A Surprise in the Pipe

Surprise comes in all forms. There are good surprises. Bad surprises. Surprise surprises.

Yesterday we got one of each.

There has been a gurgle sound coming from the tub. Whenever the toilet was flushed the tub had something to say about it. Gurgle gurgle. And occasionally a fast-food grease smell in the basement would come up from the drain. Hubby did a bit of reading on the Internet and some asking around. From what he gathered we had an issue with our vent. We needed to hire a plumber to snake the vent. From our research it shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars. Which we were willing to pay because I wasn’t about to have hubby up on the roof.

Yesterday the plumber came. He was a lovely man. But he had bad news. Really bad news. Our issue wasn’t the issue we thought it was at all. Nope. We are not plumbers. Not even close. And it was a good thing we called one.

It turns out the pipe that acts as an exhaust, venting out the air and gas in the pipes, was old. And corroding. Badly. We saw it on the screen. OH GAWD! It is falling in on itself. AND…that was bad. Really bad. Should that pipe get blocked all the gases will leak into the house. Methane gases. Gases that can make you sick. Gases that can build up. Gases that can be ignited by pilot light of the furnace. BOOM! Bu-bye house. And contents. All things living and not. The surprise surprise.

So. The lovely plumber man now had to deliver more bad news. The cost of the project and all it involves. The entire pipe – from basement to roof – needs to be replaced. They have to cut the floor in the wee one’s toy room. They have to cut away half of the wall in the bathroom. They have to cut the concrete floor (maybe twice) in the unfinished side of the basement. Because there are actually two separate issues. The pipe is issue one. Solved by replacing the pipe. The smell was unrelated. It has to do with plumbing done in the 1960s. Someone who sort of understood plumbing did something bad. Bad because they cut corners. They put the kitchen sink to drain inappropriately. And that is why it smelled like a grease trap down in the basement. SHEESH! Now it has to be completely overhauled. The bad surprise.

Suddenly what we allowed ourselves to believe was a small problem was now a massive problem. And it was going to gobble up the OH SHIT FUND. Yup. We went from being prepared to spend up to $500 to having to spend $4000. OH GAWD!

We were supposed to have our eaves-trough replaced yesterday. But due to weather that is day-to-day. Hopefully tomorrow. Because they are not coming today.

We also had a gentleman coming to give us a quote about redoing the siding on our back room. It is in bad shape. Low grade plastic stuff. Riddled with holes and the wear and tear of the previous owners. Plus. It is a very faded mint green. No thanks. We also need a new back door. That little room is our family hub. In the listing it was described as a three season sun room. We turned it into our family room. Spent the winter hanging out in there and it was awesome. On the inside.

Anyways. After the plumber left we contemplated cancelling the siding quote. What was the point? We chatted over a cup of coffee, and decided that we might as well see how much it would cost to do what we wanted. This is not a temporary dwelling. This is our forever home. We might as well.

The siding gentleman arrived. He was chipper. Excited to show us what they could do. We were ho-hum about it all because we had barely recovered from the morning’s plumbing education. And shopping spree. Siding man arrived in the middle of the afternoon when I was in the kitchen making fondant. I had a ton of cupcake toppers to make for a charity event this weekend. Hubby handled the first part of the quote. I joined the discussion when the money chat started.

Yesterday was the last day of some winter sale they had. We could get exactly what we wanted down to the back room and have a new door installed. For MUCH less than we thought. A nice 30% discount off the top helped too. Even with the unexpected plumbing purchase we were going to be able to do it. The good surprise.

But should we?

We bantered a bit. If we wait until next year we would have more flex-money for fun trips and stuff this summer, but we don’t really travel so if we do this would day-trips still be possible? YES. AND, we really are homebodies. YES. AND, it is our first summer here so maybe it would be nice to just enjoy our new house. YES. So. Are we going to go ahead with this too? YES.

We were glad when the day came to an end, with the surprise train leaving our station.

Hopefully today has a limited supply of surprise.

5 thoughts on “A Surprise in the Pipe

  1. Have I never read a post of yours? This was excellent. Up, down, up… you took us right along. How wonderful to love your home so much. (And how wonderful to get an estimate for less, much less MUCH less than expected–not often that happens.)

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