Roto Rooter ...or? and disposal model


Anybody have experience with them?
My plumber (eccentric guy) always proclaims he's trying to save me money, which, in view of my circumstances sounds great.
But is he? Latest visit, to snake kitchen sink, cost $85. This is Santa Monica CA -- not a cheap area. I tried the Roto Rooter site, but no prices listed.
Would be grateful for:
1. Comparative experiences in this general area Whom did you use? Satisfaction?
2. Price comparisons, also in this area.
3. Recommended 1/2 HP disposal models? He mentioned a brand I'm not familiar with; sorry I didn't write down the name. Said it was just as good as the name brands. He quote $220 installed. Reasonable?
Grateful for any advice on (1) snaking kitchen sink and (2) model of disposal and price of installation.
TIA
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 16:01:45 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

85 bucks for a house call to do ANYTHING is reasonable as hell. As for a disposal, just have someone teach you how to scrape garbage off of plates into the garbage where it belongs. Disposals are a ridiculous concept. They are forever jamming, needing repair or replacement, and can even be the cause of plumbing backups that will cost you even more money. If I bought a house that had a disposal, I would remove it. In fact, that's what I did when I bought this house.
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I second that opinion and my cost area is a lot less than yours (the OP).
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On Oct 16, 4:19 pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Right. I hardly used the disposal at all, and haven't for years.. decades! That's why I was surprised when plumber said it sounded like something was loose, or... not sure what his diagnosis was...
I HAVE always composted the stuff that's appropriate for compost, and scraped meat, bones, etc into garbage.So really don't need "teaching" thank you, though I know the advice was well meant.
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 17:05:55 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

If you never use it, then why even consider replacing it? Just remove the old one. You did start out wondering if your plumber was reasonable and saying that money was tight...
You are welcome!
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and later:

Given that you are looking for advice on snaking a sink and that you've had it snaked and you are looking for a garbage disposal and you didn't mention you compost most of your food waste, it's not unreasonable to assume you're clogging your drain with food waste.
The question, then, is what IS constricting or blocking your sink drain? Is it the disposal? If not, have you figured out what it is? Seems to me that's a bigger concern than how to snake a drain or the cost of an Insinkerator.
As to the cost question: my own practice is to find someone whose word and work I trust, and pay them for that trust and work ethic. The cheapest contractor in town may not be competent; then again, neither may the most expensive one in town. If you don't trust what your Roto- Rooter guy is telling you, get a second opinion - for peace of mind alone it's money well-spent!
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Kyle wrote:

If the OP is composting most of his food waste, I fail to understand how food waste would then be the cause of the sink drain not working. I had experienced similar problems that turned out to be a badly deteriorated main sewer line from our condo.
Our condo unit is first floor, nearest the street, so is first to show blockage. There were times I sent potato peelings and similar through the disposal, causing the drain to work slower. Proof came after the condo sewer line was rooted for the fourth time....I complained to the city, they sent a crew to video the line all the way from the street and to install a cleanout at the edge of our property. The condo assn. then had the line video'd, which I saw, and the plumber showed me how the lower portion of the cast iron pipe was essentially gone. On an earlier visit, another plumber had advised that the age of the pipe was at the end of it's useful expected life (35/40 yrs.).

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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I couldn't agree more. That type of waste doesn't break down like most septic waste. It's trouble in your septic system, or it's higher taxes for your municipal system.
When I moved here the back yard was solid clay from the excavator. Weeds didn't even grow in it! Fertilizer didn't do much, grass seed would germinate and struggle for a month or so then die. I needed organic matter. I didn't have the $ for a load of mushroom soil so after a years worth of fruit, vegetable, and coffee waste the grass took hold. I still throw most stuff out there, if it's small or I have time to chop it up. The larger stuff goes to the compost pile.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Impossible to know if the disposal is a good price without knowing the exact make and model, and a quick peek under the sink would help also. Link to a photo?
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Garbage disposals are pretty much commodity items - one's (mostly) as good as another. Assuming he pays retail for the disposal at Home Depot (~$75), a house call (~$75 just to drive the truck to your place), he's getting about $35/hour for a two-hour job.
SEEMS reasonable.
Alternatively, if your hand fits a couple of wrenches and a hammer...
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