Starting the year off right

It’s building code these days to put a one way valve on the main sewer line leaving the house so that if the city sewer backs up, it doesn’t flood the house.  Irony abounds when the valve gets frozen stuck and the house can’t shed its sewage, thereby backing it up into the house.  Three hours of clearing the blockage and sanitizing in the house.  When the blockage finally cleared, I connected the hose to the spigot outside and cleaned the sewage off my back patio.  Then, flushed (pun intentional) with victory, I took a long shower and we went to the movies.  Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Continues is a laugh a minute, and sometimes more.  I found it a little relentless.  A little wearing.  I also forgot to disconnect the hose from the spigot.  Right about midnight, I heard a sound like a gunshot, and then lots of water rushing.  We got the house water turned off pretty quickly, but the PEX tubing has definitely burst inside the wall.  We have a plumber coming over tomorrow morning to fix it.

I blame Obama.

24 replies
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  2. 2

    Oh, the advantages of a septic tank… until it starts backing up and you have a noxious swamp spreading across your lawn like something out of a 1950’s sci fi movie.

  3. 3
    scav says:

    Those Socialized Water and Sewage systems are a danger to Liberty, our Very Lives and Reeeligious Freeeedom! Wells and Holes in the Ground as Our Founding Fathers intended. Good Taxpayers’ money being taken away and used to haul away other peoples shit. T’aint right.

  4. 4
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    What a shit of a day for the sooner-family! My condolences.

    Hope the sooner daughters party was a big success.

    I am off to Brisbane for another visit with orthopaedic surgeon. Shouldger be interesting. Gawd I hope he can help! I don’t think I can live with this pain, even with all the meds, much longer.

    Hope Yatsuno is continuing to improve, as miraculously fast as it seemed. Fear of the recovery is almost worse than fear of the surgery itself, for me.

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    raven says:

    Liz Cheney is preparing to abandon her bid to represent Wyoming in the U.S. Senate, CNN reported Sunday evening.

    The elder daughter to former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney announced her challenge to incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in July. Over the weekend, she began to tell staff members of her intent to drop out of the primary, sources told CNN, and could announce her decision on Monday.

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    raven says:

    Damn man, you and I know more about sewers than either ever wanted to.

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    JPL says:

    @raven: She’s dropping out due to family problems. haha… It has nothing to do with poor poll numbers.

    Sooner, I’m glad you enjoyed the movie but it’s doubtful that it made up for the rest of the day.

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    aimai says:

    Sorry about the explosion and the pipes. My homeowner’s heart feels your pain.

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    Exurban Mom says:

    Oh, man, that stinks. Literally. Hope it’s not too horrible of a fix. We are battening down for a two-day freeze fest here, and safety is a big concern. Hope people are sensible and careful out there.

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    Elizabelle says:

    Right about midnight, I heard a sound like a gunshot,

    I wonder if anyone’s ever gotten shot because someone was standing their ground against a frozen hose.

    Sooner: you must feel like Job some days. Congrats on the ever-expanding home fixer up skills. Yikes.

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    PurpleGirl says:

    Sooner — I hope it all works out today for you and the family.

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    Violet says:

    And in your brsnd new home. Best of luck with the cleanup.

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    Soprano2 says:

    OMG Sooner I know about those and I hadn’t even thought about that problem. I sure hope we don’t get any calls about something like your situation today, it’s been a long time since we in Springfield have had below zero temps. What a sucky thing to have to do in such cold weather.

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    Biscuits says:

    So sorry. Had similar problem about 10 years ago (not from cold). Not fun to live through.

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    Birthmarker says:

    I don’t know if PEX is the red hose under the house, but ours burst and dumped heated water under our house, we didn’t know it til the utility bill came, Then $3000 later,,,Good luck! At least you caught it immediately…

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    Birthmarker says:

    Our house is new, too. I blamed China.

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    Soonergrunt says:

    @Birthmarker: PEX is the narrow rubber/plastic hosing. It can be red (hot service), white (supply), or blue (cold service).
    In this case, the spigot in the wall is made with a copper tube about 12 inches long with a fitting on the end that screws into another fitting swedged onto the PEX inside the wall. The copper burst with a thin crack running parallel to the tube. The plumber removed it by unscrewing it, and he’ll assemble the pieces at his shop and bring out a replacement.
    Turns out there are two code violations here, one of which may have contributed to the failure–part of the assembly is a two-inch section of galvanized pipe, and that’s not allowed inside walls because it would eventually rust through. The other one, that may have contributed to the problem, is that there’s no air break device on the spigot. I’ll be talking to the builder later.about those…

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    JustRuss says:

    @Soonergrunt: Thanks for my word of the day: swedged! Although I already know more about plumbing than I ever wanted to. Our house was plumbed entirely with galvanized, after 40 years none had rusted through, so much as rusted full: there was so much rust and scale in the pipes that barely any water could flow through them.

