Warning: Not for the easily grossed out.
Two plumbers ran a camera scope from the clean-out port in my basement out toward the main; both said I had a blockage. I refused to believe it. After all, I’ve had no backups, and the toilet keeps working.
So I called the Metropolitan Sewer District, and they ran a camera up from the other end, and crossed well beyond the point of the alleged problem. No blockage; just a little bit of what we’ll delicately call “sludge” and standing water behind it in a flat area of the line. The dye we dropped down one of my toilets came flowing out the other end in good order – and was a lot prettier than what usually comes out there, I’m guessing. (Note: Thanks MSD! Everyone there is incredibly responsive, kind and helpful.)
What we did discover, though, is that my line (which doesn’t appear on the MSD map), connects to my neighbor’s line underneath his house, then runs out the back into the alley. MSD’s best guess is that what the plumbers hit is the edge of the Y-shaped pipe that connect the two lines. And there’s also a floor drain tying in on the stem of that Y from my neighbor’s basement. Gotta love old houses, old neighborhoods … and old sewer systems.
So, my potential buyers (yes, we’re still under contract) want the line cleaned, just to make sure there are no problems hidden under the “sludge.” Sounds reasonable.
But my neighbor is out of town; I don’t want to force water at a high psi down the pipes until I can get into his basement to cover up that floor drain. While it’s unlikely that the water and “sludge” will travel upward 4′ or so through that narrow pipe, I really don’t want to chance having to clean his basement of who knows how many years of “sludge” – only 13 years of which is my “sludge” (which makes it no more easily stomached).
But it hardly matters. I can’t get a darn plumber to call me back. I’ve had five – FIVE! – calls out since last Thursday. Nothing. I fail to comprehend this non-responsiveness by a business. Why does no plumbing company want my money, and for what I understand is a fairly simple procedure?!
In the meantime, weather permitting, the roof and gutter work is supposed to commence on Friday. And I hear the appraisal is supposed to be sometime this week.
This better not all go down the drain.