It happens! Shit happens! And sometimes things just happen in a household, as a direct outcome of a natural process. But when it happens, it is utterly disgusting.
And, when living in a household with 5 people, 2 adults and 3 kids, you are bound to see more of these incidents.
I’m talking about clogged drain and sewage pipes. Whether it is the kitchen/bath sink, or a toilet that has been fed too much paper. Either will happen. It is how you deal with it that defines your manhood.
The other evening, while doing the dishes, our kitchen sink started to show signs of perhaps slight overload, as water did not drain as quickly as usual. This is obviously caused by a few variables; the amount of food pieces and grease that has been swallowed over time. At some point it may get a little stuck.
In this case, I simple mixed a little baking soda and vinegar, poured it into the drain and flushed it with boiling water. It should do the trick, but didn’t. In fact. I stopped the flow altogether. So, I decided to empty the sink manually and poured the content into the toilet … perhaps a slight silly mistake in hind-sight. The result was that I now had clogged the toilet. To make matters worse, the pipe was so full that some water from main water was pushed into the drain, and the water in my kitchen sink started to rise. Not good!
I had to turn off the main water to avoid flooding, and this unfortunately also meant no more toilet visit anywhere in the house until problem was resolved.
It was pretty obvious that we a significant blockage somewhere in the pipes. We tried to ‘snake’ toilet, sink and washing machine drains, but not positive outcome. To make matters worse, the dirty water was now dripping into the basement. Thankfully we do not have fully furnished basement and no carpets.
I had to call for help! We needed a professional to solve this, well knowing that it would cost us some silly money just in call out fees. It was 11pm, but had to accept the extortion from local plumber. By 12.30, the plumber had not called back, so my friend and I thought we should take matters into our own hands. How hard could it be to clear the blockage?
We quickly found the clean-out plug, underneath the kitchen/toilet area, and proceed to prepare for the nastiest part of the evening. We knew we would have to open the plug, to release water pressure and empty sink + toilet. This would be rather unpleasant, both visually and smell factor.
My job was holding the large bucket as close to the plug as possible. Knowing that this is literally human faeces (bodily fluids in this case from humans), which contains bacterias and other less attractive features, we could not afford to spill anything. It would not only be disgusting, but the cleanup afterwards would be intense.
I carefully balanced the bucket, while my friend gently unscrewed the plug. “Water” started dripping, then running, straight into the bucket. A few more 1/4 turns and the pressure was being released. Our plan was working … until my friend lost his grip on the plug and the darn thing fell off. The direct consequence was that sewage was being forced out from the clean-out hole, causing the stream to miss the bucket I was holding, and providing me with a shower. Yes, I got drenched by shit!
The problem was, I could not drop everything and run. I had to stay calm and catch the water, while trying not to get any into my mouth. It sounds disgusting, but it was worse in real life!
I had to remove my Dropkick Murphy t-shirt (sorry lads) as it was soaked with shit.
On the plus side, the pressure was being released quicker, water stopped dripping from pipes and we knew it was working. The down side was that we were covered in shit, and the floor was also slightly affected with a small puddle of faeces.
Finally the sewage was cleared and we had to go to phase two. Locate the blockage with the ‘snake‘. Finding the blockage was incredible easy, except I was covered in faeces and the smell was unbearable.
It was my first time using a ‘snake’, and hopefully last.
As I start to work the blockage, using the ‘snake‘, I was also introduced to something called the ‘champagne bottle effect’. My mate might have been lying or making this stuff up. Anyway, I very quickly found out what he meant.
See, when you release pressure, it can come shooting out. You release a cork on a champagne bottle and it comes out. Same thing happened with this shit.
I gently yanked the ‘snake‘, to clear the blockage, and was obviously successful. The next 2.8 seconds was the worst in my entire life. Shit was literally spraying from the pipe right at me. I had not bucket handy, and had to jump down from the ladder and drag the larger bucket underneath the stream of excrement. to my dismay some of it had already landed on the floor.
My friend came running down the stairs, from inspecting toilet and sink, only to find me covered in human faeces. I had old paper and other unidentified pieces in my chest hairs. Arms were covered with a brownish shine and pants + shoes soaked.
This was not pleasant!!
Then again, we had successfully cleared the blockage and saved $500+ just in call out fees.
After a small beer break and panick laughing as we were slightly worried about hepatitis, we had to tackle phase 3. Inspect and clear the waste pipe all the way to the end. Given we had cleared the major blockage, we were fairly confident nothing else would be found. And we were right.
The two amigos, aka Beavis and Butthead, had fixed a major domestic waste drain problem. We have had no training, and it shows, but still managed to fix it.
By the time we had finished, and cleaned up the worst shit, it was 3am. We still had work in the morning, so we put all the equipment outside and I mopped up the faeces.
I showered twice before going to bed. I could still smell the faeces as it was probably stuck in my nose. I knew Friday would be a long day and that buying bleach was top priority.
Lessons learned – avoid using too much toilet paper, educate kids on right amount of paper to use for each job and do not pour kitchen waste into the sink. It all adds up and will slowly block the drain.