A Christmas Surprise We Could Have Done Without (Part 1)

We got an early Christmas surprise today. Keep in mind that in this house the main living floors are upstairs: two bathrooms, two bedrooms, kitchen, living room etc. All those places where you use water, don’t cha know? There’s another bedroom and bathroom downstairs, along with the library, office area and quilt studio.


imagine the water here is brown…

I was downstairs when the upstairs toilet was flushed, and the downstairs one overflowed. I heard the noise and went in to look. It was obvious this was not the first overflow of the day. It was bad. Very bad.

So we called the plumber, who fortunately was available to come right out. Then we turned off the water to the toilets, scooped out the nasty stuff and waited. He arrived, looked and told us the clean-out was of no use. Why? Because the main house sewer line that goes to the city sewer line had broken, in the crawl space under the house. “Badly strapped” the plumber told us. A new length of pipe will have to go in. But not today, it is late, raining, cold, getting dark and he doesn’t have all the materials he needs. He says he will try to get us one working toilet until he can come back (hopefully) tomorrow to finish the job. Having a toilet is good. Not being able to use the showers, kitchen sink or dishwasher is not so good.

He is in the crawl space, trying to get things drained and patched up. Will we be able to flush tonight? When will our plumbing return to normal? How much is this going to cost?   To be continued…

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to A Christmas Surprise We Could Have Done Without (Part 1)

  1. macavityabc says:

    I hope it doesn’t cost as much as our son’s similar problem. In his case, however, the plumbers had to tunnel through solid rock in several directions under his house. It wound up costing more than our first house cost. He had good insurance, however.

  2. Hope things get straight fast. Went through a similar thing when the pipe from the toilet to the street had backed up over time(the house is older than myself), until, well you know.

  3. Richard says:

    Bill, I hope it doesn’t cost that much!

    Randy, this house was built in 1998…

  4. Cap'n Bob says:

    Every couple or three years we have to have the line from the house to the street snaked out because of root intrusion. I probably could have had a new line installed for what I’ve shelled out so far, and it gets costlier every time. I’m thinking of putting a Port-a-Potty in the back yard.

  5. Carl V. says:

    OH no….no, no, no! That is awful. It would be awful anytime but is even more often this time of year. This is one time where I am not looking forward to hearing the end of the story. I hope none of your books or anything else was damaged. I’m so sorry Richard.

  6. Evan Lewis says:

    Yikes. Hope the “water” didn’t reach the book room.

  7. cgramlich says:

    Had something similar happen in our old house and it was a pain in the ass. I sympathize with you. Hope things get straightened out soon.

  8. Like Bob, we used to have our sewer line snaked out yearly. It was our first house and there were plenty of trees. Roots would somehow get into the line and clog it up. Our next two houses had fewer trees so that problem receded. But now, with your current disaster, I’m considering having our line cleaned out. Better late than never… Good luck!

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yikes! Major bummer. Good luck with that.

    Yet another reason I am glad we don’t own a house, I must admit.

  10. Patti Abbott says:

    We came home to an overflowing basement drain. So far it hasn’t happened again but I think it needs to be snaked. Not as bad as your predicament though.

  11. Richard says:

    No, the “water didn’t quite reach the library. Whew. We have as much cleaned up as we can inside, but we’re waiting for the plumber to arrive…

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