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Swamped

I’ve been swamped by work the past few weeks and the blog ran dry. In this wretched economy we’re struggling with, it’s good to be busy with work, but being swamped is not the greatest. Why couldn’t it have been a little more spread out? Oh well, the swamp has receded, hopefully follow-up work will rise at a more livable pace. I spent today catching up on my bills, bank statements, invoices, etc. Lots more paperwork to sort through the next few days. Sigh. Paperwork, it never ends.

My utility room was also swamped again, too. With water, not work.

You might remember I had a real mess back in January. Thankfully, this time wasn’t as bad, but the result was, I guess. I had taken a break from work and gone out into the muggy evening to mow my yard. A shower was a necessity after that adventure in the marshlands. After my shower, I headed to the utility room to run the wash while I returned to the computer to work…only there was water all over the floor. It was clean water, but I couldn’t figure out where it had come from. It looked like it was from the washing machine, but I hadn’t washed in several day and although I hadn’t been in the utility room for a few days, I had been in there since the wash had last run. There was a little bit of water in the downstairs shower, which implied a sewage problem, but the bathroom floor was dry and the water in the utility room was clean.

I called a neighbor; I didn’t know what else to do. He stuck his fingers in the water, sniffed it and said it was clean. He decided I have a seepage problem caused by the new soffits/fascia/gutters. Great. Just Great. I mopped up the water and didn’t run any more water.

The next morning, I called the city and they sent a crew out with a camera to check the sewage…yippy skippy. There was that clump they had assured me was completely free last time and just needed to be washed out by running water, and there behind it was another tree-root blockage. I called the plumbers again and this time the city’s camera crew was able to be here at the same time as the plumber. Thank goodness, because the plumber kept insisting he’d gotten it cleared:

  1. Plumber arrives.
  2. I call the city and they say the camera crew will be right out.
  3. Plumber rods out the line. Claims he’s cleared it.
  4. Camera crew arrives; plumber tells them it’s all cleared.
  5. Camera slides down the line…lookie there! Plumber punched a hole in tree roots, but did NOT clear whole thing.
  6. Plumber tries again and says, “that got it.” Leaves rod in sewage line.
  7. Camera re-enters the sewage line: nope, plumber made the hole bigger, but did NOT clear all the roots.
  8. With camera still in the sewage line, the auger on the rod is pulled to right at the blockage, then the camera is pulled out of the line.
  9. Auger and rod rocked back and forth a few inches for a few minutes running the whole time.
  10. Camera goes back in…blockage finally cleared. There are a few straggly roots, but there’s no way to get those.

So, so, so thankful for the city’s camera and crew. Now, hopefully, the line will stay clear for several years. I’ll call the city out again in a few months to check the line for me. I may have to have my yard dug up and the clay pipe replaced with PVC lines, but that is something I hope can be avoided. I’ve re-bleached the utility room floor and am sick of doing it!

Since the plumber was going to charge me for an hour, I asked if he could change the valve for the water for one of the toilets since he hadn’t been there an hour. He begrudgingly agreed. I watched as he jerked the main water valve off and then rather rapidly changed the toilet’s valve. I asked if I needed to check it later for drips, he said “no, it’s tight enough.” Notice how he missed my hint that it wasn’t tight enough and that he’d been wrong about clearing the sewage line?!?!!? Yeah, about 20 minutes after he left, I discovered I was right. Both the main water valve and the toilet’s valves were dripping. I was able to fix the main valve…using two wrenches as my father taught me years ago (no stress on the pipes)…but I had to call my neighbor about the toilet’s valve. He had a little more umph and was able to tighten that bolt and stop that leak too. So, so, so thankful for my wonderful neighbors!!

Just writing about this is depressing again! Time to go read the paper (which is typically depressing these days, too), and maybe watch a romantic comedy for a little bit before bed…I need the laugh.

Let’s hope the swamp is drained and I can find more time to blog.

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