Feb 22, 2010

The travails of a woodworker Part 2

Yesterday afternoon, DH set out to finish doing the electrical stuff he needed to do in order to better get electricity out to his shop to run his tools. Then he discovered that our only working toilet was acting up again.
So (with much muttering, grumbling, and banging about) he set out to remove it from the floor and clean out the pipe underneath as he has had to do several times lately. (We know the piping under this toilet is badly done; we were hoping that we could live with it until we get the new bathroom finished. So much for hoping.)
After working for over an hour with both the piping and the toilet itself, DH still could not get the toilet to flush properly. Worse, water suddenly started appearing under the house near the bathroom (we have a pier and beam foundation). DH figured that a pipe must have sprung a leak. We decided that the only logical thing to do would be to tear up the floor under the toilet to inspect the pipes.
DH did that (with much muttering, grumbling, and grumping). There was no water evident near the toilet pipes. DH took part of the pipe apart (including the flange that connects the toilet to the floor) and it seemed fine; no clogs. There we were with a large hole in our bathroom floor and no working toilet for no reason we could see. We stood in the bathroom and racked our brains trying to figure out the problem.
The clean out for our septic system is near the bathroom, too. DH noted that that it didn't seal properly and leaked at times. Suddenly, the light bulb went off over DH's head. The water was getting out past the leaky clean out valve. It shouldn't do that unless there's something wrong with the septic system. He checked the septic system. It was turned off.
The septic maintenance guy had come out last Wednesday and he had turned it off to check the system and, apparently, had forgotten to turn it back on. We didn't check it because the man is a professional and we pay him to inspect and maintain our system; he should know to turn it back on! The septic system had been off since then. An overloaded septic system will cause the toilet to act like the pipe is clogged.
So the toilet is fine, but now we have a cardboard-covered hole in our floor and - after an emergency trip to Lowe's - jury-rigged under toilet piping. Oh well.
On a positive note, with the floor up, DH can better access the water main to the house to tie in the new bathroom pipes. He will do that this coming weekend and then fix the floor. Until then, we are "sitting lightly" on the toilet as it is put together temporarily. So if you hear a loud yell of surprise from my part of Texas, it means the fix didn't make it until the weekend and either DH or I fell through the floor along with the toilet.
How was your weekend?


Lynn D said...

I call it "homeowner blues" and it happens to us quite frequently. We are hoping we will have a vacation from it since nearly everything in the new-to-us house has been replaced.

I'm in awe of the talent at your house. We have to hire everything done.

Gloria said...

I would be inclined to have a little chat with the septic maintenance guy.

Hope you and Emma are playing in the snow today!