November 1 ,2 012
Avoid MR. ROOTER of Cook County, Illinois like the plaque!!! The guys that run this business -- neither of whom are licensed plumbers (Vinay Rajput, Owner & Bryan d**k, Sales) -- are complete incompetents! Do not allow these people onto your property or into your house! Through all of this, I do not believe that one single licensed plumber was involved with these projects.
In June of 2012, we suffered a severe septic back up. We realized that we had a problem with the
line leaving the house and connecting to the tank.
Our septic man suggested that we explore the line with a camera probe and found we "Mr. Rooter of
Cook County" via an on-line phone book. For a "Special price of $99" (regular price was supposedly
$250) they would come out with a camera and probe the line. Note: This "Special Price" stuff is a
regular feature with these guys.... quote a very high price and then offer a lower price based on some package deal or whatever.
We found that our septic line had a "belly" and was filled with water due to the installation of a Koi pond some years before. The plan with our septic guy was to re-route the line around the pond and into the side of the septic tank.
Bryan d**k at Mr. Rooter of Cook County offered to provide us a quote for the work saying that they do this kind of thing "all the time." He also asked if we had a water treatment system which we did and was in need of replacement. He inspected our system, looked at old water test reports going back to 2005 we had (but did no tests of his own) and then offered to replace the system and do the septic line at the same time.
Our well water has high hardness and quite a bit of iron. Thankfully no sulfur. The existing system that came with the house had an ozone generator, iron filter and a separate softener. We gave Bryan d**k comprehensive water test reports dating back to 2005 that showed both elemental iron and bacterial iron. d**k either ignored the data in the reports or did not understand the data.
Bryan d**k recommended the ProSystems 2.0 cubic system and said that by using the special "iron removal salt" this system would take the iron out of the water and soften it as well. While he looked at old water assay reports, we never saw him perform any water tests of his own!
Their original price quote was for $8473.00 ($3986 sewer + $2991water system + $1496 hydro jetting of old septic line). However, "if customer (us) does all the work at the same time, Mr. Rooter of Cook County would discount $3000" and the whole thing would cost $5473. As we had three earlier quotes to replace the old water treatment system -- all around $3000 -- so their offer seemed reasonable and in line with others. We gave Bryan d**k a deposit of $2773 and work would start on Tuesday 10/16/12.
The installation of the water system went off without a hitch. However, we quickly noticed a brown color to our water. Bryan d**k of Mr. Rooter of Cook County explained that their new system "was so powerful that it was cleaning old rust stains from our lines." Seemed plausible but is really a bunch of BS. After 3 weeks our water has been the color of Coors Light and all toilet bowls have dark gray-brown stains.
I called Bob Puder, Tech Services Manager at ProSystems in Elk Grove Village, IL, who explained that the system installed is simply a softener and is NOT prescribed for water with high iron. Upon reviewing our old water test reports, Mr. Puder explained that the iron in our water is not simple iron. We have very high organic/bacterial iron. Mr. Puder explained that their system does NOT remove this. For that, we need a second system - an aerated iron filter. Bryan d**k of Mr. Rooter of Cook County sold us a water system that is not appropriate for our water quality issues! Furthermore, they charged us $2991 for a simple softener that would normally sell for $1500-$1800!!! We are now spending an additional $1764 on an iron filter -- the same type of system that Mr. Rooter of Cook County removed from our house when replacing the old system!
On 11/14/12 Water Specialties Group (Bensenville) installed the new iron filter ($1764). In a final note of Mr. Rooter incompetence their licensed plumber technician noted that the Ozone system (that Mr. Rooter told us to discard and thankfully we did not) was not even hooked up to the water system! When Mr. Rooter's technician came to install their overpriced water softener, the young guy removed the Ozone from the water line and never reconnected. Although the Ozone system continued to generate O3, it was not connected to our water line and therefore our water was not being disinfected by Ozone!
The digging of the septic line turned into a nightmare from Hell. The crew showed up here early morning of Wednesday 10/17/12 and started digging. They exposed the original septic line at a depth of 5 feet. They then exposed the entrance to the septic tank. They then started digging a 35 foot trench to connect the two. THEY NEVER TOOK A LASER TO MEASURE THE SLOPE/PITCH BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS.
All seemed to be going well through the day until the end at 5PM when the crew announced that they "had a problem" and did not have enough pitch to connect to the tank. (This after 7 hours of digging...) They explained that the last four-foot segment of pipe pitched backwards as the entrance to the septic tank was 3 inches too high!!!! (Again, no one from Mr. Rooter of Cook County working on this line was a licensed plumber! We learned this after the fact.)
The next morning Bryan d**k and Vinay Rajput ("Vin")of Mr. Rooter of Cook County came to inspect the situation. They both concluded that there was not sufficient pitch to run the line the way that we intended. When we asked them why they did not measure before digging a complete trench, Bryan d**k stated that to "send a surveyor would have added $1200 cost to the project." I explained that no surveyor was required and that two sticks with a laser level could determine the pitch. All I got was mumbles and dumb looks.
Bryan & Vinay of Mr. Rooter of Cook County concluded that the only solution was to run a new line across the inside of our house -- through the office used by our business -- and core the foundation and bring the new line around to the existing trench. Plus move the outside air conditioner unit. They presented us with a new proposal/bill for an extra $4983 for this work! We were speechless and enraged by their aloof incompetence. We gave them a deposit of $2500 but asked them not to cash this as we planned to seek another opinion before proceeding with their plan. (The next morning they
deposited our cheque anyway...)
We removed all of the furniture from the office (I own my own business) and demolished 18 feet of soffit and wall board to expose the septic pipe and to expose the new, proposed route.
Fortunately, we called Tim, our long time septic man before giving these b***s any more money. Tim broke out laughing when he saw the situation and said that they were idiots. For $200, he modified the septic tank port so the pipe pitched down and sealed it up. The pipe rests about 1-2" above the water surface in the tank and the rest of our field in the yard is pitched about 2 feet below this grade. We needlessly ripped apart our office and disrupted our business productivity for two weeks while new drywall and paint was applied!
In yet another act of incompetence, Mr. Rooter of Cook County was instructed to fill in the trench and
complete the job. They filled the trench in and left a 3 foot wall of dirt. My wife asked about this and Bryan d**k said that they "were not responsible for repairing the site." We never expected that... but to leave a wall of dirt??? After pointing out that their wall of dirt was right next to our 4000 gallon Koi pond they, instead of hauling the dirt away as a professional company would do, Mr. Rooter of Cook County flung the "dirt" all over our backyard leaving a 6-8 inch layer of wet, sticky clay covering garden beds and lawn. I spent 4 hours hauling away 25 wheel barrows of this mess and then spent another $300 on a landscaper to cart their dirt away.
The $1496 hydro jetting of the remaining 15-feet of original septic line was a joke and a rip-off. The
worker for Mr. Rooter of Cook County showed up here and my wife was watching him unobserved from the upstairs bedroom. She timed him... 7 minutes for the $1496 hydro jetting. God knows how well the line was cleaned in that short time but on an hourly basis Mr. Rooter of Cook County charges $12,823 per hour for hydro jetting.
It is now the week from Christmas -- two months after this fiasco -- and our drinking water system still is not normal. The salt storage tank -- which should be dry except for 4-5" of water in the very bottom -- is filled with 36" of water covering the stored salt. Several calls to ProSystems, the softener manufacturer, have still not solved this problem so we are looking at another bill from a technician to come out here.
Vinay Rajput and Bryan d**k -- Mr. Rooter of Cook County, Illinois -- do NOT allow these guys onto your property or into your house!!!