3.09.2008

$2,921.50 later...

We've had an expensive week to say the least.

The morning after the Stars game Bryan discovered that there was something terribly wrong with our house's sewer system. You might wonder how one makes a discovery like this... It seems that when your sewer is backed up all things related to water in your home exit through an exterior access pipe. Ours happens to be in front of the house in the flower bed. Floating on top of said freshly weeded flowerbed was copious amounts of toilet paper and other unmentionables. Awesome.

Bryan goes off to work saying, "Call the plumber. It probably just needs to be snaked." Snaked? Okay.

The plumber comes over and says, "I'll just send the snake down and clear the blockage. It'll be $188.16 to do that." Gasp - okay... The plumber, named David, sends the snake (long, hose-looking thing with a blade on the end of it) down into the access pipe searching out the evil obstruction. Nothing. He sends the snake in again. Nothing.

He rings the doorbell, a flustered look on his face and says, "I can't figure this out. I'm gonna need to send the camera down there and take a look. Whatever is down there is taking hunks out of the metal blade on the snake. I'll waive the prior fee but sending down the camera will cost $292.50." Yikes. He sends the camera down and discovers that somehow the pipes that connect our house to the city's main sewer are now offset. His fancy camera sends a signal telling him that the problem is 6 feet down and one foot UNDER our driveway. It'll cost - gulp - $2,484.00 to dig down and fix the problem. Oh, and because of the impending storm they won't be able to do it until tomorrow...

We get this all lined up and scheduled. David, the plumber, leaves. Next the refridgerator repairman (named Steven - a greasy, odd-looking man with thick glasses) shows up. Our freezer seemed to be working fine but the lower half of the fridge wasn't cooling. Some repair men come, do their job, get some money and leave. Not Steven. He wants to talk. Great. Apparently the thermostat on the freezer had over heated and was not automatically defrosting and it needed to be replaced. An hour and a half, $130, and another $15 under the table to fix my ice maker later he left. (Thank goodness...)

Meanwhile the city has come by to make sure the main sewer lines weren't the problem and the rain starts to fall. Other cities about 45 minutes away got up to 9 inches of snow. We got cold, pounding rain. This did not help my poor exterior access pipe much. You never realize how much water you use in the house until you have to weigh every choice to use it. "Hmm, this is going to have to be the world's fastest shower. No laundry. No dishes. Careful and creative moderated use of the toilets... Not fun.

The next day David-the-plumber was back with a crew of 3 guys to dig the hole. This took ALL day long. Six feet is deep. They piled all the dirt onto plywood on the lawn and sank lower and lower into the hole.


You can see the guy's shovel at the top of the wheelbarrow. The three of them kept trading places until they were finished. I realize only one guy could be in there at a time but it was frustrating watching the other two stand around.

This is David-the-plumber. He doesn't look happy to be standing in our sewage, does he?

The new and improved pipe and the huge mound of dirt that wouldn't all fit back into the hole they dug it from... why won't it ever all fit back in?


I'm happy to report that we can now flush, shower, launder & wash dishes once again. Did I really miss the dishes and laundry part?? And, yes, we are currently accepting all donations!

3 comments:

Spymommy said...

All I can think about is how stinky a job that must be! We always have something like this happen to us, too - except without the sewage. Two years ago we came home from vacation in Utah to find our A/C had gone out and we had to replace the entire unit! UGGGG... sorry!

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Don't you hate REALLY expensive repairs that do nothing to improve the face value of your home? It's like you can't sit around and say... gosh... look at my pretty sewage lines! But if you'd spent that on new kitchen cabinets! Yippeee!
Ok, I didn't mean to make it worse, but it's like Sam said - those kind of repairs stink.

Erin said...

That was the best explanation of sewer/freezer repair I have ever heard! I'm gladded you are no longer back up, he he he.