Isn't it always the way that when you really need a day to day convenience, that is when it breaks down? It's not the end of the world or anything like that. It is, nevertheless, frustrating and time consuming. It was one of those situations that put the kibosh on my schedule, as well as that of my husband, Dave and my son, Kevin. Actually, they got the worst end of it.
It all started last week. I had an unusally huge amount of laundry to do and I needed to get it done as quickly as possible. I loaded the machine bright and early. When the wash cycle was completed, my grandchildren (who were getting ready to leave for school) and I heard what sounded like a downpour coming from the cellar. I went and looked. Water poured down from the pipes. I couldn't see where it was coming from. I stopped the washing machine. It was then that I noticed there was sudsy water in the tub and the toilet. That night, Dave used the plunger on both the toilet and the tub. It seemed to work. There was no problem flushing and no water was backing up.
The next day, I again started my laundry marathon bright and early. This time, I heard the rains pouring in the cellar and the toilet gurgling. Again, I stopped the washer. Dave rented a snake. He and Kevin spent a good part of the next day snaking out the entire system. (They did the hard work, I was the standby gopher). When they were done, the drains ran free and easy. The toilet flushed like a toilet should.
Finally, bright and early, I resumed my laundry marathon, which by that time had turned from a 5k run into the Boston Marathon! I was doubtful that I would cross the finish line in time. I didn't even make it to Heartbreak Hill. I couldn't even hear the starter's pistol over the sound of deluge in the cellar, the gurgling toilet, and the gurgling sink!
Dave and Kevin teamed up once again, with yours truly as the standby gopher. All the drains were free. Not a problem did they have snaking it out again. In the process of checking everything as thoroughly as possible, they removed the toilet. The good news was that the toilet was not the source of the problem. The bad news was that part of it was broken. They just don't build things to like they used to - that toilet was only 30 years old! Well, it was clear we needed a new toilet, but first they wanted to find the source of the backup problem.
My son decided to check outside where the pipe runs into the septic tank. He started digging and soon realized that the pipe had not been buried deep enough. It was broken and completely clogged. He was surprised that we hadn't had a problem sooner due to the shallow hole it was in. My husband and son got parts and repaired it. They bought a new toilet and installed it. I must say, the new toilet is very nice. It uses water very efficiently.
I was ready to tackle my laundry marathon. I held my breath as the washer emptied of the washing cycle water. I checked - there was no deluge in the cellar, no gurgling in the toilet or tub, and no sudsy water to be seen anywhere. It took a few days, but I not only made it up Heartbreak Hill, but I crossed the finish line - laundry done.
Although it isn't Thursday yet, I think I will end my little story by borrowing a page from Mary's blog. Why I'm Thankful on Wondrous Wednesday:
Thankful for the hard work and perserverance of Dave and Kevin.
Thankful that we have a sparkling new, water efficient toilet.
Thankful that the laundry is done.
Thankful that we don't have to build an ark!