TIPS & TRENDS
How to Avoid Clogged Pipes and Protect Yourself
It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
This past weekend we had a house full of wedding guests. We had a beautiful brunch, then some lovely relaxing pool time with family. Our family guests traveled from CA, AZ, FL, SC, and Madison, WI. The weather was perfect. The service was at 2:30. At 12:30, it was time to grab a quick bite, then for all of us to get ready. Eleven people were taking showers, getting dressed, doing their hair, etc. Three showers were running simultaneously. No problem with hot water – we have that covered. For goodness sakes, we are in the plumbing business.
At 1:26, we heard a horrific scream. One sister-n-law stepped in water in the hallway. I threw a robe on and ran to see what “was the matter”. Water was coming from the mechanical room. I immediately called a plumber. Note, this was a Saturday, so expensive service was inevitable. Sister-n-law 1 got pool towels attempting to clean up the water while brother-n-law 2 grabbed the shop vac. The other 8 looked on with horror. How were they ever going to get ready?
Luckily the plumber arrived within 20 minutes. Time is now 1:46. We seriously had 20 minutes to finish getting ready to make it to the church on time. Needless to say, it was super stressful.
Plumber Kyle had found the problem. Something was flushed down the toilet that clogged 180’ out. That’s right, 180’ from our home to almost the main street line. What was that something? We will never know, but I promise you I wanted to blame everyone and someone.
Over the years, I have found that most men do not jump for joy to attend the church part of a wedding. It often compares to bartering with a three-year-old. We’ll stop for ice cream afterward?? Husband and brother-n-law 1 had to stay back to supervise the plumber. How thoughtful. Coincidentally, the US Open was on. Hummmmmm.
The remaining nine of us got to the wedding on time. Sat down and took a deep breath. No one would ever know the trauma we had endured.
After the wedding, we returned home for the 2-hour break. To my surprise, Kyle was still there. But now, there were two large service trucks in the driveway and another plumber. All I could think of was all the dollars.
Then again – our guests had flown from all over to be there – surely, they had spent more $$ this wedding weekend than we had.
At 5:15 and $975.00 later, all was fixed. The money part stinks, but we are so thankful we were home, we tended to the problem immediately, the plumber was on call and close by, etc.,
Could we have prevented this? Probably. Our home is 60 years old. It was a complete gut job when we purchased. Complete does not include your underground pipes. Turns out, you can have your pipes examined yearly, and you should. The cost to examine is $96 (where we are). The point is, a lot goes down those pipes. Often things that shouldn’t; flushables, paper towels, and grease, just to name a few. Your toilet is NOT A GARBAGE CAN. There isn’t a plumber nor a toilet manufacturer that will ever tell you it’s okay to flush flushable. DO NOT DO IT.
This is my PSA – get your pipes checked annually. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper down your toilet. If you are buying a home, spend the $96 (approx.) to examine your waste pipe. Your pipes could be corroded to the point of tree roots growing inside etc. All can be fixed. Just knowing ahead will enable you to address before you have an incident on your hands.