Saturday, October 18, 2008

And Now for Something (Sort Of) Completely Different . . .

David-of-Six says this post should instead be entitled, "Water, water everywhere, except the kitchen sink." He's right, actually, but I'm stubborn.

Back in June or something, the kitchen sink faucet started dripping. The Milk Guy came over for dinner one night, and after he had evicted the wasps that had moved into the grill (at some danger to himself) and had grilled our vegetables, I asked him, "Do you know how to fix dripping faucets?" He got a kind of roguish gleam in his eye, repositioned the water handle and said, "All fixed!" We both knew it wasn't, but it wasn't the hugest problem in the world, so I let him off.

My parents came to visit for a couple of weeks later in the summer and I asked my dad, "Do you know how to fix dripping faucets?" I got a similar response.

After my parents left, the dripping began under the sink. I couldn't find exactly where it was leaking from and figured I could manage with slight drips until my parents came home at Christmas, because who wants to fork out money for a plumber when it's not that big a deal? I put two plastic bins underneath the pipes, every so often bailing them out the back door.

After the Sixes moved in, the drips from the faucet were par for the course, and the drips under the sink had turned into torrents. Oh. The arm wasn't properly connected to one of the joints. That's easy enough to fix. We shoved the two pieces back together and the drips (at least the lower ones) stopped.

Then they started again. Not to mention the sink was clogging. David-of-Six replaced some of the piping under the sink. It didn't help.

On Thursday we (by which I mean the Sixes) called a plumber. The plumber couldn't make it until Monday. The kitchen was starting to smell. The sink was not draining. The dishwasher was backing up into it. Some of the other sinks were clogging up, too. "Pump your septic tank," Everybody said. Yesterday a guy came and pumped the septic tank. It was fine. Nothing was wrong with it. Fortunately. It was a good preventative measure, Everybody assured me. I'm sure it was. But the sink was still not draining, and it was still dripping. Also, now water spurts out from under the handle.

A friend called a drain-clearing company for us. They sent someone to us yesterday afternoon. He ran a snake down the pipes and wrestled with them for about two hours. There was, indeed, a clog. He removed the clog. In the meantime, he discovered that a pipe beyond the cellar wall had broken. Most of the water was still going down the pipe. Some of the rest of it (and its attendant sludge) was going into the insulation. Mmmm.

Licensing restrictions apparently prevented him from fixing the pipe. He was not sure he had removed all the sludge, but was afraid to try anymore, lest he damage the pipes further. He advised we call a plumber. The plumber, he said, could fix the pipe. The plumber could fix the leak. The plumber could fix the drips and the spray. Then, if the sink was still clogged, he--the Drain Guy--would come back for no extra charge and clear out the rest of the debris. He removed the piping immediately under the kitchen sink and turned the water off there.

So . . . we're still waiting for the plumber. Tonight we ate on paper plates. I lugged two-and-a-half days' worth of seven people's dishes into the basement and washed them in the lower level sink. While I did my laundry.


Annelise said...

Oh no! And I hadn't heard the bit about the sludge in the walls--ugh!

Scott R. Davis said...

SOUNDS like you had an interesting time wrestling with pipes. I do wish the best for you as you get your problems resolved. you could have washed your dishes along with your laundry and killed two birds with one stone.

Do well and hope that your sermon went well. scott

Stacey said...

I hear there's a good plumber named Joe but I think he charges a lot ;)

(only a true writer like you could make a plumbing story this fun to read :)

Jenn said...

Mom--Oh yes! I guess Dad talked to Heather (and plumber?) about that, though, right?

Scott--nope. Definitely not bored.

Stacey--Yeah--Joe seems to be a little too in-demand (or something?) these days . . .

I take your comment as high praise indeed. I'm also a little surprised, because I was pretty sure this post WAS boring.