So my wife and I were getting ready to attend an awards banquet, where my Father in Law is receiving an award for his volunteer work in assisting veterans. First, the toilet quit working. Then the shower backed up. So did the guest bathroom. We can’t do without plumbing, so I told my wife to go to the banquet without me.

I opened the cleanout and ran a 25 foot snake into it. Nothing. So I went into the master shower and removed the grate on the drain, which was under an inch or so of shower water. That turns out to have been a mistake. I realized that once copious amounts of shit, toilet paper, and water gushed out of the drain, flooded the bathroom, and got the carpet in the master bedroom wet.

So now I build a cofferdam of old towels and break out the shopvac to suck up the water. Then I bring a bucket to sit on into the shower, and run the snake down that drain. Nothing. Just as I go to get up, the bucket collapses, dropping me into the shit filled water. So now I am covered in shit. I can’t even wash up, because no showers or drains. I wind up hosing off in the yard using dish soap and a garden hose.

I then decided that the clog was between the guest bathroom and the sewage connection, so I remove the guest toilet and run the snake down there. Again, nothing.

At this point, I decide that I have done all that I can do and raise the white flag. I have to work in the morning, so the wife and Father in Law will have to meet with the plumber when he arrives at 11am.

I don’t know if this is related to the ongoing problems that I have had with the plumbing, but this stuff always seems to happen on weekends and holidays.

April of 2021, we had a lightning strike. Christmas of 2020, our heat pump failed and required a compressor replacement. On Christmas day. In May 2020, we had an electrical fire. July 2019, we had a lightning strike. July 2018, Lightning strike. Then there was Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Home ownership.

Categories: Me


Miguel GFZ · June 26, 2021 at 9:01 pm

You need a freaking cleansing. There has to be a Santeria priest or priestess somewhere nearby 🙂

Big Ruckus D · June 26, 2021 at 9:22 pm

That’s a real bad run. Sometimes life beats you down, I’ve gone through similar stretches where nothing went right. It sucks.

As a plumber, I’ll tell you a 25′ cable is only useful for branch drains (sink and tub waste arms, maybe a 2″ kitchen sink stack at most) . Especially as it is likely to be a small diameter cable with a drop head on it, rather than a proper cutter at that length. Not nearly long or strong enough to get through roots or a heavy accumulation of solids in the line if under the floor slab our outside the structure.

Sounds like your issue is in the lateral and will need a machine with 1′ sectional J cable and at least a 3.5″ cutter on the end (if cabling from a full size 4″ inside cleanout), and if there is a yard vent a 5.5″ cutter can and should be used both inward towards the house and outward to the main to properly clear it out. Be wary of using anything smaller as it may leave enough behind to stop up again in short order.

In any case, I can certainly relate to your frustration. Been there and done that.

NotAPlumber · June 26, 2021 at 10:51 pm

My guess: those drain plumbing pipe diameters and slopes were not designed in the era of low-flow fixtures. Go back to fixtures with flows contemporary with the waste pipe designs and it will work better.

it's just Boris · June 27, 2021 at 6:54 am

Sometimes it seems life is fitted with a critical detector. (If anyone else remembers that old joke about office equipment.)

Techiedude · June 27, 2021 at 8:00 am

This was a chronic problem with our last house. Turns out when the previous owner rebuilt the kitchen, they ignored the third rule of plumbing – shit don’t flow uphill. The new drain was lower than the others, causing water to pool in the cast iron section, rotting it under the foundation. Good times. Btw this we discovered two weeks before trying to put it on the market.

The new house does this every three years or so. I go up on the roof with my snake. Last time, though, I called a pro.

I had a plumber tell me never pull a toilet if you can avoid it. They are lower than a tub or shower.

Anonymous · June 27, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Common Man, don’t leave us hanging – what did they do to fix it? =)

D.C. · June 27, 2021 at 6:19 pm

Darn. That sucks man.
I’m sorry that happened to you!

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