...because home doesn't happen overnight.
02.22.13 / Jumping Ship

Happy Friday! I hope your day has been less eventful than mine. Last night after the kids were tucked in bed, I was enjoying a hot shower for the first time in I’m-too-embarrassed-to-tell-you-how-many days when the shower decided to stop draining. I hollered {that’s what we say back where I come from} for HH to bring me the plunger then proceeded to plunge the heck out of the drain. To no avail. My long awaited shower was ruined.

master shower 10

After further investigation, we discovered that the toilet, too, wasn’t draining properly and water was coming up around the base of the toilet and through the toilet drain in the unfinished kid/guest bathroom.

level2

Did I mention it was 11:30 p.m. and we were under a winter weather advisory due to an ice storm? HH texted our plumber and he called us back this morning. {Only after a fretful night of sleep on my part. I’ve mentioned this before: my #1 house-related fear is anything involving water leaking, dripping, trickling, seeping, rushing, pouring, flooding into our house.} Plumbing isn’t our thing so we’re happy to have found a reliable plumber to handle all our plumbing needs. Eek. That doesn’t sound quite right now that I’m reading back.

Turns out there was a blockage in between the two bathrooms which was remedied this afternoon. How does a family of five go to the bathroom with no toilet for 12 hours, you ask? One word: bucket. And we were home all together due to the weather. Good times.

We’re not sure what the exact cause was. Old pipes? Possibly. The new cushy toilet paper I bought last week due to HH’s incessant whining about the cheap stuff I usually buy? Maybe. Either way, we’ve decided to have the pipes inspected via camera BEFORE we finish the kid/guest bathroom. That way, if there is a problem with the pipes then our plumber can fix it without busting up a bunch of tile. If there’s no problem, then it’s worth the peace of mind and I’ll rest easy. And I’ll be sticking with the dollar store toilet paper from here on out. So goes living in an older home.

Not only did I feel like jumping ship in regards to our temporary bathroom-less situation, I’m also blog-hopping today. Click on over to Pepper Design Blog to check out my interview with Morgan.

Thanks Morgan!

Congrats to Jenn who was a fan of the TV show Cheers {one of my dad’s personal favorites} back in the ’80′s. Jenn is this week’s winner of the EcoColor giveaway! And to those of you who were only babies/eggs in your mama’s uterus in the ’80′s…you make me feel verrrrrrrrry old.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

16 Comments

22.February.2013

We live in an older home as well, which also had plumbing issues this week. I found water all over the bathroom floor and laundry room one morning. A test flush showed water pouring out of the bottom of the potty, which then ran down to the washer. After turning off the water to the toilet and ignoring the bathroom, I found the floor once again flooded when I ran all the towels through the wash that I used to clean up the first mess. Apparently we too had a blocked pipe, and it was overflowing from the washer when it drained out. Hooray. =/ Fortunately for us it was only on one side of the house, so we could use our second bathroom in the mean time. Hang in there!

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22.February.2013

I feel your pain. Living in an 80+ year old house, we’ve had our share of plumbing problems over the years. The best advice we received from our very experienced plumber was never use that “cushy” toilet paper. We heeded his words and have not had any problem since. Knock wood.

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22.February.2013

OMG it’s like the Carnival Triumph in your house for a day. Yikes!

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replied on February 22nd, 2013

Yes, I guess so!

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22.February.2013

I think our house was built around the same time as yours. We have had the same problems with old pipes and cushy toilet paper. Stick to the cheap stuff, your pipes will thank you. =)

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22.February.2013

The cheap TP is the best TP, to us at least. It’s also entertaining to hear stories of families going through “bucket situations” as we have in the past. :)

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23.February.2013

We went on vacation in the winter once. Came home at night after a long day of traveling and used the potty. We flushed and water started bursting out from the base of the toilet. Turned out we had ice in our waste pipe. There is a vent outside and cold air blew in causing a skin of ice to form inside the pipe. Luckily we had access to the pipe inside the house close to where the problem was and a plumber cleared it for us. After that, we put a better vent cover outside and the problem never happened again.

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23.February.2013

If you do need to do some repair work, invest in an overflow (I think that is what they are called) that goes outside. That way, should there be a blockage, the water will overflow outside instead of inside. We had one put in outside our house since we get a lot of tree roots in the sewer pipe. The best $200 we ever spent! Not sure if it would be helpful in your situation/location; however, it is worth discussion with your plumber.

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Oooh, thanks! That would sure ease my mind.

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23.February.2013

Make sure the backyard sewer pipes are free of roots, too. This was a constant problem for us, with one side or the other (bathrooms vs. laundry) backing up, usually after a soaking rain following a long dry spell. We never had toilet paper issues, but I did find out the hard way that some disposable wipes are not flushable. In 50 years, this is the first I’ve heard of blockages in the vent stack — some online research indicates the tip-off for this situation would be the odor of sewer gas.

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23.February.2013

YIKES!! I can relate. We moved into our house in December and about a month later experienced a backup in the bathtub while doing laundry. Tree roots were the culprit, but while taking care of that the contractor discovered all kinds of plumbing horrors that the inspectors didn’t catch (because they were pipes in walls). Joints falling apart in his hand, pipes connected with rubber hoses and clamps. We ended up having to re-do all the plumbing. Not in the plan, but I am so thankful we discovered it now instead of when the rubber hose/pipe fell apart and flooded the house.

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23.February.2013

I’m with you…I can hear a sink drip from across the house! And it’s not only old houses that have plumbing problems: Six years ago, on the first night we were in our brand-new custom built (by us) home my teenage daughter flushed the toilet after using a “flushable” wipe. I later went in to take a shower and NONE of the water would drain. My adult son went out to open the clean-out valve and there at the connection sat one used flushable wipe! He fished it out, the shower drained and , needless to say, none of us have ever flushed a wipe again…We actually considered it a blessing to have seen how persnickety the pipes could be and haven’t had a bit of trouble since.

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23.February.2013

don’t feel old! i’m 24 and aside from you having 3 kids you don’t seem much older than me at all. your blog is my fave! :)

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24.February.2013

We bought a new construction house to avoid plumbing issues and STILL had them. 3 year old house and during renovation of an unfinished basement we had a sewage back up that followed the path of least resistance through the basement bathroom (the toilet wasn’t installed yet – just the pipes). Shouldn’t have happened to a newer built home – thinking it was construction waste plugging up the pipes. Found construction trash in my sump pump last year when it jammed the pump. The joys of home ownership!! Hopefully that’s the only plumbing issue for you!

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24.February.2013

What a bummer! Yikes!

What type of flooring is in the “everything room” I finally just realized its not wood floors!?! Can you explain why!?!

~ Ali

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replied on February 25th, 2013

It’s travertine tile. We chose to do tile here because the room has direct access to the garage and backyard. With three kids in and out of the house, that means this room sees a lot of dirt, mud, rocks and whatever else the midgets manage to bring in. I’m sooooooo happy we decided to go with tile. It’s holding up really well and is a cinch to clean.

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