07 July 2010

Costly Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 5, Dave took his car into the body shop. Over the winter, he slid off the road on his way to work and hit a guard rail. The front end of his car was damaged - mostly the bumper. He had received an estimate from the body shop of $1700 - so we decided to turn it into the insurance as we have a $500 deductible. We were told a check would be issued to us, and we could schedule the repair.

On Monday night, I went to the laundry room and was surprised to find water standing in the basement near the floor drain. Dave said he smelled sewer. We decided to wait until Tuesday morning to call the plumber.
Pipe as it appeared near the internal clean out.
When the plumber arrived, they ran the roto-rooter to the street, but didn't find anything. When one of the kids flushed the toilet, the plumber noticed water come up out of the floor drain. They ran the rooter machine from the inner cleanout across the house toward the street - but the machine got stuck. When the couldn't free it, they started breaking up the concrete floor.
New pipe near the internal cleanout. The tape measures 4 ft
When the pipe was uncovered, it became obvious that the lead pipe had rotted out. The rooter had gone through the hole in the pipe but could not be pulled back out. Because the pipe had deteriorated, the sewage water was no longer contained in the pipe but was probably draining into the ground under the basement (nice thought).
Old broken pipe near the internal clean out.
Three plumbers spent most of the day in the basement. Breaking up concrete, pulling the rubble out of the house in buckets, removing the old pipe, and replacing it with plastic pipe.

By the time I picked Dave up from work, the house smelled badly of sewer plus we had no ability to dispose of used water. We went out to eat at Pasqual's - a tex/mex family restaurant down the street.

When we returned home, it smelled worse from the glue used to connect the plastic pipe. The note from the plumber read that more floor needed to be dug up and pipe replaced tomorrow, but that we were connected for sewer for the night. That's a relief.
New pipe going toward the front of the house.
We are glad that this plumbing project is happening now rather then in a few months when we are out of the country....at least we can see the situation and understand the problem.

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