Saturday, July 31, 2010

Plumbing Rant

We had a bit of a problem with drainage on our kitchen sink about a year and a half ago. It would give us a glugglug sound everytime we ran water or poured something down the drain. Hubby climbed on the roof and poured some hot water down the vent stack, thinking that it was frozen up. Problem solved. That year. This last winter it started again and the sink was having issues draining. Up the ladder with a bucket of hot water and voila the problem was fixed - or so we thought. Then it started again with a vengeance. I used vinegar and water, drano and some other non-environmentally acceptable methods. Everything worked, for awhile, and then it would start glugglug again and the sink would slow down. We called in a rotorooter guy to clean out the sewer to the street thinking maybe it was tree roots. He put down drop cloths around the sewer hole and proceeded to snake the drain. After he was done he cleaned it up and put everything back how it was. Did it help? He did produce some tree roots and maybe it helped for a bit.

Grr-rr Now it has started in the summer and we are at our wits end! We decided to go with a professional and call a plumber. He came in a couple days later and went to work cleaning out the drain under the basement floor,thinking that was the issue. No drop cloths, no rags for mopping up. His phone rings and he answers it but it is dead. He starts again. The rings again and he answers it and has a short conversation. Hubby is instructed to fill the kitchen sink and release it when he yells. This he does but the plumber forgets to cap the pipe and water spews all over him and the basement as it gushes a couple feet out the pipe. He contines to snake it but his phone rings again and as he struggles to answer it there is crud splattered all over the wall, floor, and fridge. I got him some of my cleaning rags. He smeared it further and further up the wall until I told him to leave it. He headed upstairs and was going to snake it from under the sink. We removed some stuff but he said just to leave the rest. I wasn't keen on it but ok I would give him the benefit of the doubt (which was huge by now). Still no rags in sight. He snakes it down to the basement. His phone rings and he has another slightly longer conversation. It seemed to go well. Things were starting to look up by now.

The plumber then proceeds to feed the snake up the vent stack. There is a loud snap and some angry words from the plumber. I come back in the kitchen and find out that the snake has broken in the stack and is still up there. He makes a couple phone calls and has a couple conversations. Then he goes to get another snake to snare it and hopefully bring it down. No luck. I am not a plumber and please correct me if I am wrong but I would think that you would feel it when it is blocked - wouldn't you? I have to ask you - wouldn't you stop before it breaks?

The plumber then decides to check the drainage on the sink by filling it with water and letting it drain. His phone rings and he has a conversation. In the meantime, he forgot to put the plug back on the pipe and the sink full of water literally gushes out all over the inside of the cabinet and the kitchen floor. Hubby and I scramble for more towels and rags to clean up. As we cleanup, his phone rings and he answers it (6th time?). Eavesdropping his conversation, I hear him give advice to whomever is on the other end and say he will help him out in a half an hour. Things are taking a decided downturn again as he explains to us that he has to remove the dishwasher, cut the pipe and try to fish it out that way. !!!!?? I am getting a little stressed by now wondering what other destruction he is going to bestow on us. Then he is suddenly packing up and says he will come back Tuesday morning to finish. ??? We tell him that Tuesday does not work that he has to come Wednesday and why is he leaving when the job isn't done? Says that he has to go to another job. This job he volunteered for as he was working under my sink!!

After the plumber leaves I crawl under my sink to make sure the plumbing is where it should be and that everything is sealed back up. As I crawl out I realize that everything, including the cabinet is covered in black crud. I remove the rest of the stuff, fill the sink and wash down the cabinet and all the stuff that was under it. Grrr!

Now we have a snake with its head stuck up an already challenged stack, thereby reducing air flow even more and another day that will be tied up with plumbing. Now we have a dilemma - do we allow him to come back and correct his/our problem and probably wreak more destruction on my home or do I call someone else to clean up the mess left by this fellow?

I do have to add this - he was a very nice man which made it difficult to get angry with him but that does not excuse all the mess.



  1. thinking you need to call around and get a not so nice guy to do the job correctly..with drop cloths and no phone. Seriously you are patient..I would have been a bit bent after the first mess and the second phone call..the broken snake would have had me showing him the door...ackkkkkkk! So sorry hon!! Hopefully he will get it fixed today!!
    Hugs to you hon, Sarah

  2. Sarah, I agree - I have called the owner but have not received a call back. The plumber did call me but I told him to take us off his list. So we will see what happens - I know I won't be paying that bill.