It’s been an exciting time this passed week or so, though please let me correct you if you thought that was a good thing. After getting my sister moved in and things starting to settle down somewhat is when our plumbing decided it was time to rebel. I’d been having some off and on problems with the sinks not draining quickly, though it didn’t seem particularly major until the Monday before last: I go to wash the dishes from dinner and there are a few more than usual and the kitchen sinks back up completely! (I’m warning you, there’s a novel under the cut.)
Unfortunate but manageable right? Except the bathroom sink is backed up as well and it’s getting pretty obvious that we’ve got a bigger problem on our hands. We call the landlord, but it’s late and we don’t really want someone showing up at 10 pm so we say having the super come out tomorrow (Tuesday) is fine. We wash our hands in the bathtub and adjust because it’s going to get solved tomorrow.
The super comes over the next day (Tuesday), but not until he’s off from his other job so like 7:30pm. He’s got a hand-crank snake to try and clear the pipes and while he does dig out an absolutely disgusting and creepy thing that looks like an alien egg sack (and I swear facehuggers are totally a reason to terminate your lease), but that wasn’t actually the problem (or at least not the problem with the plumbing, the problem of alien invasion is a totally different situation). Because of the way they were trying to flush the clog the water from the kitchen was forced back and up through the bathroom sink and it rapidly began to overflow all over soaking everything on and under the sink and the floor. At this point it’s 10 at night and I’m really done with them in my house, but they weren’t ready to give up and call a plumber yet. Then they took our plunger (our TOILET plunger *shudders*) and began plunging the bathroom sink, splashing disgusting water everywhere and making an absolutely HUGE mess. Oh and they decided to use my very expensive Turkish Spa Towel to clean up the filthy water. They eventually gave up at around 10:30 leaving a huge mess for me and my sister to deal with saying they would have to call a plumber.
The next day (Wednesday) the plumber shows up and he figures out quickly that the problem is not in the standard pipes, but in the vent stack (an air release type of thing that keeps a vacuum from forming) and is likely caused by people pouring grease down the drain (don’t pour fucking grease down your drain!). Problem, he *could* access the vent stack from outside, except it’s raining and the machine he’d use to clear it is about 80 lbs and he doesn’t exactly want to slip off the roof and I would honestly prefer he doesn’t as well because dead bodies are just a lot of trouble. He talks to my landlord and because he wants to get this done today they decide he’s going to access the vent stack from the wall, which means cutting a chunk out of the wall. I would have been fine with him coming back out the next day (Thursday) when it wouldn’t be raining, but I don’t own the property I just have to live with what they do to it. So they decide the cut into the wall to get to the vent stack…And find out the vent stack is unsupported. He can’t cut into it because it would end up collapsing if he tried. So after they put a hole in the cabinet and wall underneath my sink it’s decided that yes, he really is going to have to come back tomorrow (Thursday) so it’s another night of not getting to use either sink.
The next day the sun is shining, the roof is dry, and the plumber is overbooked so he can’t make it out until the next day… So Friday the sun is shining, the roof is dry and the plumber comes and clears out the vent stack and all is right with the world…for one day.
Saturday I come home after work to use the toilet and it won’t flush, just backs up. Not good. It’s really not good when I realize that the bathtub is filling with black water. Disgusting, fetid black sewage that smells and looks exactly as horrific as you think it would. I am done, my sister is done. Desperate we leave to find a new toilet plunger hoping to at least make the situation less terrible. When we come home be find out that the main sewer line is blocked because our neighbors (the super and his family) have the same problem. Turns out the plumber didn’t remove the clog, just pushed it further along to cause a bigger problem. And when the super tried to plunge his family’s toilet and bathtub he caused ours to overflow…
Past the point of fuck everything, with the smell being the very definition of noxious my sister and I end up getting a hotel for the night because there’s no way we can stay in our apartment. We do as much damage control as possible, pack a quick bag and get the hell out of dodge. Apparently our super couldn’t stand the idea of going to a hotel for the night and managed to clear the clog sometime around midnight, according to a text from my landlord, not that it made a difference at that point.
To cap off that week of horror I got to come home on Sunday to my apartment smelling like something had died and the worst mess I’ve had to clean up in my life.