When DIY Plumbing Works Out In Your Favor
I have finally decided to add a DIY category to my blog. Since I enjoy doing a lot of DIY around my house and garage, I figured I would tell the stories of my successes and failures. I hope you enjoy!
If you are coming here for the first time, I have to admit that I am a DIY (Do it Yourself) Junkie! I love the satisfaction of completing a job with my hands. It keeps me going and increases my knowledge base. I am not afraid to roll up the sleeves and get dirty. Whether it be cars, landscaping, fencing, plumbing, electrical, or anything else. I am all in. I have had my fair share of projects go bad and I had to call in the professionals.
This story is about how my DIY plumbing project worked out in my favor, only after I called the professionals.
It was a cold day in the beginning of February 2012. Come to think of it, it was Super Bowl Sunday. I had just been through a very rough personal issue and I was just not feeling great. I was under a very large black cloud. I needed a pick me up. Unfortunately, instead of a pick me up, I ended up with a clogged main drain and crap (literally) backing up in my pipes. I was not what I needed.
To share a little more information, our main drain had been backing up consistently for close to 5 months. For those that don’t know, a main drain is the main outlet pipe out from our home to the city sewer line.
For the life of me, I could not find out why the main drain kept backing up. It would be so bad that our toilets and sinks would back up. We couldn’t take showers until I would pull out the clog. I purchased a hand snake at Home Depot and would constantly unclogged the drain every few days. It was a solution, but only a temporary one.
I decided to call the professionals to come over with their camera to see if there was something clogging the pipe. They came out, charged me $300 to video the pipe and gave me the feedback. They thought there was cement in the pipe from when our home builder laid the front porch.
They provided me with the full solution. I pay them $4,000 to pull up the porch cement and they lay new pipe down. This should end up fixing the problem because stuff wouldn’t get stuck to the sides of the pipe and cause a backup. Seeing that price almost made me throw up in the pipe, but I thought that this would end the headache. Then my frugal side came in.
Well, with the black cloud over my head and a badly clogged drain, I decided to pull out my tools instead of pulling out my phone to call the plumber again. When you get a plumber on the weekends, you end up paying double, just for them to come out to the house. Nope! Not today.
I used my hand snake and tried my hardest to get the main drain unclogged. I was outside for 2 hours with my arm half way down the drain. I was getting frustrated and very angry. Instead of sticking my arm down the drain and feeling the underbelly of my home, I went into my garage and pulled out the shovel.
I did this with the impression that if I messed up any of the pipe then the plumber would have to come out and fix the drain. This would be no different if they came out to unclog it. Either way, it would end up with the plumber coming out. With my anger getting the best of me and the wind whipping through my t-shirt, I went to it.
I started digging right in front of our porch to get to the pipe. I dug down about 2 feet to find the drain. As I moved the dirt away, I realized that there was another drain opening behind the one I was using. WHAT? There is not supposed to be two access spots right next to each other.
After pulling out my pipe wrench, I turned the drain opening cover and BOOM! I was hit with something that I wish to not remember. The whole backup with all of the lovely smells came and hit me all over. I was covered in human excrement. It was nasty and I was pissed off and a little on…….
After the clogged filled the hole that I just dug, I realized that I had found the problem. There wasn’t cement in the drain, there wasn’t any sharp turns, it was something that shouldn’t have been there. My builder left a tap out cover in the drain. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
We have lived in the house for 5 and half years before our drain issues. I found out that the tap out cover was in the drain in such a way that it would just spin and not get clogged. It must have moved just enough to stop spinning. This was the problem. A little piece of plastic that was supposed to be thrown out when they put in the pipe. This little piece of plastic was the bane of my existence. I wanted to throw a stick of dynamite down the drain and finish it off.
The fix was the emotional stability that I needed. I was feeling that I had hit rock bottom due to personal issues, but finding a fix for the drain was empowering. I felt that I could do anything and just do it with my hands. This is why I engage in DIY projects. The reward far outweighs the risk for me.
This is my story of when a DIY project goes your way after a professional doesn’t truly fix your problem. My only piece of advice to people that are on the fence with DIY is just try it. You might find that you are good at something and it can save you a lot of money. My 5 hour project saved me $4,000 and was fixed by myself. Why pay when you can fix it yourself? What a feeling!
Do you have a DIY story that worked out in your favor? What about one that caused you more issues? Let me hear it!