I've had what would have passed as a pretty good winter. Of the 4 or 5 colds that have passed through the family (kids, grandkids, wife) I've only had one, slightly, thanks to lots of Echinacea and using Zicam when I felt something start. Thanks to a flu shot I had missed rounds of several bugs as well.
Last week my wife started complaining of odd aches and pains, then her hands swelled visibly. By late in the week she had picked up a cold to go with her flu, and she saw the Dr. last Friday and got antibiotics. She used 3 sick days along with her two days off and is finally on the mend...
I worked Saturday, and when "the runs" began thought it was just a matter of having cut down how much I was eating, trying to get back under 200 again. By lunch at 9 that night I knew it wasn't that at all. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who can hurl a couple of times and get "it" out of their system, as for me things always go the other way and take 4 times as long to get through! Sunday was spent watching a bit of TV and running to the bathroom. Monday I chugged two bottles of Kaopectate and went to work because I knew they had been short on people all last week; thank goodness they had extras and sent me home. The "liquid cork" let go about 7 and in the next 12 hours I went through two "triple rolls" of Charmin. That's on top of the 2 that went on Sunday...all down a 54 year old sewer line...
Tuesday I felt better but wasn't sure it was over, so I called in sick. That night when we were running laundry, I heard the toilet gurgle (one of those uh-oh sounds in this house) and got busy with the plunger, flushing and plunging until finally things were working again. Then I filled the tub and the sinks, trying to force as much water down the line as I could to "push" whatever it was the rest of the way to the city sewer line. As the plugs were pulled, the toilet flushed and the washer cycled again, all was fine...for about a minute. Then there was a gurgle, a rising tide, and before I could run to the basement to shut off the washer, the tub was filling, the toilet overflowed, and as I ran through the basement doorway I was running through a waterfall as it all came through the floor.
Once the tide stopped rising and had receded a bit I went up on the roof, in the dark with a plumber's snake, and started snaking the sewer line through the roof vent. I worked the 50' of snake down, and at the end pushed something out of the way, just like last time, just past where the washer and sump tie into the line. Things flushed, water ran, the laundry ran, and after spending several hours scrubbing, mopping, and spraying and running the laundry (the towels we diked the upstairs floors with) all seemed fine. Having been through similar issues with the sewer line about every other year or so for the last 15, I truly was relieved I had won the battle again.
We showered, watched some TV, she went to bed, I came here for a while, then went to sleep. I didn't want to go the gym at work when I hadn't gone to work last night, so I slept in and leisurely watched TV and got ready for work.
Tonight I called home at lunch time and was told that the toilet started gurgling again, but she beat the rising tide to the basement, and this time it only rose a bit into the tub.
I was going to come home tonight and try working two "Drain Kings" into the sewer line and then using the sump pump to "force" whatever the problem is out to the street, but as I laid my plans while working I heard a voice saying "don't screw with the plumbing when the stores are closed". My Dad? My dad-in-law? My brother-in-law? My Grandfathers? Maybe just common sense kicking in after 50 years?
I'm not sure, but I'm heading to bed very shortly, and know what I'll be doing when I get up...and hoping it doesn't involve another "sewey-water" fall!
UPDATE: 2:30pm Thursday
I'm not going to declare victory; in hindsight, even if I've won this battle I know I'll be fighting it again in 18-24 months until I either get the f*** out of this house or replace the sewer line to the street. At this point, though, the washer has pumped out once without backing up, and the toilet flushes; the washer is filling a second time now. I have just enough time to clean up, pack my cooler and eat before work, so things are a bit brighter this afternoon than they were last night...
Replacing the line would be done already if I could do the work myself and pay a plumber to make the connection and inspect like every other county in Kansas. Mine says you have to pay a licensed plumber to do the work, and they don't like digging trenches!
Thank you all for the kind comments. I was hoping to give you all a chuckle with the thought of me playing in the "sewey water"...or at least a feeling of "glad it ain't me!".