Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Plumbing: Now It's WAR!

I offer the following musical interlude to both buoy my current mood, and to affirm my ongoing commitment to this property, as one of most enduring relationships of my life since 1964:

My FB friends have been following my plumbing saga since last Saturday. Well, it appears it's not over yet. Silly me, I thought this would be quick, if not painless (financially).

To bring the rest of the world up to speed, it began last Saturday, about 5:30 AM. I came out to find both my kitchen sinks backed up with nasty-looking water. What a sight I must have been, in my jammies, taking desperate-but-sadly-futile measures with my rubber plunger.

I'd had a heads-up on this about two weeks before, when my son and his father-in-law came out with the heavy-duty snake to unplug the shower drain. Hal (the elder, and whose technical knowledge I trust and respect), told me that my house pipes were not draining properly, and were living on borrowed time. No surprise, since they are the originals that came with this 1922 house. Hal said I "might" be able to defer the repairs till spring.

Turns out "spring" has come early to this house...

The plumbing company Hal recommended came out and did a patch job so my household could use the facilities until Monday, when the real work would begin. Of course, you all know about Murphy's Law. It covers the inevitable fact that plumbing emergencies don't happen, say, on Tuesday at 10 AM. I'm just grateful this didn't occur during my upcoming family gathering at Thanksgiving. Maybe I should include that in my table grace at that meal, huh? ("We also give thanks for sound plumbing...")

Two days of digging and banging, and then the supervisor came out this morning to give me MORE news. Perhaps the fact that the small six-by-three-foot hole was not yet covered over by anything but a plywood board should have tipped me off...

Apparently, this battle (nice, new black pipe under the house) was only "Phase One." The supervisor gave me the "good news-bad news." The good news was that the pipe installed so far will last, but the remaining pipes leading back out to the alley, ending at the city line were impacted with roots, etc., going back to the life of this premises (ninety years, old than my mother). The only way to ensure proper drainage was "major surgery."

So, as I downloaded the above sweet song, the jackhammer was tearing up a bit of old pathway. The supervisor swore they would leave my landscaping (newer walkway, flowers and trees) alone, so I have that as consolation, at least.

The parts and labor is under a 25-year warranty. The pipes, supposedly, are going to last, per the supervisor "at least twice that long."

Since I intend to be around 50 + years, we'll see about that. Stay tuned...

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