Sunday, October 9, 2016

Plumbing Challenges! October 9th, 2016

Plumbing Challenge!
It's FALL already! It's time to do the "walk around" to prepare for the cold months ahead. There are check lists available on Google and other Facebook sites, plus a coupon-filled booklet from Angie's List. 

I know (now) to shut off all outside faucets from the inside of the house first, then open them to let out any remaining water. Then I cover each faucet with it's foam "cap" which takes a bit of skill to install. Slip the plastic loop thing over the faucet handle and then maneuver the foam cap into place while holding the plastic slip thing taut. Pull the slidy thing tight against the cap to complete the task.

Even though I did cover all of the faucets last year, I found a broken pipe under a bathroom sink which I had not used for awhile. One day when I was cleaning under the sink, everything on the bottom shelf was sitting in water. It hadn't leaked all the way out the cabinet door to the floor, so it was hidden from discovery. I have since stopped using that sink, figuring I'll get to it "soon enough".

The other sink that I use "all the time" is now defunct, too. What happened? That sink wasn't draining very well for a long time. I dropped one of those gum brush things down the pipe and hadn't been able to retrieve it, so I figured it was a cause for the slowdown of water draining  from that sink.

To jump "way ahead" to serious plumbing issues with this house, clogged pipes have always posed a problem especially at the "new" end of the house. Having a major pipe plugged with the roots of the huge magnolia tree has cost a lot and has been an endless challenge for figuring out what to do about "the plumbing".

Major digging and replacement of old pipes by the back patio walk was a huge investment. The opening to that drain is a landmark! Sometimes English Ivy covers the pipe and I'm again faced with pulling ivy away and away until its top appears.

This past week I called Roto Rooter and asked for help to open up the main pipe by using "the snake". The guy gave me a break with the $99 coupon but only found a few tree roots in that line. He drug "the snake" into the house to try to reach whatever clog was down the toilet and shower drain. He removed the toilet and replaced it again using a new wax ring. He said "the snake" that he had couldn't be used after all. I wondered if he knew what he was doing because other Roto Rooter guys had figured out where the clog was. This fellow wanted to bring in "the camera" and use some sort of  power jet to move the clog out - wherever that might be!

Shower drain hole!
I told him to just stop and I would call my own plumber to see what he could do. In the meantime I have used about a dozen packets of Green Gobbler clog remover, poured down vinegar over cups of baking soda, squeezed Dawn liquid down the shower drain and into the toilet that drains into the shower drain.

I've studied my plumbing guide book, Googled and checked out eHow. I now know a lot more about plumbing diagrams, plumbing tools and plumbing parts - pipes and such! I took apart the p pipe under the sink that was draining slowly and found a clog! It was a lot of gunk of hair and that gum brushy thing! Got that out. Tried to put the pipe back on, twisted my back a bit. Used a (Lanicain patch which worked to relieve the pain.)Went to the hardware for a new pvc replacement pipe. The guy who helped me, sawed off the extra pipe and showed me what to do. I tried and failed!

So now, I'm shutting down that bathroom except for the shower. I may put a potted plant in the toilet and just clear off the bathroom counter top. I've already moved most of my stuff down to the bathroom down at the other end of the house! It's a better view out the window. It's got "good energy", too!  Onward!


  1. Unfortunately, what you mentioned earlier on your article is a fact of life- if you don't fix your pipes as soon as possible it can cause some serious damage to your house, used or not. It's good that you were able to get the clog out and get some advice from professionals though! Good luck, I hope it gets fixed!

    Carmelo @ PRO Hot Water Service

  2. I think we all have had our plumbing experience stories. It's a roll of the dice sometimes when you call a plumber or a rooter company. I am very fortunate to have found a guy that is local and who I can trust. He is not too pricey and he actually fixes things. A luck of the draw, for sure.