Friday, August 31, 2007

But Wait....There's More

Why has a gallon or so of water accumulated overnight in the lowest elevation sewer pit? Wait, wasn't that yesterday's blog entry?

It seems that our neighbor’s line, which joins up with our sewer in that same sewer pit, is leaking too. Ewwwww.

Best Plumbing will be leaving the excavator in our median over the weekend while investigation is done.

Some people have pink flamingos decorating their yards. We have a mini digger. What a symbol of our lifestyle.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A good day to go easy on fluids

Why have several gallons of water accumulated overnight in the lowest elevation sewer pit? Hint: The Weather is Sunny and Dry.

Yes, it appears our sewer system really is that bad.

Today's sewer replacement fun started with joining sections of pipe to form a 70 foot or so Extra Long pipe. They have this wacky machine which fuses the sections together.
Then the Best Plumbing Boys cut out the plumbing sections in the various holes they dug yesterday, and we were officially sewer-free (as opposed to unofficially, which apparently has been the case for some time).
Next, they ran a cable through the existing drain, which they attached on the side away from the street to the new Extra Long pipe.
In the picture, you can see the broken sections of concrete pipe the new sewer "burst".Then they pulled it through, cut away the section in the middle hole, and fitted pieces together to join in the existing drains.

That's the point where our sewers intersect. Best Plumbing wound up having to replace about 3' of the neighbor's pipe, as it had disintegrated.

Several sentences to describe it. 8 am until 3:30 pm sans facilities to experience it. In other words, an eternity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sewer Replacement Day 1

We’ve selected Best Plumbing as our sewer replacement vendor, and, after I forked over a hefty deposit (1/2 the job), they got to work today digging 3 holes down to the depth of our sewer line. They dug one hole around the cleanout, another where the front drains connect, and a 3rd where my sewer line joins with my neighbor’s sewer. There was a disturbing lack of dirt in the 3rd hole; apparently the problem’s been going on long enough that we had a Sinkhole Situation.

Then they put a very large plate over each of the holes, luckily, as I can just imagine how popular I’d be with the neighbors if Fluffy fell into one of these gaping pits.

They tell us this is a 3-day process; on Day 1, they dig holes. Day 2, they replace the sewer line, and we will be plumbing-free for most of the day. Conveniently, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to scope out the public restrooms in my area. Day 3, they get the new sewer line inspected and backfill the holes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buy a House on the Right Side of the Street

At the neighborhood block watch party, THE hot topic was of course our house upgrades - when you've got the big trucks outside, Neighbors Notice.

When talking to our neighbors about our new gas line, we learned something interesting - the gas line runs on the west side of the street. So it was Practically Free for our installation, but Prohibitively Expensive for those neighbors on the east side of the street. Had we actually purchased the original wreck under consideration, we would have been out of luck.

Note to self - when buying a house with oil heat, it's well to check on gas availability first by simply calling PSE. We got lucky for a change.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

D-Day - Drywall Day that is

We are getting the garage wall and bath ceiling drywalled, so we can stop looking at gaping ceiling holes while we shower.
The drywall guy has these nifty little stilts to work on the ceiling - no piddly stepladders for him.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Ballardia Side Sewer – the Movie

We've finally done the little procedure we should have gone through back in November, and had Roto Rooter + camera film the guts of our side sewer. The camera is on the line to the left, and the little viewer off to the right shows the sewer line and simultaneously films the movie (VHS sadly).

The average life of a concrete sewer, which we have, is 50-70 years, so at 76 it appears age has caught up with us. There are 4 holes in it, one of which is enormous, and an ominous looking crack. Essentially what’s been happening is that we get “buildup” – my euphemism, not theirs – in the enormous hole, which eventually dams up the sewer line, and then we get our lovely backups.

It would appear that our sanitary facilities are less than sanitary. Is it time to carve a crescent moon on our bathroom door?

Ever wanting to know if I did anything wrong, I asked Mr Rooter if there was anything we could have done….poured their special enzyme down the drain, given up my predilection for Squeezably Soft Charmin tissue….but he says the only thing we could have done was fire up the garden hose, shove it down the cleanout and give the sewer line a weekly blast. And that would only solve the backups, not our sanitation issue.

Next activity: sewer replacement quotes. They will use the ‘pipe burst’ method, where they run PVC pipe along the previous sewer route and break apart the old sewer, then they reconnect all interconnecting drains. Roto Rooter marked the interconnecting drain locations, which they could spot using the camera , and they can see the sewer plan maps online at the Seattle DPD site.

Now, since it’s Friday night, Martin & I can curl up with popcorn & watch our sewer video. If I can find the VCR that is, it’s been awhile.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Renewing my Acquaintance with Mr. Rooter

Having removed the basement drain, it seems our next low point is the drain outside the back door. Unfortunately, we don’t actually use this door, so discovery of the problem came a little late. I will spare you the photos.