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!

5 Reasons to Thank Your Plumber

So much of our everyday life revolves around plumbing.  Hot showers, toilets that flush, running water for drinking and cooking.  It really isn’t until something goes wrong and you need a plumber that you realize how essential they are to your everyday happiness.  Here are just five of the many good reasons to thank your plumber daily.

  1. You love hot showers.  Or hot baths.  Some people are shower people and some people are bath people.  Whatever floats your boat.  Some people luxuriate amongst fancy scented bath bombs, with lit candles and the whole shebang.  Others sing heavenly melodies (or perceived heavenly melodies) in the shower with the hot water turned all the way up so that the entire bathroom is engulfed in a thick cloud of steam.  What happens when your hot water heater goes?  Sorrow, that’s what happens.  No one luxuriates in a cold bath.  No one sings under a stream of freezing water.  Your trusty plumber can help repair or replace your hot water heater so you’re singing in the shower once again!
  2. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on your water bill. Water is great.  It’s a necessity, not a luxury.  But it’s still a utility, and you’ve got to pay for those utilities.  Incessantly running toilets and dripping faucets are more than annoying, they’re expensive.  Your trusty plumber can fix a running toilet or a dripping faucet like nobody’s business.  That’s just what they do.  It’s one of the many reasons we love plumbers.
  3. You like to be healthy and well. You know what happens when you have leaky pipes?    Mold happens.  And no one likes to settle down to frosty glass of mold water.  You don’t want to practice your morning yoga while breathing in icky mold.  That’s where your trusty plumber comes in.  He (or she!) will fix it so you can be relaxed and hydrated the healthy way.
  4. You dislike standing in raw sewage. I don’t know anyone who likes standing in raw sewage.  Or who enjoys having anything to do with raw sewage in any fashion.  Thank goodness for your trained professional plumber who can take care of this disgusting mess so you can get on with your life.
  5. You like to flush your toilet. Now, not to get too personal, but you and I both know that we appreciate a flushed toilet.  I think most people would agree that a flushed toilet is a happy toilet.  So when your darling toddler suddenly decides her Barbie’s life is not worth living and flushes poor Barbie down the toilet…disaster ensues.  Leave it to your trusty plumber to not only give poor Barbie a second lease on life, but to get things moving again for that toilet.As you can see, your plumber plays and integral role in the health and happiness of you and your family.Without your plumber, you couldn’t enjoy hot baths, you’d pay too much for wasted water, you’d drink mold water, stand in raw sewage, and be unable to flush your toilet.  Next time you see your plumber, be sure to thank him or her for the plethora of creature comforts you can enjoy because of your plumber.