't responsible, some portions of the pipe network were breaking down and needed to be replaced.

HomeServe to the rescue

My first instinct was to be frustrated at the situation, but I quickly had to turn my attention to the prospect of affording this plumbing work out of pocket. Yikes.

As always, it was my wife to the rescue. Five years ago when we first bought the house, she'd discovered HomeServe home repair plans. And just last winter (prior to the beginning of this nightmare,) we had purchased a TotalHome Warranty Systems Plan. Flash-forward to the septic troubles and me bemoaning the forthcoming repair bill. She said, "Wow, you totally forgot we bought that HomeServe plan, huh?" Indeed I had.

The Interior Plumbing portion of the Systems Plan includes coverage for a broad spectrum of leaks, clogs, sump-pump problems and other issues common to the pipes connecting your home's drains to the local sewer. We called HomeServe to file our claim, and they sent a licensed plumber out to take a look. Because everything that turned out to be wrong fell under the plan's stipulations, we were covered. No bill. (Though I was out the money I’d spent having someone come out to check the plumbing before my wife reminded me that we had a TotalHome Warranty plan.)

So, long story short. It can be stressful dealing with home maintenance, and even more so when repairs are necessary. But when you’re prepared with a plan, they don't have to be a financial catastrophe.

Click here to learn more about how TotalHome Warranty and how other plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.  


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