Friday, July 25, 2008

Down the Drain

It was a rough night at This D*mn House. Five minutes before I was planning to go to bed, I discovered water over much of the laundry room floor. That’s never a good sign. Oh no, thought I, not the brand new water heater!

No. It wasn’t. The culprit appeared to be the air conditioner. I thought the drain hose may have sprung a leak or else it just was draining from under the unit as some water had pooled there. Again, no.

Then, I heard a drip. Ever so faint, but a drip. It was coming from the overflow pipe which runs along the sink. That means one of two things: the main is clogged and it’s backing up from the yard or either the kitchen or bathroom drain is jammed up.

Luckily, I’ve learned to keep clog-busters on hand. I cleaned up the floor and the sink as best I could and then poured a gallon of main line stuff (I don't know the name, but if you're genuinely interested I'll find out and let you know) down the drain. I grabbed a bottle of Roto Rooter Build-Up Remover and headed upstairs. (This is really good stuff. They also have a fairly helpful FAQ page on their Web site which I've consulted before.) I poured some in the kitchen sink and then poured more into the bathtub drain. I covered all the drains, told Mom not to use water or the sinks for anything if possible ‘til morning, and went to bed.

I needn’t have bothered. Toby yowled and screamed. He shut up and Mother Nature started in, lighting up my room and shaking it for good measure. This upset Ozzie who got unsettled, finally settled, and then decided he needed to pee around 3.

Mother Nature gave up, Ozzie was nestled back in bed, and Toby resumed his yowling. I told the mother that the cat goes to the vet soon or I neuter him myself. I’ve got just the tool to try out on him.

It didn’t look like what I had cleaned up was sewage. I prayed that it wasn’t. And I’m happy to report this morning that I confirmed that. I began my day by flushing out and plunging drains, running like a mad woman up and down the basement stairs, yelling to mom to run water or to turn it off. Turns out it was the kitchen sink. So the worst I’d been messing with was dirty dishwater though I’ll spare you a description of what came up when I plunged. That meant that the shower was no longer off limits, so I hit it.

And now that I’m completely exhausted, it’s off to work. I feel, but hope I don't look, like what came up out of the drain.

Home ownership is great, isn’t it?


Anonymous said...

My husband can commiserate with you because of what he had to clean out of the bathtub drain every couple of months. Seems that long hair likes to get stuck in the drain until it turns into a heaping rat-looking mess.

I'm sure you don't look like drain water. And since you showered you shouldn't smell like it either.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a terrible thing to find :( I'm glad it wasn't a big problem and that you got to fix it without a large outpouring of cash - cheap always makes these things easier to handle, I find.

Ann said...

You know what I just thought of? I wonder what would happen if someday, for some reason - you ended up in a new house. WHAT then? Who would you be? I wondered if you'd build cool furniture, start a garden...or...would you secretly break crap in your new house, just so you fix it? Uh huh. Hmmmmm....

What say you?

Gene said...

Thankfully it wasn't worse than dish water or hair blobs to clean up. It could have been much, much worse, as I learned a while back.

NV said...

V -- It sure does! That's why I was so glad that it wasn't the bathroom. Been there. Done that.

Jen -- Thanks! I am going to put one more round of stuff in at bedtime tonight. Cross your fingers. So far, so good.

Ann -- You're exactly right, a question which inspired tonight's post!

Gene -- YIKES! I appreciate how bad it could have been. In our first five or six years here, we went through sewage 8-10 times. That ended when neighbor took out tree!

Anonymous said...