Firsts: Plumbing edition

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.

6 comments:

Raina Cox said...

I guess the obvious question is why would anyone flush pantyhose.

I'm so glad the problem was able to be solved. Given your story build-up, I thought you were going to have to cancel Christmas. And the next Christmas.

Russ Manley said...

WTF indeed. They should make those things biodegradeable.

David said...

The Roto-Rooter guy was very chatty, he said they pull all kinds of things (towels, sheets, "personal electronics") out of drains all the time. Who knew?

home before dark said...

After the redo of my husband's bath 15 years ago (the first since the house was built in 1968, the new toilet didn't seem to work very well. I thought the plumber had dropped something into the pipe when the construction was going on. He came back and his investigation led him to a ball larger than a tennis ball. It was made of my husband's diligent flossing—and flushing the floss down the toilet! Needless to say that little habit was kiboshed!

shannon said...

glad that you got it taken care of! when we first bought this house, the inspector indicated he wasn't sure how the toilet in the basement was still actually flushing things away from the house, rather than inviting it all to come into the basement. thankfully, it was something that the former owners took care of before we signed on the dotted line...

Kathleen said...

It takes a special person to be a plumber. I couldn't do that job ever. Glad you got the situation fixed.