Plumb Tired

Dear J-

I never told you about our plumbing, since woes seem to follow us around from house to house. In San Diego, when figgy was a baby, we had to call in a plumber to snake out the lines which ended up being an all-day ordeal of watching them replace part of the main line to the sewer, digging a mighty hole in the yard and cutting off our main water supply in the process. We were told that it was just a matter of time before it happened again since there were all kinds of issues with the roots and paper (?) pipes so yeah, that’s all just a wear item and we’ve got nothing better instead anyway. Later we had other plumbers out to shake their heads and reinstall cleanouts and of all the issues we left behind for new owners, that was the one I was most happy to be rid of.

Fast forward to today and four people using a single bathroom — yes, we did replace the toilet and yes, our lives are much better for having a TOTO (they’re not cheap, but they’re also less than an XBox; if you can afford one, you can afford the other) which started backing up; the bathtub too, the washer and the kitchen sink and la dee da, it’s deja vu time again, right? At first the estimate was almost two thousand to put in a cleanout, and then another plumber gave us a substantial discounted quote (33% less! yes!) which ballooned as the full scope started to take shape. So yes, we are getting a substantial portion of our drain replaced with plastic, as the clay that was put in nearly seventy years ago has cracked and collapsed; I can’t say that I don’t think it’s worked long enough, but I do wish it had maybe worked a little longer.

This is what it means to own a home, though. in the apartment our recourse was to plunge once, maybe twice a week and hope that we wouldn’t have to call in maintenance like you do at a resort or hotel (funny thing, that; figgy insisted on calling it a hotel, where we were living, and her friends all thought the same. looking back at those four months seems like forever, although now we’ve been in the house nearly as long as we were in the hotel. I mean, apartment.) We pre-emptively bought a plunger to make sure we would have it on hand when we needed it. Too much detail? You have no idea what kids will put in the toilet.



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