So I emailed the plumber earlier, not expecting to actually hear from him until Monday.
He called less than 2 hours later. After he got our location, he said he’d be here in about 20 minutes.
I don’t think it took him that long!
After checking the pipe out in both basements, they got to work and brought out the auger. (His assistant was a guy that spoke Ukrainian, and seemed to have almost no English. Likely a war refugee.) They sent that thing well past where the block was – he could tell when they hit it. Given the age of the pipes, he said the block was likely really, really old, hardened kitchen grease, and all the things that go along with it.
After they augered the pipe, he went to the laundry drain and used the super industrial drain cleaner we’d finally tried. When I saw it, I mentioned that to him and said that, when that didn’t work, we knew we had to call in a plumber! He was nodding his head before I even finished. If that stuff doesn’t work, no amount of drain cleaner will do it.
Once that was in, we had to test it out. We ran water, and it seemed fine but, from the kitchen sink, it was a problem only when we had to pour out large amounts of water at once, not just from the tap running. The kitchen is far enough away from the tanks and pumps that there just isn’t that much water or pressure coming out of the tap. I ended up filling one sink a couple of inches, while also having water in a container, then draining the one sink while dumping water down the other at the same time, while he poured water into the laundry drain.
When I came around, there was water puddling under the washing machine.
It was also smoking.
The water, I mean. The puddle of water under the drain was smoking.
Remember that industrial strength drain cleaner I mentioned?
Yeah, there was still some in the pipe, and it leaked out with the water, and was smoking.
He had to pull the washer and drier out, so he could see what was going on. After pouring water into the laundry drain again, he discovered the P trap was leaking.
After fiddling with it a bit to see if he could stop the leak, he ended up just cutting it out and replacing it.
While he was doing that, I brought over some old towels that he used – while wearing gloves – to wipe up the puddle. By the end of it, two towels went straight into a garbage can that I brought over, so there was no chance of coming in contact with this stuff.
After that, a new P trap was installed, we waited a bit, then tested it again. This time, he took one of the hoses off the washing machine and ran water straight into the drain.
Then I did the double sink thing again, while he ran water into the laundry drain.
No leaking, and no backing up.
The real test, of course, will be doing a test run of the washing machine, which we will do later. He also recommended using drain cleaner regularly, especially over the next few weeks, to keep the pipes clear of built of grime. Time to get more of that septic friendly drain maintenance stuff we had been using for exactly that purpose!
After doing some more mopping up, the washer and drier were put back, and they were off.
The final bill was higher than when he cleared our septic drain, as I was afraid it would be. The drain clearing plus 1 hour was a set rate, plus the cost of part, and it came to just under $400. With everything being so much more expensive now, though, I’m not actually surprised. However, we had enough squirreled away that I could pay the bill, and not have to go into the money for the tree guys. We actually did have 30 days to pay the bill, but I wanted to get that done and over with. I hate owing money!
Oh, my goodness!!!!
I am texting with the cat lady as I write this. She just gave me the most amazing news!
The two bitty babies she rescued for us are soon to be adopted! They’re getting their vaccines next week, and they’ll be in their new home at the end of November! Someone who recently lost her two 18 year old cats is adopting them both.
I am just so incredibly excited to hear that! Plus, after she has adopted out another cat she’s fostering, she’ll have room for 2 more of ours for placement.
Plus, the 2 spays and a neuter she still has planned for us.
All this, while waiting for her upcoming organ transplant…
The cat lady is just so amazing!
Also, she just informed me that Cabbages actually allows their dog to pick her up and carry her upstairs to her bed. I would love to see pictures of that!!!
Okay, this day is ending on a really fabulous note – even with a hit to the budget!
I’m just so happy right now!