Friday, September 26, 2014

See, THIS is why I'm glad I rent

Last Friday, TLAPDay, I was surprised when a Public Works crew came out and started digging a hole in the front lawn, in the median strip between the sidewalk and the street. They jack-hammered up the sidewalk, got out a backhoe and exposed the lines running from our house and the obnoxious neighbor's house. Then they strung up some caution tape and went away.

I had been surprised because there was nothing wrong with our sewerage. Everything has worked fine since the day we moved in. Apparently there had been some kind of problem in a house across the street, but ours was fine.

I have written about sewer problems before. I don't like them, naturally. Well, who would? But they're never easy to live with while they're going on, and they always become much more complicated than you thought they would be.

They came back Monday, made the hole bigger. I asked them toward the end of the day how it was going. They said they'd made a mistake, but figured out what it was and now they were on it. Then they left. Tuesday they came back, made the hole bigger. Late in the day (2:30) they said they had run a camera down the line and found some more broken pipes so they'd had to fix them.

Wednesday they came back, tore a chunk out of the street, so there was now a trench from about three feet out into the street, four feet wide, extending back about four of five feet past the sidewalk. Big piles of dirt everywhere. Felt a little like a set for a play about World War I.

Anyway, they seemed to be satisfied, because Thursday they started putting stuff back in the hole. By the end of the workday (2:30) it was all covered up. They still had to patch the street and lay a couple of new sections of sidewalk, but the hole was gone.

So about 4:30, I throw a load of laundry in and start making dinner. A short time later I turned to go down the hall and there's water flowing out of both bathrooms (which are right next to each other. Go figure) and down the hall. Spilling from both toilets and up in the tub.

That's about when Tori got home from work. We mopped and scrubbed and the house reeks of bleach. And of course it's not fixed yet and we can't use the bathrooms. Public Works came back last night and tried to flush the clean-out plug, but it didn't work. So they came back this morning as early as they could and they're digging it all up again. The problem may be, they said, that the four-inch sewer line that comes down to the street from the house is too low. If they can't tie it into the six-inch line with a high enough drop, it'll be up to me (my landlord) to raise it all up.

Crew working on the sewer Friday.
But after working all morning, they now tell us there's blockage, and it's on our end of the line. Somewhere between the house and the sewer there's a clog. And that's on me (and my landlord.) Not them.

"So the fact that this happened right when you did all this work on the line is just a coincidence?" I asked the supervisor? "Yep," he said.

Well, it's possible. There's a reason they have the word coincidence in the dictionary, I guess. Still ...

So now our landlord has to get a plumber out here to flush out the line from the knock out at the back of the house. Lawrence is pretty good about that, so I'm hopeful this won't go on too much longer.

Because if we  don't have the bathrooms working by the time Tori gets home from work, we're going to a motel tonight. 'Cuz DAMN I need a shower.

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