Been to Shit’s Creek….

forgot my paddle again!

So yesterday’s adventures in aggravation did not end once I got home. They were just beginning. You see, on Monday while I was away the drainpipe backed up into the washing machine again. So Tara spent most of Monday night working with the plumber as he sent a snake through the pipe out to the street to cut a hole through the line so the pipe could drain. His snake broke.

A little history here. A drainage pipe runs along the side of the house to the street. Our next door neighbors used to have a tree in their lawn that was about 5 feet in diameter. It was a big sucker. And trees have roots, roots find there way everywhere. Sometimes they find their way into drainage pipes. The tree has been gone for about 10 years now and about 15 years ago Dad and I moved a few trees from the backyard to the side yard. And these trees have put down their own roots which have attacked the drainage pipe.

So occasionally the drainage pipe backs up and it needs to be snaked. This is a messy process and not fun at all. Well, it happened on Monday. And there has been a “compound”-wide water ban. (I call it a compound because 2/3 of the children have returned with their families in tow. And if the Kennedy’s can call their place a compound I can call ours one too.)

Well, yesterday afternoon Dad and I wanted to make sure that things were working correctly. I ran the shower and the sink and the toilet downstairs while Dad took the cap off a pipe that looks into the drainage pipe to see if the water was flowing okay. Also at the same time we ran the washer machine with two rags that were used to clean up the mess from Monday. A little water flowed when I ran the shower and the sink and the toilet. Then when the washer machine began to drain things seemed okay. At first. The next thing I know water is shooting out of the pipe behind the washer machine. I quickly shut off the washer and the water. Not before the floor was once again thoroughly soaked. So I went out to give my Dad the bad news and find out how we can get the water up. We have an old Wet/Dry vac that we brought downstairs and began to suck up the water. Once again the laundry room was dry, or at least not soaking.

Then I noticed a small leak at a pipe under my Dad’s desk. It was at a point at drainage pipe where there is a joint. So there is a cap here. There was a small wingnut on the top of the cover and then behind that is a rubber sealer and a PVC cover. The whole thing seals the pipe and as you tighten the nut the cap fits tighter. That is how it is supposed to work! Well, behind the cap is corroded and tightening the wingnut just makes the dripping happen faster.

So I point out the dripping to my Dad. Now the fun begins. Dad goes under the desk to discover the leak has made a box wet, he is not amused. Next thing we know I’m running for a container to catch the drips. That container is not adequate. I get another, also not adequate. I get a third, then a 5 gallon joint compound bucket, then another joint compound bucket and then the wet dry vac.

So, Dad collected the flow from the pipe and transferred it into the 5 gallon bucket. I took the full bucket out to the backyard and tossed it. Ran back inside and turned the wet dry vac on to suck up some of the overflow. This process went on for about 2 hours. During this time I also got a bunch of tools from the truck, explained the situation to the rest of the family and forbade all to not use the water.

After the water was gone from the pipe and all over the backyard Dad went and got a new cap from Lowes. When he went to install it. I went with him. As he took off the old cover, we extracted another 15 gallons of water. Someone didn’t listen!

So we have no water usage at the house. Had to go down to Jen’s for a shower. Apparently her hot water heater boils the water prior to sending it in a scalding ‘rain’ of terror at you. It would not get cold. Finally I got numb to the burning and braved the shower. Quick and painful and I was sweating more after the shower than before, but at least I was decontaminated.

You may be wondering why there are no pictures of this event. I had the camera with me but knew that the best course of action was not to take any pictures.

A couple of things I learned from this.

  1. A drainage pipe holds alot of water.
  2. Sewage water sucked into an old dry vac smells worse then sewage water on its own.
  3. Don’t plant trees near sewage drainpipes.
  4. The little Dutch Boy caused the leak in the Dyke by pushing on it.
  5. Do not use the water also means don’t flush the toilet.
  6. I can run through the entire house in 30 seconds and find what needs to be found.
  7. I’m not a complete spaz in a panic situation.
  8. Some commercials make more sense on mute.
  9. Jean-Claude Van Damme movies all have the same plot.
  10. Not everything needs to be photographed for posterity’s sake.