the plumbing problem

Affectionately written by Brandon

Water test – The water test shall be applied to the drain, waste and vent system either in its entirety or in sections. If applied to the entire system, all openings in the piping shall be tightly closed, except the highest opening, and the system filled with water, but no section shall be tested with less than a ten (10) foot head of water. The water shall be kept in the system, or in the portion under test, for at least 15 minutes before inspection starts. The system shall not show evidence of leakage.

For those of you who haven’t done one of these or still don’t get it, here’s how it works:

  1. Buy your first fixer upper and decide to add a bathroom, move the kitchen sink and make the master vanity a double.
  2. Bring in you father-in-law (Summer’s dad) who is a plumber and all-around contractor by trade to install all of this.
  3. Encounter mountains of issues connecting the old iron plumbing to the new PVC sizes. Also try to convert the metric steel piping for the historic exposed shower setting to US standard copper piping.
  4. Somehow finish all this up after having your father-in-law, spend 2 weeks in the hospital over Christmas and then call the city out to inspect your plumbing.
  5. Cap every drain in the house, including toilets, sinks and of course the main clean-out ,which should be somewhere in your yard between your house and the street where it meets the city’s sewer line, and then go up on your roof and stick your garden hose in the main plumbing vent and let the sucker rip.
  6. Sit and wait while your house literally fills up with water all the way from the blocked clean-out, up past the toilets, sinks and all the way up the pipes in your walls that are to be used for the venting of gases (giggle).
  7. And then you wait
  8. And you wait
  9. And you wait
  10. Then you run around the inside, outside and all over the house trying to find out what’s leaking! Try replugging the clean-out to the street because maybe you aren’t inflating the thing (I won’t say what it looks like) that blocks the drain correctly.
  11. REPEAT steps 6 -10 again
  12. Now, go under your house, with the flu, and start checking around for damp spots.
  13. Find one that starts right up against the only part of your house that is built on a concrete slab and you’re done…

If you are us and you have just built a 1,500 square foot deck over the old carport slab and installed another 1,000 square feet of tile over the other section of the house on a slab you a quite confused on what you are supposed to do in this situation. Enter sound logic: You either A) have to pull back up half of the deck and tile floor you just built to be able to jack hammer through the concrete slab to get to the broken pipe or B) Hope that movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth” was real and get yourself a mole man crew.

So guess what, someone has invented a drill that goes under your house, busts up the old crappy pipe and brings a new one with it and the gentleman’s name is Erik Hansen. Well no, he didn’t invent it but he certainly had access to one.

I may have skipped the part in the story where our plumber/professional wrestler friend Erik from Hansen’s Plumbing came in with a monitor that looked  like it was straight out of Jurassic Park and is used to “find fossils without even digging” which has a fiber optics cord so long the government wants to borrow it, but instead he did and we determined that our main drainage out pipe that lead from most of our plumbing out under the concrete slab half of the house was on was cracked and broken in several places.

But again thanks to (whoever invented the pipe bursting drill) and his dream to bring Jules Verne’s stories to life there was a tool that could fix our problems. I will end this story here and let you get a quote for one of these “drills from the future” if fate should put you in this very unfortunate situation. Just know, this piece of machinery is not cheap. Though, if you live in the valley and you happen to know the gentleman listed in this article or have the ability to look at the links on the side, maybe just maybe, he can get you a deal on the weekend and save the day, just like he did for us.

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