Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Foundation of Poo

A plumber recently gave my house a colonoscopy, and it failed. Miserably.

We knew the bad smell creeping up from our laundry-room floor drain probably had a sinister origin, but like a person with mild and non-specific symptoms of general unwellness, we put off getting a diagnosis because we kinda didn't want to know what was going on down south. It's amazing how long you can tell yourself, "I'm sure it's nothing." But the day eventually comes when you can ignore your poo problems no longer.

Whether it's from shoddy workmanship when our house was built in the 80s, or whether it's just where our house has settled oddly, our main drainage pipe doesn't angle down to let gravity do its job properly. There's an 8-foot section where it's mostly straight when it should be mostly pitched.

"Uh oh." This is not good to hear when a plumber is watching a camera snake down through your pipes.

I could see the image on the screen, too. "What? What do you see?"

"Well," he said, as he lifted the camera up a little. "Right now we're above water, but right now," and he put the camera back down into the pipe a little further and things got really blurry, "we're in some standing water. You shouldn't have standing water in your pipes. Water should move."

He guided the camera further and there got to be a point where I could see a dip down in the pipes and the water started to move faster. That was the good news; the straight pipe started sloping eventually. The problem is limited to a section of pipe in our laundry room under the concrete slab.

"This is not great to hear, I know," he said, taking off a pair of protective gloves just like a doctor would have. "But it could have been so much worse. I could be telling you we have to dig under a wall, or tear up your driveway or front porch."

Yes. In much the same way that hearing, "Well, it is a blockage, but hey, at least it's not cancer!" should just thrill you as you're being IV ed up for major colon surgery.

As with anything pertaining to poo, it's best to have a sense of humor. I hope I get one soon. It's hard to find anything funny about being out a lot of money and having the laundry room floor jackhammered and losing access to my washer and dryer for a week while the new concrete cures, but I am trying really, really hard to grin and bear it.

Until I find my own humor about this situation, I'll borrow some from Scrubs: "Everything Comes Down to Poo."

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