I’d posted about being able to get our blocked pipe to the septic tank open, at least enough for things to finally drain. I thought we would be good for a while.
I was wrong.
Things were fine, at first. I got my shower in, no problem. Then my daughters took their showers.
By the third shower, I decided to check the basement.
There was more water on the floor again.
It took me a while to figure out where it was coming from. It turned out to be the laundry sink. Water was backing up into the sink, but this sink isn’t properly attached, and the drain opening leaks around the drain itself, so it was trying to fill and drain from the same area, at the same time. As a result, not only was the bucket under the U bend filling, but water was missing it entirely and splashing onto the concrete floor. I let my daughter know, so she could quickly finish her shower, then started bailing water into the floor drain. The water was slowly draining, but the volume from the shower was just too fast.
Which meant we had to call a plumber right away.
Since we had no way to do dishes or use the kitchen sinks, my older daughter offered to buy us supper, so my younger daughter and I made a trip into town where she could run do some errands she needed, then we picked up some fried chicken for supper. We even picked up a couple of things at the grocery store, just in case I couldn’t make the trip to the city for our monthly shop tomorrow.
Once at home, I started making calls. I first tried one of the plumbers that had come out to check our well. They were very apologetic, but were so busy, they would not be able to come out for at least a couple of weeks. !! I asked if he could recommend anyone, and he gave me the name of a plumber he thought would have an auger, in another town. I called them, but they were also booked solid. I asked for another recommendation, and got the name of a third plumber they thought had an auger.
Third time’s the charm!
After explaining what was going on, he hemmed and hawed a bit, then said that the earliest he’d be able to come out was 9:30.
I was ecstatic! We were prepared to have to wait until morning. We spoke a bit more, then he said he would call me back about an hour before he would be able to come out and get directions to our place.
When he got here, the first thing he did was check things out, and I explained to him what I’d already done, the roots that I’d found, and the issues we’d been having in the past. Among the things we had to consider was how old everything was, and the risk of causing more damage. Not that we had any choice. He then went and got his auger and tools.
Would you look at that beast! What a beautiful machine!
Shortly after he started, he broke though the area that was blocking the laundry sink, and suddenly we had water shooting up the pipe and into the basement! Not much he could do to stop it, either. He just had to keep on going and eventually clear through to the tank.
That old garden hose came in very handy! He made a lot of use of it, and it really helped.
Once he got that pipe done, he worked on the floor drain to the pipe.
In the process, he pulled out a clump of roots and crud the size of a small animal!! You can see it in the above photo. He got more roots out after that, too.
Then he worked in the other direction, clearing the pipe towards the weeping tile, as far as he could go.
It wasn’t until the very end, when he was using the hose to wash everything out as much as he could, that the well pump started grinding, so I quickly got him to turn off the hose. When I explained to him about the noise, and that two other plumbers had already looked at it, but didn’t dare replace the pump, he went over to take a look. Right away, he was saying, “I can see why they would be scared to do it!” The risk of something going very wrong and losing us water entirely is very high.
When he was done with the floor drain, I was really impressed by how much lower the water level now is. It doesn’t fully drain; it was grandfathered into the septic system, and there is a slightly higher spot somewhere in the line to the access pipe, preventing it from draining completely. However, it now drains as much as it can, very quickly, and it’s no longer full of silt and sand. He did such a fantastic job!
When he was done, I took advantage of him being there and asked if he could give an estimate on replacing our tub’s taps and faucet. He tried to look at the hot water tap that is leaking so badly, but it’s so corroded inside, he couldn’t get it off. He didn’t want to risk breaking something, so he didn’t want to try too hard.
In the end, he estimated the total cost to replace the taps and faucet would be around $400 – $500, but we would then have to replace the section of tub surround ourselves. Which I would have no issues with. However, he also thinks they can be repaired, which would cost much less. The only issue is not being able to take the tap off! If we replace them, it wouldn’t matter if he ended up breaking the plastic part, but obviously that would be a big issue if he was just going to repair it.
But that will have to wait for another time.
Before he left, he got my email address, then later sent me an invoice. Much to my amazement, it was less than $300! Considering how long he worked on it, plus coming out so late in the day, I fully expected it to be higher.
Worth. Every. Penny!
While he was working on the pipes, and I told him as much as I could about the system, and the problem with the roots. We know that they will eventually come back. With what he did tonight, though, it should be many years before this become an issue again.
I am so very happy with this guy! Definitely someone we will go back to in the future!
Now we have a cleaned out septic tank for the winter, and cleaned out pipes. These are now all set for the winter!
That’s quite a weight off, that’s for sure!