    Can’t see why a plumber would have any galvanized on a new install.

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    Yatsuno says:

    @Debbie(aussie): My back healed up quite fast, but I was also lucky enough to have a job where I could be out for six weeks without any repercussions. Yay federal employment! I know you will be just as lucky living in the socialist paradise that is Australia, but if you need 8 take 8! Also: physio is VERY important afterwards, so find a good one.

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    StringOnAStick says:

    @Soonergrunt: Hold the builder to it, HARD. It is amazing what you find sometimes. We have a 2nd floor guest bathroom with the sewage line running in an outside wall, I only know this because the siding nails penetrated it in a few places and I noted a water stain on the basement sill plate. As our repair guy said, “there’s a story behind that” and of course no easy way to change it. I suppose the only reason why it’s never been a problem for us is because that bathroom is rarely used. The house was built in 1994 so no point even looking for the builder at this point…

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    john b says:

    i thought anchorman 2 was pretty terrible. hate that i chose that movie for the brief respite where my parents took care of the 2.5 month old over christmas. wish we had gone to american hustle.

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    YellowJournalism says:

    @john b: I know a few people who were huge fans of the first one that were really disappointed with the sequel. Wonkette had a pretty brutal review of it up on their site. I think it was built up too much. Plus, the first one isn’t as funny as people remember it to be.

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    J R in WV says:

    Well, a couple of weeks ago, a horn and red light went off in the basement here in West Virginia. It was the high-fluids level alarm from the septic tank. Our dispersal field for the effluent is above the tank, and so there’s a pump in a third concrete chamber, in addition to the normal 2-chamber septic tank. The effluent pump, in a stressful operating environment, forces the fluids out to the dispersal field, through small slots cut into the 2″ schedule 40 pipe.

    We last replaced the pump and assorted float switches in summer of 2004, nearly 10 years ago. I called Fred, a local effluent treatment equipment maintenance expert. He’s in his 70s, and started his business after retiring from coal mining – he says it’s so easy compared to underground mining that it’s almost like being retired.

    Fred is a good guy!

    Anyway, first I had some guys with a honeywagon tanker come out and pump out the tanks, which was $600 all told, it took 2 days as they could only get about half in a load.

    Then Fred came and we pulled the old pump/switch/pipeing up out of the tank. After testing things, it appeared that everything was working, sorta, but the old pump sounded like the bearings were rough. Sometimes older equipment gets intermittent faults. Given the amount of time and money already invested, I decided to replace everything, about $500 for pump and float switches.

    Fred charged me $100 for 3 visits – or was it 2? He likes me, and I’m willing to handle the gross equipment out of the tank, so his job is easier…

    Anyway, just the other night I woke up around 4 am, not unusual any more as I’m having shoulder issues, like others my age, and heard a funny noise from the basement. It was the effluent level alarm AGAIN.

    So I flipped the switch to silence the horn, leaving a bright red light burning. I also turned off the breaker to the septic pump circuit, waited a few seconds, and turned it back on.

    After killing an hour stretching and wiggling arms and head to loosen up my neck and shoulders, I went back to bed.

    Then we we both were up and had some coffee, I took Ms J R to the basement to see the high effluent level alarm was on. But it wasn’t on!! The red light had gone off!

    So now I wonder if heavy rain causes ground water (or even surface water) to enter the system, temporarily overwhelming the pump???

    There are many many more details, but the beauty danger of the situation is how simple it is…

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    Ruckus says:

    I once owned a house in which the basement wall cracked and bulged out 1-2 inches. There is an involved fix but the reason was that the builder had just mortared the concrete block but had not filled them with concrete. This made a wall with very little side load strength. The builder paid for half of the $7000 repair even though the house was several years out of warranty. Never really figured out why they paid because the code didn’t require them to build the wall properly at the time but had since been changed.
    So yes, always see if you can find the builder, it may very well be worth your while.

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