Sunday, February 1, 2009

Water, Water, Everywhere

When I first moved to this duplex, I had a few problems with my toilet, but that was a long time ago. Friday night, I flushed the toilet and noticed, as I walked away, that it sounded very strange. As I am turning around to check things out, I see it's going to overflow so I grab the plunger. That didn't work very well either. As I often do with these type of issues, I wait it out until morning and use the half bath in the hall. The next morning everything seems to working just fine so I don't think anything else about.

We go about our Saturday, shopping and running around. Alyssa and I go to Sam Moon which is in South Dallas, not close to the house. As I am on my way there, Michael texts me that my toilet overflowed. I tell him not to use it that I will deal with it when I get home. About 10 minutes later, Jonathan calls me to tell me that there is a lot of water in the den by the fireplace. I am trying to picture what is going on and getting irritated. I call my mom to ask her to go see what's going on. The story she's telling me is nothing that computes in my head and I am starting to think they just lost it and are imagining things. They tell me that there is water all over the floor at the front of the house, but my toilet overflowed in the back of the house. There isn't a waterline from the back to the front. Where is the water coming from?

As I walk in the door I see my mom with a shammy type mop trying to mop up this huge mass of water that is about a half inch deep and 2-3 feet wide right in front of my fireplace and front window. I am completely confused as to where this water is coming from. Towels are not helping. Mopping it up seems completely useless. I am just super glad I don't have carpet right now and probably never will again. Cement floors are good, very good. I come to realize that the half bath toilet has again overflowed and was the source of the mass of water in my den.

Mom is on the phone with the insurance guy who is pretty much clueless as to what to do and doesn't know a good plumber to call. Turns out she was having the same problem with the toilet in her room. It was not acting right either. Mom ends up calling her friend Wanda. Michael and Ben go to their dad's house to get a wet/dry vac and what do I do? I open a bottle of wine. If anything, it will calm me down and help me not to freak out. After a while, when the water seems to just not stop, Eddie turns off the water on both sides of the duplex. Alyssa goes to spend the night with a friend and I send Ben and Jonathan to their dad's. I just text him to let him know that I need him to keep them, probably not the best idea but we had tried to call and he wasn't answering and Ben felt sure he would be fine with it.

I thought I would get a hotel room close to home but decided that I could stick it out on my own if the kids had somewhere to use the bathroom and take showers. Michael was told to either come home or go to his dad's when he got done with his date, so they were all covered. Not too long after the kids left, the ex-husband calls to ask what's going on. He doesn't want to seem like an ass, but apparently he was getting ready for a big Super Bowl party at his house the next day and had it all torn apart, repainting and stuff and wasn't cool with the kids being there. I understood, after all, it wasn't like I really asked. They just showed up. So he agreed to get them cleaned up and everything and then they could come back and spend the night with me.

He asked me to tell him exactly what the problem was and as I was talking, he said to check the spetic drain outside. It's in our driveway - this big open hole in the ground on the side of the driveway. Anything could fall down there (or be dropped as I would find out later). He suggested that Eddie go to Home Depot to get a snake and that would most likely solve the problem. Not wanting to spend the money for a plumber to come out on a Sunday, I sent Eddie to the store. Before he left, he decided to look down the hole and see if there was something stuck down there. Sure enough, there was a stick in the hole. He stuck his entire arm down there until he was able to get the stick and pull it out. At that point, he heard water rushing from both sides of the house, solving all of the plumbing problems.

Cost of a plumber on a Sunday morning; $250
Finding a stick in the sewer outlet: priceless - a little stressful, but priceless
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1 comment:

Andy Baker said...

Once in NYC, Chris Johnson used my toilet. I had never had an problems and he managed to make it overflow. When the downstairs neighbor came up to see if there was a problem, I opened the door and...did I mention that it was Halloween and I was dressed as an Italian slut? Red sequined dress, tattoos showing and a lot of make up. I opened with, "Hi. I don't believe we've met."