Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Not-so-Straight Poop

Yea and verily, there was much rejoicing at my house this morning, for there is no break in my pipe!!!! The city got here at around 7:30 this morning to scope out the sewer (again, amazingly prompt and courteous service, I have never experienced such anything like it) with their cameras, and came all the way into our yard up to our back stoop. All they found was that there's some nastiness caked onto the pipes in at least one spot, and that our main line looks like a bunch of macaroni noodles strung together. There are enough bends and turns in that thing to make a poop slalom, but other than that we're fine. Eventually, we will probably want to have it taken up and replaced with a straighter line, but that's WAAAAAY down the road for us financially. The city suggested that we have a special cleaning treatment that uses basically a water-blaster come through and scour our line, which I had done this afternoon, and he said that when he was finished, he went out to the city sewer line and listened, and he could hear his water line emptying into the city's pipe. He said that although our line will probably need to be replaced eventually because there is one "belly" in it where water collects, we should be fine for a long time. For the moment, we'll be keeping it to using tp that's extremely biodegradable (which I'm not thrilled about as far as my behind is concerned, but if it's going to save me a few grand, I'll suffer) and not flushing ANYTHING, EVER. No "toilet-friendly" butt wipes (which he said were the worst thing ever invented as far as your pipes, BTW), no tampons, no nothing.

There's a little voice in my head that's still worried that this hasn't really done it, that somehow something will still be wrong, in that way that things can still mysteriously be broken even when by all rights they should be perfect, like when you go to the doctor and they pronounce you physically well, and say it's all in your head. I guess I'm concerned that my pipe could still have some kind of neurosis, especially after yesterday's horrible scare. The roto-rooter guy today also told me that unless something's changed, the city is responsible for anything under the road, which directly contradicts what the city guy told my plumber yesterday, so I don't know where all that would have really wound up had we had to go that far, but I don't want to even think about it. I *am* a little annoyed that I have to pay the guy who was here yesterday a pile of money when all he did was scrape and scope over and over again and ended up making no contribution whatsoever to the actual fix, but he was a nice guy, and I'm assuming the main problem is that he'd never seen bendy pipes, so he assumed it was water that was making everything so dark rather than the twisting angles. He wasn't trying to screw me, or else he wouldn't have told me to call the city at all. He did leave a lot of his stuff here, though, in anticipation of needing to come back later on in the week, so I guess I'll be seeing him again soon and we can figure out what I owe him then. Sigh. Still, we spent way less than we would have had we gone ahead and relined the pipes, and certainly thousands less than the worst-case scenario, so I'm still grateful. Funny how you can feel relieved that something was, in the end, "only" about $1k to fix.

So, we have a crooked, but well-cleaned, geriatric poop chute. Owning an old house is a lot like being old yourself - you find yourself openly discussing the grossest things with other people like it was everyday polite conversation. Think of me as Grandma Astarte, sharing my personal woes with you during Thanksgiving dinner - it's gross at the time, but the info might just come in handy someday.


creative kerfuffle said...

soooooo glad it is not your worst case scenario. makes you wonder why in the world they made your pipes so bendy to begin w/. our house was built in the 70s, i think you've said yours is much older. having never lived in a truly old home i find them charming. but all the woes? not so charming.

Swistle said...

Oh, this is SUCH a relief! I've been fretting on your behalf since yesterday!

And OH NO on the flushable wipes! We've been using those! We will stop! Does stopping help, or is it already too late, I wonder?

d e v a n said...

PHEW! I had heard that about those wipes from a plumber too. False advertising, huh?!!

ccr in MA said...

The end of your post reminded me of the time my grandmother was explaining just what cheese did to her digestion, yes, while we were eating. Gross and NOT helpful info!

So glad your fix wasn't the bad one.

Kelsey said...

Ah yes, the flushable wipes... after our toilet in the basement backed up several years ago (that was one of my very earliest blog posts) they found a ton of those trapped in our pipes. Oops.

Glad this was a (relatively) easy fix.