Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plumbing Nightmares

I remember years ago when my Grandpa died and my Grandma went on a wild and crazy spree, spending money on all kinds of things that her husband of 50 years never wanted to buy. Stuff like central air conditioning and new windows. Then she went too far, in my opinion, and decided to have the large tree in her front yard removed and completely de-stumped. I loved that tree. I remember playing around it as a child with the kids in the neighborhood. She muttered something about getting rid of it before the roots got in the pipes, and because I was young and naive, I thought she was over-reacting. Now that I'm a  homeowner and have experienced the plumbing horrors of tree roots in the pipes, I realize she was quite prescient in her decision.

When we first bought this house, and I was nine months pregnant, trying to pack up our old house while taking care of three young children; Chris was staying at the new house, painting his tail off and working nonstop to get the place move-in ready. It was spring time, and we had a big thaw. And then...the basement flooded. Not just a little bit either. Thank goodness we didn't have anything down there yet, but Chris was stuck with the added job of pulling out sopping wet carpeting and a layer of ruined tile beneath that. A visit from our plumber let us know that we were saddled with my Grandma's worst nightmare: Tree Roots in the Pipes. He explained to us that we would have to have our line snaked about twice a year to prevent a re-occurrence.

We've been pretty good about following the plumber's advice, and we can generally tell by looking in our basement drains that something bad is going to happen soon if we don't take action. But there was a time last year when we knew we were getting close to needing the line snaked, and then we simultaneously went into a mini monsoon season here in Michigan. Late one weekend night, Chris was watching television in the basement, got up to use the bathroom, and realized that the water was getting even higher in the drain. He anxiously checked on it throughout the night until it became apparent we were in for a flooding, which is when he woke me up. I groggily got out of bed and began the thankless work of moving every single thing in the basement up off the floor. Chris tried getting in touch with plumber after plumber, getting voice mails with every call. The water got higher and higher, spreading throughout our basement. We used our shop vac to suck up water and carried it up and down the stairs repeatedly to dump it outside. As you can imagine, that was a little rough on our backs. We tried using a pump to remove some of the water. Nothing was working enough, and we were absolutely relieved when one of the plumbers finally called back and then showed up a short time later.

We do have a giant tree in our backyard which is probably the root of all our plumbing trouble. My Grandma would have been happy to see it go. As much as I love how it shades our yard and keeps the back half of our house nice and cool in the summer, I am beginning to see her point.

I wrote this post while participating in a Bucks2Blog campaign and was compensated, but it is a true story and all opinions are my own.

1 comment:

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