Last night at 10:00pm, I came home from a long day to find our kitchen sink filled with water. “Hm,” I thought, “Maybe it’s just the garbage disposal.” (But, knowing my house, I should’ve thought better. Things are never that simple…for example, when we first moved in, the basement kept flooding. Instead of it being a simple sump pump fix, it was a $2,000 sewage problem at the street, requiring a back-ho and three weeks of showering and doing laundry at my in-laws).
So no. It was not just the garbage disposal.
I called my loving husband, who went down to check the pipes in the basement. After I got ready for bed, I decided to see if he was able to unlodge whatever was stuck in the pipe. As I walked down the basement steps I was greeted by the sharp, foul smell of sewage. “NO!” I cried, “WHY DOES IT SMELL LIKE SEWAGE DOWN HERE?” My husband, however, was not amused with my keen detective skills, and he looked up at me with his arms covered and wet and grimly replied, “Because it’s all over me.” And it wasn’t just all over him–it was all over the carpet, the beach chairs, the stroller…all the things people keep in the corner of a basement.
So no. The clog was not the kitchen pipe.
It was, in fact, somewhere in the main pipe–the 100 year-old, cast iron, cemented into the floor and coated with a century’s worth of other people’s crap pipe. But since we couldn’t unclog it at 11 o’clock at night, we went to bed and figured we’d deal with it in the morning. (Don’t worry–he washed off with the garden hose.)
This morning, as I took our 4 year old over to our neighbors’ house to go to the bathroom, I was explaining to her that we couldn’t use any of the water in the house because it would flood the pipe and end up all over the basement floor. She was not phased by this problem, of course, because to a four year old, going to the bathroom in someone else’s house is not a problem, it’s an adventure. But she did have one concern: whether or not she would be able to see the “Bog”, as she called it, in the pipe. I told her if we could see the bog, then we wouldn’t have this problem.
My poor husband continued to work with the snake, pushing, prying, and unwinding until it, like him, was completely drenched and sticky with sewage. After another hour of “snaking” yielded only toilet paper, he made the decision to cut the pipe.
After another few hours of work, he eventually proded around until he found the “Bog”….
Apparently, our 2 year old, who happens to be obsessed with flushing the toilet, decided that it would be a good idea to flush an old cell phone.
And that’s just how life goes. Sometimes it all goes down the drain…and sometimes it gets stuck.