Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Homeowner Lesson

Since I bought my house five years ago (and I cannot believe I've been here this long!), I have learned a few lessons. Most of them have been from people who have owned homes much longer. Some have come the hard way - and, oh, how I have paid for them.

Sunday I was forced to clean my refrigerator - not at gunpoint or anything like that. I was cooking dinner and had to throw out leftovers that had been sitting there for a couple of weeks. You see, I have a very tough time eating all the food I cook and I also hate throwing out food. I feel guilty. I also feel a little dumb for cooking things like an entire package of pasta knowing I will never eat all of it. I had something like this in my fridge for more than two weeks.
Only there was about five times as much of it (I over-pestoed and I just didn't love it). I dumped the container into my sink, turned on the water and the disposal and then proceeded to jam the pasta down the drain with a wooden spoon. All was going well until I put the last dish in the dishwasher.

First, there was a gurgle.

Then, this happened.

BOTH sides of my sink filled with water (this is much cleaner than what I first saw). I tried using a plunger. I tried the plumber's enemy, Draino (seriously, they HATE this stuff because it's an acid and can burn them when they have to get into your line). I knew I had to call in an expert.
That's Angel - the most thorough and friendly plumber. If a single girl who owns her own home can dream of a plumber, he would:

  • be nice
  • not lecture me about how dumb I was to cram anything down my drain
  • give me a few tips
  • not be creepy
  • MOST IMPORTANT: not have plumbers crack (as you can see, he did not)
I told him everything I did. I was glad I did because he told me he worked on one house and a lady did not tell him Draino had been used and the water splashed back and he was burned by the stuff. She said she didn't lie - her husband had done it. Well, the plumbing company ended up filing assault charges because acid is a weapon and good God who knew my honesty could save me from a trip to jail? 

Angel cleaned the pipe, then (at no charge) sent the fancy camera on a journey down my pipes (stop giggling, perverts, I mean actual pipes not my insides). I told him not to say anything like "That's not good" because it would make me sick. I'm not made of money! I won't be replacing all of the plumbing in and under my house! But this strange underground journey did not reveal a single bit of pasta or really any food bits. The lines are in good shape! HALLELUJAH! Oh, wait. There's that bit about the bill.
So here's my $170 lesson:
  1. If you have to help something get down into the drain, you should throw it in the trash.
  2. Never EVER use Draino. There are non-acidic (and even green) options out there.
  3. You have to drain your water heater. I know this is unrelated to the kitchen sink ordeal, but it was Angel's story about his water heater that went undrained and clogged up and then burst. 
I know I have to learn some lessons the hard way, but for crying out loud - why don't you people tell me these things before something goes horribly wrong? I'm now afraid of so many things in my house that I am almost afraid to sleep here. It's like anything inside the joint can and will kill me. Maybe not ACTUALLY kill me, but it could stress me out to the point where I'll say, "Forget it! I'm going to be a hippie who lives in a park!" And it will be all YOUR fault. You people need to teach me things!
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