Sludge

So I’m finally back! I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season, and is off to a good start in 2011. After my 4 month hiatus from this blog, I have a new adventure to report on. I also have a bunch of projects up my sleeve for the new year so *hopefully* I’ll be posting a little more regularly than before.

On to today’s adventure….

****Disclaimer: This post is disgusting. Really. So if you don’t want to be totally grossed out, I suggest not reading this. It might be a good decision on your part. There was a lot of “EWWWW!” and “Oh thats just gross” during this process. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!****

Ok, So you’ve decided not to listen to my careful warning, and you really want to know what this “sludge” is all about. Well here it goes!

For the past month or so our sink and bathtub have not been draining. The sink wasn’t really a new problem (click here for the full details of that adventure!), however the bathtub was an unpleasant surprise. It started before Christmas. One day I went to take a shower before work, turned on the water and let it heat up as always. When I went to step into the tub however, I was up to my ankles in water. Not so fun! I think that shower might go on record for my fastest shower ever. It took about 10 minutes for the shower to finally drain after I got out. I was really worried that another pipe had disintegrated so I ran downstairs hoping that I wouldn’t find a puddle in the kitchen. Luckily there was no puddle so Chris and I ignored the problem and got really good at taking a quick showers while pretending we weren’t up to our calves in water.

So here we were, a full week into the New Year, and still no fix to the problem. I’ve been working a crazy schedule, and am terrible at returning phone calls, so even though I had a great plumber who could come to the house, I never made it work.

Enter Uncle Bill. If you recall from the other sink adventure he saved the day with some crafty little plumbing skills I didn’t know he had. He had heard on Christmas about the lack of draining that was going on and told me he’d come over, rip up the bathroom floor (Thank god!) and just “take a look”. I figured it couldn’t hurt, I really hate that floor anyway.

At 9:00 this morning he was here with his saw. He and Chris marked out a square on the floor and started cutting. Like everything else in this house there were multiple layers. Chris and Uncle Bill just started laughing so I went into the bathroom with my camera. And I thought the current floor was bad! Prepare yourself:

I mean really?? Here’s the close-up of this beauty!


(Note: If you double click on the pictures they’ll get bigger)

I’m really hoping that this floor wasn’t down at the same time as the hideous wallpaper! That would just be too much.

Anyway, they ripped up the second floor, and the sub floor, and we had a hole in the bathroom floor.

Then came the fun part- trying to figure out where the leak (if there even was one) was. After some impressive contortionist-like moves, it was determined that there was in fact, no leak. Weird. (I’m really glad Uncle Bill has taken up yoga. I told him all that was missing from this next picture was a few Oms.)

Chris wasn’t quite as flexible:

So Uncle Bill took over again –

(Beth- you should be proud!!)

So there was no leak. What the heck was the problem then?? I made the mistake of walking away for a few minutes and then I heard “oh my god!”. Of course I ran back with my camera, and promptly almost dropped it. The pipe leading from the sink and the tub to the big drain pipe was totally full of sludge. I mean, we’re literally talking 100+years of sludge buildup. No wonder we couldn’t get the drains to work!! (Ok- here’s the real warning, these pictures are nasty)

See all that sludge?? No? well then here’s a better shot:

Yummm..

So clearly that was our problem. If you enlarge the picture you can see a teeeeeny tiny little area thats not quite so sludgy that the water was going through.

Well now the really gross part began. They had to clean it out. Please notice I said “they” because there is no way in hell that I was going to be involved with that!

Let me start this part of the story with “We threw out the spoon after” just so that there are no questions in your mind. I should also clarify that this pipe is in no way connected to the toilet, so don’t think it was *that* gross.

Using a spoon we were planning on getting rid of anyway, Uncle Bill went to work.

Then they snaked the pipe to finish the clean up job.

Once the pipe was cleaned out they headed over to Home Depot for a bunch of supplies. While they were gone I complained to myself. I had just spent all this time on Wednesday vacuuming the house with my new vacuum (details to follow!). At this point there was a good amount of sawdust everywhere!

Oh well, the price you pay to shower like a normal person!

When they got back they put a new elbow where the gap was and then a temporary fix was done and, as Chris says, you can barely even tell! (if you’re half blind??)

New elbow!

I’ve already called in re-inforcements for this next part of the project. Hopefully soon the rest of this green disaster will be ripped up and some lovely new tile we’ve had sitting in the kitchen FOR-EV-ER will be put down. I’m not going to hold my breath though. It could be a while!

Well I think thats it for now. We have plans to put cabinets in the kitchen and I have a few decorating projects I want to do. I also have a spiffy new camera so there will be plenty more pictures in these posts! (and you can check out my latest pictures here!)

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