Monday, December 01, 2008

Part II - if I were a toilet

Okay . . . didn't mean to leave you hanging.

I'll see if I can quickly recap the remainder of my first week as a married man.

Sunday, after having breakfast at Embassay Suites with Susan's sister's family, we headed home. Well, we headed to Susan's home which is now my surrogate home. We spent the remainder of the day just chilling out. MAC had to go to the church that afternoon to help deliver food but other than that, we just hung around.

Monday. First day back at work. Everyone was surprised to see me. They all assumed that we were honeymooning. Incorrecto, fish face! We decided to hit the ground running. We are going to Disney (the Orlando flavor) for 4 days the week before Christmas . . . we're calling that the "kid honeymoon". Our actual honeymoon is going to be spring break. Susan and I are heading to Vegas and plan on going to all the local sights, including Grand Canyon. We'll be in touch with Phil to discuss hiking opportunities later!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were fairly uneventful with the exception of suspicious behavior exhibited by the toilets. Hmmmmmm . . . wonder what that bubbling is all about. Monday afternoon the toilets decided to rebel. I mean think about it . . . if you were a toilet would you let people put their butts all over you without kicking up some kind of fuss? Anyway, they weren't exactly backing up; they just weren't draining. Being handy, I decided that this fell within my realm of "do-ability". All toilets slow to drain. Tubs and showers slow to drain. Has to be one of several things-clogged main line going to the septic tank (yes, the kingdom, for all it's glory, does not have a sewer system), or a blocked vent (possible bird nest, wasp nest, skunk . . . whatever decided to get down in there). Or it could be more serious . . . like a full septic tank or damaged field lines.

Okay, let's think it through. Susan said the tank was last pumped in spring of 2006, so it is highly unlikely that is the problem. I've seen field line problems before. Usually, this kind of problem is evidenced by soggy ground with the putrid odor of sewage (poopy for the commoner out there reading this). Again, the field line area is dry as a bone so I moved that possibility down the list. Okay . . . vent or drain to the septic tank. Easy to eliminate the vent-climb up on the roof with a flash light and do a visual exam. DANG!!! Vents were clear so that meant it was highly likely that there is something in the line between the house and the tank. Since the problem started rather quickly, my guess was that is was some kind of clog and not necessarily tree roots. Maybe one of the girls flushed a doll or a toothbrush or some other inanimate object that couldn't quite find it's way all the way down to the tank. Not a problem!!! I can handle this!

Tuesday at lunch I ran to (cheap, unsolicited plug) Home Depot to rent a power snake. Yes . . . A POWER TOOL (men can insert loud grunting sound here. Maybe even open a beer). I didn't really need the super duper one . . . one hundred feet of 5/8" cable with SIX (count them) cutting heads. No . . . . not that tough a job. I'll take the 75 foot of 1/2" cable with four cutting heads and slightly smaller motor. That should get the job done! Nothing makes you feel more manly than loading a POWER TOOL on the truck and grunting all the way home watching all the jealous men driving past my truck knowing that I was about to . . . . . . play in poop with a POWER TOOL!!!!!

I have been under Susan's house many times doing assorted manly things and in my ventures in the itty bitty crawl space I had noticed that there were no cleanouts in the waste lines. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, most homes, as required by plumbing code, have to have a pipe that connects to the main drain with a removable plug so you can do what I was wanting to do . . . run an ELECTRICALLY POWERED TOOL INTO THE MUCK AND FILTH of the sewer the line. However, Susan's house ain't got no stinking cleanout. CRAP!!! No pun intended. I could try to snake it from the vent on the roof but that would shorten my snake (again, no pun intended) and I didn't want to get the tool on the roof. An alternate path of entry is easily achievable-take up a toilet and snake through the closet hub (the pipe where the toilet sends all the goody through the floor). No problem. This is still within my realm of my manlihood.

Turn off water. Flush. Try to dip out any reaming water in the bowl. Loosen up the closet (another name for toilet) bolts. Disconnet the water supply. Give it bump and a yank and up she comes! I put an old towel in the tub and lifted the toilet over into the tub. Okay . . . I have a hole in which to now put my snake (more grunting and beer sips by the manly readers here). Move the POWER TOOL into position adjacent to the hole, plug it up, bump the foot pedal to make sure it's working. Yep . . . . good to go! I put a smaller head on the snake for exploratory purposes and started feeding the cable into the pipe. The first couple of feet are no problem-straight pipe with no obstructions . . . . at least that's two feet of pipe that is not the problem. Okay fist bend and the snake makes the turn with no problem. I continue pushing the cable down, down into the darkness of the 4 inch sewer line. Okay another bump and some resistance . . . . another fitting. A slight turn and twist and the snake is free and I continue pushing. Another 18 inches or so of cable and then it stops. Hmmm . . . must be a 90 degree sweep and the snake is having trouble turning it. Back it up and jam it again. Still, dead end. Okay . . . I know the problem-I don't LOOK like a plumber. I pull my pants down slightly so there is some butt crack showing. I also wipe some of the dirty toilet wax on my arms for effect.

Now the snake and pipe will think I belong and we will all become one. Give it another quick hard jam. CRAP . . . . no luck. Back it up and go again. I twist and turn the snake and give it some POWER. It's just banging and not moving. I know I am not into the main line yet. I only have about 6 or 7 feet of cable fed off the reel. I spend the next 30 minutes trying to get the snake to move further down the line but it won't budge.

I gave up. Yes, I gave up. I pulled the snake out of the hole and back onto the reel. I pulled up my pants and I drug the stinking thing outside, pulled out about 10 feet of cable and chloroxed it and hosed it off and loaded it back on my truck. My manlihood has been tested and I have failed. I go back to the bathroom and reset the toilet, hook it up, test it out and everything is operating as before. I run to Susan's bathroom to take a quick shower but first I have to exercise what is left of my manlihood. I flush the toilet and WHOOSH!!!! Water is running everywhere. What the heck is going on? I look behind the toilet and there is a big hunk of china laying on the floor with water running out of it. I quickly turn off the water and realize what happened. My POWER SNAKE ended up making a wrong turn. There must have been a cross in the main line where the back to back toilets are instead of sanitary fittings and the snake went into the other bathroom and up the toilet where it seems all my banging ended up breaking the toilet. Lovely.

After dinner, I ran the snake back to Home Depot, my problem unresolved and my manhood greatly damaged. However, now I get to buy a new toilet. A middle of the line toilet with elongated bowl (every man likes the elongated bowls ladies . . . . you may want to consider buying one for your man for Christmas) and 2 inches taller. awwwwww . . . nice high seat with elongated bowl. Almost worth all the trouble for comfort. I haul it home and it's 9 ish by now so I put it off until Wednesday afternoon.

The office generally empties out Wed afternoon around 1:00 the day before Thanksgiving so I have plenty of time to get home and replace the broken one. The lines are draining slow and are somewhat functional but I still have a plumbing problem. I replace the toilet with no problem and we eat a Thanksgiving eve meal with the girls since their dad gets them over Thanksgiving. Susan and I decide to go to my de facto home in Eagle Point where the toilets flush.

Out of time. Now you'll have to wait for Part III . . . . .

1 comment:

Phil said...

Too funny ... busting up a woman's toilet is a good test of a solid marriage. If she doesn't take you back for a refund, you'll last a long time there.

Happy to see that you're coming out to visit the Grand Canyon. It's lovely in the Spring. Let me know how much time you'd like to spend there and I can start feeding suggestions.