Aaargh! I don't have the money and patience for these plumbing issues!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Last yr, we had a ton of work done on our roof, siding, gutters, kitchen wall and subfloor from leaks that had been going on for yrs. (Probably b4 we bought the house, 13 yrs ago). Finally got to the bottom of it (and the top of it).Thousands of dollars later ... JUST FINISHED PAYING for it and now, it's the plumbing. First it was a stopped up sink. They had to come back with-equip to get a pump on the roof. Did that, cleared sink, I pd bill, went into kitchen and saw black gook coming up into sink. Called them back immediately, made them turn around. Found more gunk in hall bathroom.They just sent it deeper into the house and/but didn't solve the problem.Lots of rust and blk stuff in the sink.Came back today with-equip on roof, broke kitchen drain (I knew that was going to happen), said most of the problem is under the house and then under the ground and they dug as deep as they could go.Tomorrow a skinnier guy comes over to go back into the crawlspace.They charge by the hr because they don't know what will happen.$173 + $195 + $329 ... tomorrow will be a whole day. I wanted new wallpaper and more savings so we could send difficult child to a boarding school and I just know this is going to be in the thousands ...Can't use the dishwasher, kitchen sink, or bathroom sink. I don't mind eating out but I wish it were free.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Terry -

    DF is a master plumber licensed in 5 states - he said that with the amount of cable that your men are running, and depending on the age of your home (plastic pipes vs, clay or other) it may well be that they have hit city pipes and this could be a city problem they are running into. He's not questioning what's been done completely- but by the sound of things - he's wondering why so much cable was run through the roof and not through the cleanout in your basement which would be next to the largest pipe downstairs or outside. (again depending on where you live and how the development was laid out).
    Without seeing what's being pulled up? Hard to tell - but sounded more to me like tree roots etc. like we get at Moms where we have to have Roto-rooter come in about once every five years to clean out the drains from vegetation and silt. Which for us is usually about a $120.oo bill. If they have to clean out a kitchen P-trap while they are there? It's usually an additional $20.00. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda once a month in all drains and let set to get rid of soap or put a little dishwasher powder and let set then run hot water for about 5 minutes until you hear each drain burp. Also go to WalMart and get drain screens to prevent hair, soap bits or food from getting down drains - it helps a TON and saves on plumbers bills.

    Hope this saves you a little bit of money - Fingers crossed.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you!I should have specified that they were "Jetting"--using a compressor and water through a little pipe on the roof (I always wondered what those were) to force gunk completely through the system and underground.We have city water coming in and septic going out.We don't have a basement--we have a crawlspace that is about 2ft high and cluttered with-a/c ducts, phone cables, you name it. It is horribly designed.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I read to DF what you said and he said - I yi you know if they take care of their septic system? Do they put enzymes in their septic? I said I don't know. He said I bet they will find out about it now.

    Just an opinion - you may want to see if the septic is full if you do this yourself? It saves money. Locate tank. Find lid, dig to locate lid (one or two depending) and lift lid. - and if it is? Have it vacuumed empty. You can jet all you want into the house, but if the system is full? It's not going to make a bit of difference. If it's a cracked tank? It could be seeping ground water and muck.

    If you don't already have a concrete septic basin? Replace it with one. (Pretty sure you do in VA, but then again it could be fiberglass or wooden -but doubtful)

    He said he's not trying to sound like a KIA - but he's unsure why they are blowing air into a system when they haven't checked your septic?
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good idea.
    I'll tell them tomorrow and see if they can check it. If not, I'll call the septic people.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wait a minute--how come the toilets all work, the washing machine works (iow, they drain properly), but only 3 sinks are affected?
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Either way, the septic guys are coming over this afternoon.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry, I feel your pain ~ my garage door stopped working. The repair man came in & did the "do you want to hear the good news or the bad news" act. Just give it all to me at once. Broken springs, rotting bottom panel & old opener that could no longer lift the weight of the door.

    Second opinion was the same. So $600 later I have a new opener & springs; the bottom panel may turn into a new door depending on the cost.

    I feel your pain.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Something's up with the way your drains are set up.

    We had one problem where the toilets and bathroom sinks were fine - but the bath tub, kitchen sink, and shower, not to mention laundry room sink (right below kitchen sink) were backing up.

    It turned out to be a TREE ROOT - in the smaller part of the line, before it joined the main to do a 180 and go out to the street.

    Had to have Roto Rooter...
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Could be. There's only one way to find out ...
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Linda, do you mean you're going to save the bottom part of the door and cut out a completely different door from the materials for another part of the house?
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    The problem has been corrected. Here is a photo of the offending pipe. The plumbers said that it was due to "Years and years and years" of crud, probably including soaps, oils and kitty litter. (The people who sold us the house had cats.)

    Also had the septic tank cleaned. That guy found paint brushes, pencils and feminine hygiene products. Sigh.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Lovely photo Terry - ick!

    I'm sorry I was so vague; I meant rather than replacing the bottom panel of the garage door I'll end up purchasing an entire new garage door. The rest (rotten panel & all) will be hauled off & recycled into whatever/wherever the crushed wood is used.

    I'm so glad you got to the bottom of your plumbing issues.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    Yep, got to the "bottom" of it all ...
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    DF said - WOW! Cast iron clogs - never good.....OMW - Paint brushes and what? No amount of enzymes would help that.

    Got to the bottom of it all - snort. lol