5 Truths I Learned from My Plumbing Disaster

It was a day like any other.  I was singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack, straightening my hair and getting dressed, mentally preparing myself for another long, boring day at the office.  I heard a small, slight gurgle.  It was coming from the toilet.  It had gurgled before.  Not a big deal.  And then I heard a “Whoosh! “coming from the shower stall behind me.  I kept straightening my hair and singing along until, out of the corner of my eye, I observed darkness being to swell from the shower floor.  Nasty, bubbling raw sewage.  Spewing up from the floor of the shower stall, squirting everywhere.  It was like a scene from a horror movie.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, a horror movie was an accurate characterization of what my life would be like for the next two months.  Tight on money and knowing that a professional plumber would cost far more money than we had on hand, my husband and I tried to fix the problem ourselves.  In the end, we called a plumber and it was the best money we’ve ever spent.  Here are five truths I’ve learned from my plumbing disaster.

  1. YouTube tutorials won’t cut it.  You may be able to figure out many things by watching a YouTube tutorial.  Playing the ukulele, how to braid a fishtail braid, how to cook Mediterranean fig steaks.  But plumbing isn’t one of those things.  Trust me, call a professional plumber.
  2. Your husband, boyfriend, father, uncle, etc. has no idea how to fix your plumbing problem. Save your relationship with this well-meaning man, call a professional plumber.
  3. The plumbing problem won’t go away on its own. Taking a wait and see approach in some situations is sound advice.  However, when you have raw sewage spewing onto the floor of your downstairs bedroom, and threatening to spew all over the downstairs, you don’t really have the time required to embrace a wait and see approach.  Call a professional plumber.
  4. You don’t want a “handyman.” This person will have just as much knowledge as those individuals listed in number 2 above.  Go ahead and call a professional plumber.
  5. You don’t want the problem to reappear in two weeks. We paid a guy who claimed to know exactly how to fix our problem.  We paid him good cold cash.  And all was well.  Or so we thought.  Until two weeks later, an all too familiar brown pool began seeping from the downstairs shower.  When we called him back to fix it again, he could not be found and didn’t return any of our phone calls.  We learned our lesson.  We should have called a professional plumber.

Don’t be stubborn like me and try to fix the problem yourself.  You may have plenty of areas of expertise, but if plumbing isn’t one, save yourself the time, money and frustration and go ahead and call a professional plumber.  You’ll be glad you did!