Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun (haha) with plumbing

Over the holidays, we were gone visiting family and had turned off the water to the house and drained the pipes. A big part of why we chose to turn the water off was because we weren't certain that we had done the plumbing for the bathroom fixtures correctly and didn't want them to leak while we were gone. We ended up leaving the water off until yesterday, which turned out to be a good thing because last week we had three days of weather where it didn't get above freezing. We had three friends with burst pipes, but both of our houses came through just fine.

Or so we thought. Today, we had turned on the water to mix mortar and whatnot, and things seemed fine. About 30 minutes later, the husband was showing his sister (who is in town visiting) and her SO around the property, and they happened to include a tour of the guest house... where he found water fountaining from under the kitchen sink. Awesome! Apparently, even though we had turned off the water to the house and drained the pipes there, we didn't drain the water in the pipes in the guest house. With the freezing temperatures, a pipe had burst somewhere in the wall behind the kitchen sink. We quickly turned off the water to the house again and decided to deal with the mess later. After all, we plan to gut the kitchen in the guest house sooner or later - with the termite damage in the walls and the floor with the impressive topography, we expect to have quite a lot of work to do there. I guess we'll be replacing the plumbing there too. Sigh. We also want to install a cutoff valve for the guest house water so that we can shut it off independently of the main house. Of course, first we have to FIND where the water comes into the guest house first...

Back at our current house, we had a rather nasty backup in the kitchen sink drain. After pulling out the p-trap and finding nothing, we got out the toilet plunger and went to town. One of the kiddos helped the hubby while he plunged.

One technique - using a toilet plunger to unclog your drain.

Although we eventually got the sink to drain, we discovered about 5 minutes later that it had backed up into the laundry area in the garage. We had nasty, disgusting gunk from the drain all down the wall where the laundry drain is and under the washing machine. The husband and I spent the next half-hour cleaning up the muck and hosing out the garage. Fortunately, the nastiness didn't spread too far in the garage, but it was still really gross. Unfortunately, our garage still stinks and so does our backyard where we hosed everything out. We've put out vinegar and sprinkled baking soda everywhere, so hopefully the stench will clear up soon.

I believe out next trip to Home Depot may include the purchase of a pipe snake so we can finish fixing the clog. The sink drains, but it's still not totally right. Oh well, I guess we'll add amateur plumbing to our list of talents!

No comments:

Post a Comment