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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Never complain about what a plumber charges...

This city girl turned country, has learned an important lesson the last few weeks. Plumbers earn everything they charge! As you grumble and complain about what your local plumber in the city charges to come out and work on your place, just remember at least he's there to do it and YOU don't have too.

The latest adventure started for us a few weeks ago. Problem number 1. We live in a rural area, so we have a septic tank. Plumbers are hard to come by and you pretty much do most things on your own. When the snow started to melt a few weeks ago we started noticing septic problems, like slow draining and eventually back up. At first we wondered if it was just because the ground was so saturated that the leach line had no where to go or was taking longer to leach. The leach line had just been replaced a couple years before, so it shouldn't be the problem. We decided we would have the septic emptied to see if that helped.

Problem number 2 began when we tried to get someone out to pump out our septic tank. Remember the saturated ground I mentioned earlier? It was too wet for the first guy we called to get down there (he got stuck, before he even got to the bottom of the hill) to where the access is. So we called another guy. His truck had just broke down. It would be a while before he could come out. So we called a little farther out to one of the bigger town/cities. They were booked solid with the mines for the next couple of weeks. So we waited, rationing ~ showers, doing dishes, flushing toilets (used the old out house that is about 124 years old ). You never realize how much you appreciate having indoor plumbing until you have to go out to the outhouse... night...or when it's cold... just saying :)

Finally, the second man we called, got his truck up and running. It was dry enough to get down to the septic accesses lid. He was headed our way. The hubby had already dug down to the access door, so it was just a matter of pumping it out right? Not for this adventure...

After the pumping was complete. I was asked to go indoors and flush one of the toilets. NOTHING! Nothing emptied out into the septic! We waited a few minutes and I tried it again. not only did nothing come out it started backing up! Now we had already snaked the lines when we started having problems. Didn't run into anything. But now we knew there was a problem in the line from the house to septic tank. So the hubby went to get the plumbing "snake". Side note... this snake has been used and at the ranch for as long as he could remember.

Problem number three. After paying the septic pumper man, the hubby headed to the basement where he had installed an access (earlier in this adventure) in the pipe for such an occasion. We had waited a while hoping that most of the water from flushing had emptied out of the pipes.

Weeelllll, the hubby opened the pipe... a bit of clear water came out... And the BAMMMM! The pipe exploded with YUCKY water! Ohhh My Gosh! talk about nasty... Poor hubby got covered not to mention everything in the Vincenty! It filled the tub he had there and then some! So as I started with the mop and then the shop vac cleaning up the mess he started the snake. Nothing. It didn't hit anything. Then he started measuring. The snake was not nearly long enough to make it to the septic. So that means he needed to go from the other direction also!

Problem number 4. Many of you might not know this. But my dear hubby has very wide shoulders. Septic tank holes not so wide. He had to maneuver a bit to get down into (thankfully the now empty) septic tank. He got down in there and started extending the snake. It only went about six inches when it hit a something solid. After taking out one piece to see into the pipe he found the problem. The end of the pipe was crushed and was just in pieces. So as he took out the broken pieces out, guess what happened? Of course it starts pouring out! Gobs and gobs of it! Poor hubby and his wide shoulders is trying as fast as he can to get out of there. Not a good afternoon for the hubby.

Well as most stories go, this one does have a happy ending ;) We called the neighbor who is a contractor. He came over the next day and dug out the offending pipe. It had been crushed, was never put in correctly so had probably been that way for a long time. Remember the snake? I guess this old house has had problems for some time, but no one before us ever figured that it wasn't long enough. The pipe was replaced, laid and attached properly and we once again have indoor plumbing! Yahoooo!

You know, that afternoon was not the best of days, especially for the hubby. However now that it is behind us and we can look back and tell the story, it's pretty funny. The hubby says he can mark the experience off the bucket list of things he NEVER wanted to do. We reinforced our belief that when you do a job, do it right the first time. Don't rig it to just do for now. It seems quite often things are done to just get by or to cut cost. But it always end up to cost you more in the long term to fix mistakes. Sometimes those fix it jobs are just plane crappy (pun intended).

Kudos to my hubby! He did what need to be done, with just a little bit of later repenting and asking forgiveness :) But like most things in our adventure we call life he is willing to take on jobs many others never would attempt.

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