More Plumbing Woes on the Snowiest and Coldest Days of this Year

….after replacing the sewer pipe on our side of the property on New Year’s Eve I thought we were good for another 20 years

This time last week water started coming back up through the sewer drain again. We immediately called the plumber who did the job and he arrived early the next morning. He cleaned out as much as he could and he discovered that the problem was with the sewer pipe going out to the road on the city side of the property. He said we were good for awhile but the problem needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

My husband was on the phone for a couple of hours on Friday but couldn’t get through. Over the weekend we rationed our water usage by not taking long showers, using the washing machine or the dishwasher. On Monday Kevin called the city again but this time he got right through. A couple of hours later a crew showed up to see where the problem was. In the meantime the biggest storm of the season was upon us.

All afternoon the problem was being assessed by several people and finally the all important phone call was made to declare a potential sewer fail. The problem was that the gas people had to come out first because the gas lines are in close proximity to the sewer pipe. Due to the bad weather we had to wait another day before that could happen.

The next day my husband spend hours clearing away the snow and the city plows cleared the street and the sidewalks. When the gas people finally arrived there were more measurements and detection devices deployed to determine where the gas line was situated. Green paint was sprayed onto the area where the digging needed to take place but that wouldn’t happen until the next day (today).

I went to the Inn to bake bread and Kevin stayed home in case the gas people needed to talk to him. They finally arrived about 1:00 in the afternoon with about three trucks and a digger and front loader. Apparently it was pretty noisy as they dug up my neighbours driveway, sucked up the water and waste and pulled out the broken pipe. The good news was that the gas lines were about two feet away from the sewer pipe and now the city can come back and replace the pipe. Hopefully this will happen tomorrow. In the meantime we continue to ration our water usage. I have to give these workers credit because they came out on the coldest day of the year and tomorrow doesn’t promise to be any better.20190130-135217
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Digging up the Yard on New Year’s Eve

….actually the neighbour’s driveway

A few days ago I told you about our plumbing problems that occurred on Boxing Day. Well our plumber finally arrived early in the morning on New Year’s Eve and I mean early. At 7:00 a.m. I woke up to the sounds of a shovel hitting the asphalt on my neighbour’s driveway.

I knew that Joe the Plumber was going to start as early as 8:00 but my husband and I and our neighbour were surprised to see him out there digging up the dirt by hand an hour earlier than expected. The sun had barely risen and according to my husband his truck was in front of our house quite a bit before 7:00.

In case you had forgotten we had water backing up through the sewer pipe every time we used the washing machine, the dishwasher or took long showers. When the camera went down the pipe we were informed that the pipe at the Y junction had collapsed and needed to be replaced. Only small amounts of water got through and all the waste materials were building up in the pipe. The unfortunate part of all of this was that the break was under my neighbours driveway.

After about five hours of digging by hand the problem was resolved. The broken pipe was removed and replaced with a new piece and the hole refilled. In the spring we’ll have to repair the asphalt on our neighbour’s driveway but for now it looks neat and clean. It was a very costly but necessary repair. What a way to end 2018 but we’re grateful to guys like Joe who come out to do that kind of work all year long.5-C74-A94-B-EB9-D-46-F8-82-C0-45231-C5-B1358
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The Third Day of Christmas Celebrations Amidst a Plumbing Disaster

…..on Boxing Day the sewer started backing up into the basement

Soon after doing the laundry we noticed that water was coming up through the sewer drain in the basement. Luckily it was only a large puddle around the drain and it was easily soaked up with rags but soon after when someone showered it happened again. We decided to carefully ration the water until we could get a plumber to the house. We called the next morning but because it wasn’t an immediate emergency we had to wait one more day before the plumber could get to our house.

On the 28th a camera and a plumbing snake were lowered into the drain. At 41 feet the camera came across the problem. The clay pipe at the Y junction had collapsed and only a small area was letting water get through. That meant that paper and some ‘matter’ was building up at the break and water was having a hard time passing through. Plumber Joe was able to clear the blockage but it was only a temporary fix. The pipe had to be removed and replaced. There was only one problem; the broken pipe was in the middle of my neighbour’s driveway and her car was sitting on top of it.

Now that might not seem like a huge problem but the car hadn’t been moved in almost two years and no amount of pushing would move it back the three feet we needed to get to the problem. We tried calling CAA but they didn’t show up and when I called they said that our coverage didn’t cover moving the neighbour’s car. Now what?

The next morning we figured out why we couldn’t put the car into neutral. Newer cars are all controlled by the electrical system and since the battery was completely dead we needed to give the car a boost. Eureka! We got the car started and backed it up the three feet that we needed. Unfortunately by the time we called our plumber back he was already on another job and couldn’t come till Monday, Dec. 31.

Our third day of Christmas was suppose to happen on the 28th but due to a miscommunication my sister’s family was planning on arriving on the 29th. At the time I thought the plumbing was going to be fixed on that day so I wasn’t too anxious about having eight adults and a baby in the house. When they arrived I explained the situation and asked them to use the bathroom sparingly. In the end we decided to go out for dinner instead of eating at home. Before we left we opened more gifts and phoned the restaurant to make sure that they could accommodate our large group.P1070339
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In the end it turned out that the restaurant was a good option all around. There were no dishes for me to wash (couldn’t run the dishwasher), everyone was able to order according to their dietary needs and likes, ¬†we arrived after the rush, the service was great and we were able to spend time talking to one another without worrying about our plumbing problem. My sister and her family all live out of town and my nephew had flown in from California. If we hadn’t gotten together that day it probably wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for small blessings.

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