I don’t know why it is, but for some reason water in the house inspires me to blog, such as here and here. At any rate, one of the downfalls of our house is that it has old clay pipes in the yard, as does just about every house in the neighborhood. The problem with clay pipes is that they degrade over time, and roots can grow into them from trees. So our recurring problem in the house is to have to run a sewer snake down our drain every few months, as our floor drain will back up. The first time we called a plumber, because it was something outside of our realm of expertise. He ran it through the floor drain, where the backup was, so we assumed that’s where we should run ours. Because, you know, we’re paying this guy $125 to clear out the drain, and it’s his job and stuff.
So anyway, yesterday afternoon, I took a shower in anticipation of going out to First Night for a New Year’s celebration with my family, which we do every year. The snow falling worried me, but it wasn’t bad at the time. After my shower, I glanced into the laundry room, as I tend to do when I walk past after a shower, and noticed a puddle around the drain. Again?! I thought to myself. We just snaked the drain last month! So I went about getting dressed, saw that the water had gone down, and figured it was a drain hiccup, because it does back up just a little sometimes, and surely it was too soon for a major drain blockage. So I threw in a load of laundry and went about my day. Big mistake. The laundry water backed up all over the floor. So I went into “fix the drain” mode, calling up my boss, because his father-in-law, who lived nearby, had a sewer snake that we had borrowed previously. It was huge and heavy and the belt was iffy, but it worked. Well, father-in-law was out of town, but he’d call back when he’s in town. In the meantime, I called the local hardware store for a rental. Apparently Home Depot isn’t open after 5pm on New Years Eve, so I was stuck.
Hoping for a call back from the boss man and worried about the snow, we hung around the house, skipping out on First Night. We didn’t do much at home to celebrate, just watched the New York NYE party on NBC, which was very crappy. All the live performances, and they play Olympics recaps AND a pre-recorded performance of Call Me Maybe over Psy’s live performance?
Grumpy cat didn’t like it much, either. And instead of televising the ball dropping, the camera just cut to a bunch of people making out. Pah. So we stayed up for another hour, little dude dozing off until a couple of minutes before midnight when I woke him up, we wished each other a happy new year, and he went to bed, us shortly after.
So the new year dawned early and bright, and everyone had to go pee, and I’m not too keen on having pee backup into my basement, so we packed up and went to the store to do our morning duties. After getting home and lazing around for a while, because that’s what we do on days off, we decided to go pick up a sewer snake from the Home Depot, which was indeed open. And when I say “pick up,” I mean it literally. As in, pick it up and put it in the trunk. Our favorite model, the 100 footer, weighs 210 lbs, and is $70 (after assorted taxes and fees) for four hours. So it was wrestled into the trunk, out of the trunk, down the stairs, and into the utility room. Thankfully, this one had auto forward and reverse THAT WORKED, which is the first time ever that we’ve had that luck. After the snaking, we ran lots of water, flushed toilets, everything was running a-ok, so I started a load of laundry and we took it back to Home Depot. You know, after lugging a 210 lb piece of equipment up the stairs, hefting it into the trunk of the car, then wrestling it out of the trunk.
On our way home, I got a rather disheartening call: My older son reported to us that the washer backed up again. All over the place. Back to square one. After we got home, the floor drain suddenly unclogged, and the water went down the drain, so we figured that maybe the drain cleaning had knocked something loose, it clogged again, then the water pressure shoved it on through, but I wasn’t convinced. That’s when I decided to call a plumber with a drain camera. I tried calling around to people I knew that would know plumbers, but no one had any recommendations, so I searched Craigslist. I found a company that had a camera and made you a DVD of your drain for $125, when the going rate is usually $250, so I called them. The fellow that answered said he was out and about, and within half an hour of me, and would come out this evening for no extra charge, so I took him up on his offer.
The fellow showed up in 20 minutes, got his camera out (which was on a reel and had a display), and almost immediately, he ran into this thing:
What is that, you ask? It’s
Cthulhu a gnarly root. All up in my pipe. Apparently the rooting that we had done through the floor drain was wrong; we were unable to run the cutter blade through the floor drain, and were only using a little arrowhead tip to go through. It had been punching a hole through the mess of roots, but not clearing it. So the dude pulled out his super fabulous drain cleaner and got that mess right out! He ran his camera back down, showing a couple of little root masses called “flappers,” so named because they move out of the way of rooting devices, as well as water. He recommended a product called RootX (NOT RIDX), and suggested that I buy it on Ebay. He did warn me that it can cause pipe damage, so they do not carry it, but it would get rid of those roots.
So anyway, the fellow gave me the DVD (because drain exploration is exciting stuff), and he only charged $200 for the drain clearing plus the video! So, I’ve gotta give a little shout out to his company, Drain Medics, because the service was excellent, he was here quickly, and he was very nice.Pin It