Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Rest of the Story

I just reread my last blog and decided to finish the story. Our company arrived Sunday afternoon and we had a great time reconnecting. The house was clean, the drain repaired and all was well. NOT! We ran the dishwasher Monday and experienced a backup into the kitchen sink, but all was well because the sink drained albeit slowly. Tuesday, the sink backed up and took several hours to drain. That night we put Drano Foaming Drain Cleaner in the sink for a last ditch effort to clean the drain. The next morning we ran water in the sink to push the Drano through the pipes. No go. We had gray water in the sink that would not drain. Jean refused to let me go under the house to attempt a repair while we had company. So, we ate out for the rest of the week. Our company left Friday morning and by Friday afternoon I was under the house cleaning out drains. I decided to remove all of the 60 year old galvanized drain pipes and replace them with ABS plastic pipe. Gunk doesn't stick to the plastic as well as to the galvanized. I used about $10 worth of saw blades in my Sawzall trying to remove the galvanized. I finally got it out and replaced it with the plastic by 8 PM. I was sure I had solved all of my problems. I plugged in the water softener and it started to cycle by back flushing the softener cylinder. The sink immediately filled with water and threatened to overflow onto the floor. I rushed in a stopped the softener and then bailed 20 gallons of water out of the sinks. I knew then that my plumbing efforts had thus far been in vain.
The next morning I was back under the house and started at the main sewer drain and reamed out the pipe with a 1 inch wooden dowel. I had not done this before and it was plugged. Got it cleaned, had Jean turn on the water and waited for it to flow out of the long length of plastic pipe I had installed a number of years ago. I knew it was clear because I had run a snake completely through it at least twice in my earlier attempts. No water! I was astounded! I was so sure that I had cleaned everything out I hadn't even brought the snake under the house with me. So, I crawled out and got the snake and ran it backwards through the pipe. I hit a clog! I worked it out with with the snake. Much of the gunk that came out was a cement formed out of the Drano we had poured into the drain. I got it out and ran the water and it rushed through the drain. Success!! After at least 30 hours of work on the drain I had it cleaned out and working well. I saved over $65. My time was worth about $2 an hour! And, four days after the successful end of my work my joints have quit aching too. Next time I call the plumber, so what if I have to wait a week for him to come.

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