Saturday, March 29, 2014

A plumber with a sword?






We have a cleaning service that comes every other Friday in the morning. Two very efficient ladies sweep through the house leaving it spotless, it is a huge luxury which I do appreciate. Recently however, we came home after the ladies had finished to find one of the toilets upstairs was not flushing, that is to say it did flush, but the bowl just filled up with water which drained away very slowly. The drain was blocked. It was fine before we went out, so I could only assume that they had dropped something like maybe a sponge or rag into it by accident and flushed it into the drainage system. I attempted to clear it with a plunger but got nowhere. My very useful husband tried with the plunger then, after a lot of work, managed to clear it with a 10 foot snake. We do have home insurance but it was nice to avoid the $70 call out fee.
10 foot snake



see? just filling up, not draining















Less than a week later however, while the dishwasher was running, the kitchen sink started to fill up with water. Two bottles of liquid plumber and almost an hour working with plungers and this time a 20 foot snake, we gave in and called American Home Shield.



bucket full of plungers of various sizes


They gave my husband the name of an approved plumber and rather than wait for them to call us, he called the number. He was not impressed when, to a background chorus of screaming kids, the woman who answered the phone told him her computer was down and she couldn't schedule a call and didn't know when the computer would be back online. He told her to forget it and he called AHS and requested an alternative and was given another number.

The second number was answered by a machine so Larry left a message. It was the following morning before we got a call back, the response was not encouraging, there was a small chance they could come by the following morning which was Saturday, or probably not until Monday. Insurance or no Insurance, we couldn't wait through the weekend, and that coupled with the multiple bad reviews online for that particular plumbing service led us to the decision to pay for a decent plumber of our own choice.


Larry called Excalibur Plumbing who we had used previously and they promised to be there between 3 and 6 p.m. that day, Friday. And, despite a brief hail storm, Chris from Excalibur arrived at the house at 5 p.m.




Twenty minutes later he had cleared the drain and established the cause - yes, wet wipes were wadded up some 25 feet down the pipe, but we have been using wet wipes since we moved in (and before) but the item that had caused them to wad up and block the pipe was a simple piece of plastic. I didn't even notice that it was missing from the toilet when it first started to slow down.




I guess the cleaners knocked it off the bowl when they were cleaning and just flushed it away. What an expensive mistake! I will have to find another way to improve the ambiance in the bathroom.



Luckily Excalibur's charge was not exorbitant - though frustratingly more than the $70 we would have paid going through our Insurance, but that is only assuming the plumbing service AHS gave us did half as good a job as Excalibur.

Not sure where they got their name from.

 "Morte D'Arthur"

...There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,
And o’er him, drawing it, the winter moon,
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth-work
Of subtlest jewellery....
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892