bennington, vt.

Monday, May 20, 2013

all stopped

Small plumbing Issue
My Mother's home = The condo

The condo is a semi-detached ranch with a finished basement.
There are 2 other attached units to the one side of their unit.  (they look like 3 individual houses . . .very close)
My parents have had "ebb and flow" drain issues in the downstairs furnace room, associated with the running of the main floor washing machine since the condo was built.  (water, debris, and occasional sewage smell, usually only a 4'x4' area on concrete)
The condo is the last "track" out to the "main line" for all 3 units.
The general plumbing issues have escalated, sluggish drains, sluggish/stopped toilets, etc.  (nothing outrageous, but now pretty much ALL plumbing outlets in her condo)
After much struggle, and consultation with plumbing experts and Association Board members, the Association "Handy-man" Contractor recommended a video snaking.  The Board actually said they would pay for it!  (so many people wanted to watch this procedure, that I considered selling tickets at the door)
The video plumber, (recorded to a flash drive . . . cool), showed me what he thought the issue was, a system plug just sitting sideways in the main line to the street, (under the basement bathroom, just at the "outside" wall).
The Association "Handy-man" Contractor and crew started with crow-bars on the tile and a giant drill for the concrete.
that's my wee size 11 women's foot
Six inches later, it became apparent, a jack hammer was needed.  (Mom, in the Den immediately above, thought her recliner had a vibrate/massage setting she couldn't turn off.  I tried to convince her it was "live action" experience for the ballgame she was watching . . . I don't think she bought it!)
Many shovelfuls of dirt and pea gravel later, they met the water table and the pipe.  A 6 inch pipe, (I gathered he wasn't expecting this depth or size.  I think I was the only one that understood what the "video plumber" had explained of his suspicions),  much bigger then he could get at the local HOME Store for the repair.
(For reasons that become obvious, I did NOT use "my" bathroom that night.  Just shut the door and walk away)
Today they came back to bail, cut, remove the mystery obstruction, repair pipe, back fill, and pour new concrete.
that is an end cap rubber and metal plug
Before anything was built, they laid the street plan with water, storm, and sewage.  From the sewer, they connected main lines that would go to each building and capped them until the individual build and plumbing hook-ups could be done.  The idea is to REMOVE the plug when the connection is made . . . this was lazy/stupid/incompetence.
My parents bought this newly built condo 14 years ago.  It has been sitting sideways in the main line pipe, and every time "things" started to build up behind it, they would have a problem.  And until things become Disastrous here, the other two units do not experience any problems.
Several other owners, in the development, who are also the last "track" out to the "main line" for their buildings, have had similar issues . . . I have a sneaking suspicion I know what the problem is.
Tomorrow, tile, peace, and drainage.

Friday, May 3, 2013

see it pop

It's baseball season.
Mom is very faithful to her Detroit Tigers . . .
but also watches all the California teams . . .
let's throw in the Ohio teams too.

I, who do not watch ANY sports, have learned her preferences for the various seasons, (Nascar, college football, skiing, snow boarding, street boarding, gymnastics, swimming, diving, bull riding, and ballroom dancing), and therefore what to search for on the TV schedule.

The dogs, usually have very little interest when she is in the Den watching TV, until today.
I had run out of the Condo to help a neighbor with an emergency situation and I am sure the dogs picked up on the urgency of the phone call I had received.
When I came back, she regaled me with tales, of how they both climbed up on the chair to snuggle.
She asked me to put Jack back up with her, and then accepted when I offered to pop her usual game time Popcorn.

Next thing I know she's offering it to Jack.  Then she's amused that he's waiting for his next bite.  Then she's slightly taken aback when she sets the bag down and he offers to get his own out of the bag.

I told her, she's in for it now.  Every bag is going to have his name on it . . . as far as HE is concerned.

From now on, she will have company when she watches her games!