Minor disaster struck in the basement this past week when the washing machine emptying suddenly caused water to begin streaming up through the floor drain. A couple applications of drain opener didn't help, and actually the second product (a gel) made it worse. Finally this afternoon we called Roto-Rooter.
We have six different stacks in the basement all leading to main waste lines. He had Brett run up and begin flushing toilets (except the one we're still missing) in an effort to diagnose. The master bath flush sent more water up through the drain. As the water rose I mumbled "Oh shit" to which the plumber replied "Probably."
Things didn't seem to be getting any better when he couldn't get the clean out open and announced that he'd have to chisel it out. The replacement was only 20 bucks.
As he got to work Brett and I sat at the table steeling ourselves for the worst, and praying that the old pipe hadn't simply collapsed. Finally we headed down to check, and the wet spot around the drain where the standing water had been signified that the drain was open.
Roto-Rooter guarantees their work and as such he went ahead and snaked the line to his machine's 100 foot max. He thought the clean-out had never been opened and guessed that 58 years of build-up was the culprit. As the drain snake worked its way back out he pulled out a big black blob that appeared to be a towel. Because he was wearing two pairs of gloves he poked around and finally laughed. It was pantyhose.