I Hate Plumbing

userpic=plumbingGrowing up, I have a vivid memory of a plumbing break at my parent’s old house in Kenter Canyon. It was under the slab, and involved ripping up the carpet and padding, and jack hammering out the pipe. A royal mess.

At our previous house in North Hills, we had continual water problems. It was either leaks in the roof due to bad flashing under the air conditioning plenum, or clogged sewer lines due to tree roots.

At our current house in Northridge, the sewer line problems have continued. Again, we have the city tree in the parkway creating root problems in 40 year old clay piping, which has collapsed in places (and is equally problematic under the street, which is our responsibility, evidently). About every 6 months to a year, we’ve had to root out some line. The last major rooting was in October just after Thanksgiving, on the line from the bedroom side of the house.

Lately, we’ve been having loads of problem on the guest side of the house. The kitchen sink backed up the day after Christmas. My wife had me check the trap, which ended up not solving the problem and exacerbating cracks in the under-sink piping. We had a plumber out to fix; he fixed the under-sink piping, and rooted from the kitchen cleanout to the guest bathroom. This morning, the sink backed up again. We had the plumber out (under warranty), and it turned out to be cloggage in the line from the sink to the cleanout. This is all muck built up in the brass lines in the slab or walls.

This evening, with a load of guests in the house, guess what happened? Yup. The guest bathroom toilet backed up, overflowing into the shower (meaning that the clog is somewhere downstream of the shower, but likely before the Y to the bedroom wing, as the cleanout cap hasn’t popped). The plumber has been called; hopefully we can get him out tomorrow.

What a way to start the year. Plumbing problems. Grrrrrrrr.

ETA: The plumber was here on time, as promised. The clog was roots about 1 foot before the Y junction under the driveway. Total cost for this rooting (as it wasn’t connected to the earlier problem): $135. His estimate to replace the main sewer line from the 3″ clean-out until the property line with ABS plastic pipe, including the Y-line and up to the guest bathroom side, with a 25-year warranty, is $3,000. That’s a possibility, in the future. Inlining the 6″ clay sewer line from the property line to the city connection under the street would add about $1,500. to that amount.


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