Big Pain with BAD drain

Monday we discovered that we have a BIG problem. Apparently our drain from the house to the street has collapsed. Right before Thanksgiving we had a problem with draining laundry water backing up into the tub of the bathroom across the house while also overflowing the toilet. AAH!

Thank God I happened to have just gone to the bathroom so I was there to get everything up off the floor and also put up a dam of towels to keep water from getting to the carpeted hallway. Still I spent all afternoon cleaning up and bleaching. YUCK!

My husband Steve, rented a power auger and used it in the drain cleanout and things were better… we thought. It happened again… water is not draining from tub, for a very long time. When we go and glance outside, the cleanout cap has water oozing out, which means the pipe has certainly been blocked downline.

Several homes in our 1960s neighborhood have the “gopher dirt line” running from their house toward the street showing that they too had to replair/replace drain pipe. Apparently clay drainage pipes and plus we have clay soil, so FAIL.

Right now, we are only flushing 2 times a day. Sponge bathing and Steve 1 minute shower. At least Steve is able to use toilet at work for solid waste, but I am worried when my time comes. Gonna have to use a 5-gallon bucket with lid as a chamber pot and then impose on a friendly neighbor. We need this fixed ASAP!!!!

Now here’s where the real pain comes in. Normally, a repair like this would cost $3,000 plus. Steve has decided that he will use a snake, determine approx area of collapse, then dig by hand. Bigger pain, FRIGID weather. Ground is freezing up as we are having hard freezes in teens at night and 20’s or 30’s in daytime. PLUS Steve has a very demanding work load at his job, so not time to take a day off. So it’s gonna be slow going. By the time he gets home in the evening he only has about an hour of semi-daylight with which to dig. Plus the snow is coming.

I have a bale of straw in the back to use for insulating my roses and strawberry patch. So I suggested to Steve that he fluff some of that up into some large plastic lawn bags to lay down on the soil to try to insulate temperature of soil a bit.

We’ve already located the gas and water lines and Steve’s looked at the utilities map at the City. So, a shovelful at a time, he will dig to the collapsed pipe area and expose it. THEN, he will bring in the contractor who will pull the permits and actually do the repair. Steve can then help do the back fill to save more money. So we will get the bill from the thousands to the hundreds. All of this is gonna take so long to do : (

Please pray for my dear husband, that he doesn’t hurt his back, shoulders or neck during the endeavor, as well as his overall health as it is so cold and he is under increased stress of the situations. Thank you!

I praise God that we still have water coming INTO the house, so we are not without water. We have electricity, heat, food and communications. Most importantly, we are blessed to have each other. it will be interesting to see how this all comes out.

A “NOVEL” IDEA: I thought it would be neat to have a “Tom Sawyer Painting Party”-kind of event. Friends and Christian brothers show up with shovels and “dig in”. I feel so unhelpful, because I really would be out there digging myself, but God has me in surgery recovery “oh-n0-you-don’t” mode. Lord knows this is a very difficult place for me to be.

This life truly is a wonderful journey and even these trials prove to be an opportunity to learn and grow in love and understanding. Thanks for reading this.
If you have any experiences or advise to share, I would very much like to hear from you.

Leave a Reply