Friday, April 26, 2013

The Saga of our Plumbing Problems

You heard about the beginning of our plumbing saga back here when our pipes initially froze last winter.

It's been almost non-stop fun since then. 

The frozen pipe turned into a broken water main which led to a temporary water main that had to go across the lawn and last until spring when the ground would thaw enough to dig down and install a new water main. We had to take out one of our newly-installed basement windows to install the temporary line and rig up a temporary window there. 

A guy walking down the street in front of our house tripped over the 1/2 inch temporary water main that had to go across the sidewalk (someone had removed the wood we had over the pipe to prevent such things). Luckily the guy didn't get hurt. But later, he decided he did get hurt and that his cell phone had been broken when he fell and he wanted us to pay for it and threatened to sue us and we referred him to our insurance guy eventually (still not sure how that will pan out). 

Then the temporary would freeze on occasion and we had to go out there in the early freezing mornings with heat guns and hairdryers to get it going again so we could take showers. Great way to start your day.

We went back and forth with insurance to try to get installation of a new water main covered and had to get several bids on the installation of a new water main and the digging up the front lawn with heavy equipment. Not exactly cheap stuff. Stressful trying to decide which contractors would work out best. 

We finally got contractors lined up and went through a couple crazy days during spring break when Jared was super crazy busy at work and I was trying to oversee the excavator while coordinating the right time for the plumber to come while trying to make spring break really fun for the kids. I just don't like having to oversee things I really don't understand very well and having people ask me a lot of questions I don't know the answer to and feeling like I'm not really secure on how much everything is going to cost in the end as unexpected things pop up.

But ultimately we got the new water main in. The water pressure isn't quite what it used to be but we have a proper underground unbroken pipe again and someday maybe the front lawn will recover. . .

While the plumber was here, he installed a cap over our sewer clean-out which has always been just an open pipe in our driveway. He said we could get stuff down in there that could be a real problem and he and Jared cleared out some sticks and stones down there before he installed a new cap which sort of stuck up and looked odd but he assured us it was the best option. Turns out that cap somehow came apart and about the same time we noticed that part of the cap was missing, we noticed some nasty stuff coming out of the that pipe. Seems the part that came off fell down into the sewer line, causing back-up.

I called the plumber about the problem and he said it wasn't his fault and I said it wasn't our fault and after a rather long and unpleasant conversation, we left things unresolved. I wasn't trying to point fingers. I was just trying to get his help in resolving a serious issue that was pretty clearly connected to a problematic part he had installed but he kept insisting that we must have driven over the cap or this wouldn't have happened (even though the cap was not in a place where anyone would drive and it was sticking way up so it would be dangerous to your car to drive over it).

Then last night, the plumber showed up and fixed the problem. It didn't take him that long and we were so glad to have things taken care of! No more sewage coming out on the driveway. No further payment necessary. And I was happy that the plumber and I were able to leave things on good terms. Yeah!

We're crossing our fingers that we're done with issues on our house for a while but hardly dare hope that this saga is really at an end. We're so grateful for our home - but sometimes good old Ida gives us a run for our money! (Ida is the name of our house, FYI.)


Rachelle said...

Whoa, hope that's all under your belt now! I love that you name your houses. Ida...catchy!!

kms said...

Why in the name of all that is holy would a plumber install a cap for a pipe on a driveway you COULD NOT drive over? It's a driveway! You cant tell where it is in the snow.

Eyrealm said...

WOW! So glad the plumber came back to make things right. Sounds as though it wasn't a huge issue but just one that only he knew how to fix. Congrats on surviving all that!

Darryl Iorio said...

I'm sorry to hear about the subsequent issues that came up because of your frozen pipes, though I'm glad that most of them have now been resolved. We may not be able to control the weather, but we can all take extra precautions to prevent getting frozen pipes come winter to avoid going through all that trouble again. Thanks for sharing! -Darryl


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