15 June, 2006

A Plumber I Am NOT!

OK, so Wednesday night we are getting ready for church and I went into the bathroom on the main floor of the house. As I dry my face, I look up and there is a spot about 18 inches in diameter that is ready to fall out of the ceiling. Our son, Daniel is usually the only one to use the shower down there, so this was easy for us not to see before. I said something about it and Daniel says, "Oh yeah dad, I saw that last week and I forgot to tell you." Let's just say I was not happy.

I could not mess with it then, so it had to wait until today. Our plans are to completely gut both of the bathrooms and remodel them, but not just now, because we really don't have the extra money, nor the time to do it right now. But I figure I can go ahead and just pull out the damaged part of the ceiling which would give me access to the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom to see what the problem is and I can just give it a temporary patch when finished with the repairs. (Oh, the upstairs bathroom is right above the one on the main level of the house.)

As I start pulling this part of the ceiling down, I realize the problem is a little bigger than I thought, as there is a wet spot about 2 feet by 3 feet in the ceiling. For those who do not know, our house is like 120 years old, so it is possible to find just about anything when you start a project like this. But I was surprised at what I found. Man, there are pipes running everywhere! The first thing I thought of was the scene pictured above from the 3 Stooges.
Now, admittedly, I am not a plumber, and others may have seen something like this, but it was a first for me. There is some sort of cannister looking device where several drain pipes converge, with this cannister falling below the level of those pipes. It is about 4.5 - 5 inches in diameter, and it has a copper plate that screws off the bottom. The water is leaking from this thing. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why you would have something like this, because the water cannot drain from this cannister. The drain sits a good 4 inches higher, so this water has to pool there. I know good and well that I am fixin to get soaked, no matter how I do this. And I knew that there was bound to be God knows what lurking in that pipe that has not been able to drain. I go
t a bucket and tried to catch as much as I could, but when the last thread of that cover came off, I found myself covered with this stinking, black slime. At least I was smart enough to put on goggles first.

The final result? I will let you know when I get done. I took a b
reak while Libby went to pick up dinner from the Joy Garden, a local Chinese restaurant. She just came in and I am going to eat... then it is back to see what kind of mess I can make next!


ruthrap said...

Pastor, I can sympathize with you, we had a plumbing problem involving a leak in the basement ceiling, coming from the shower pipes. Well, after paying a local plumber 60 to just come to the door(he said all we needed to do was caulk around the fixture) He didn't have any caulking--it didn't work anyway still leaked after Jose caulked--then I paid another guy 25 to change a little part in the shower he claimed was bad.. Oh, I was really convinced that he actually knew what he was doing, wrong! Jose finally figured out the problem one day while I was at work and fixed it himself. So, my advise to you is to hang in there and fix it yourself unless of couse you can find a plumber who is as old as the piping in your house!! Ha! just kidding.Good luck, Darrell--if i knew one i'd recommend a good plumber!

Sylvia said...

My son-in-law said the little box is called a drum trap.He said most are made of lead.He worked for MSI plumbing.He said you see them in old homes.Oh the black stuff he called (body scum)dead skin,dirty water,old soaps,you name it I bet it is in there.Have fun mister plumber.

Darrell said...

I had already figured out that this was a trap, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why you would put a trap inbetween the ceiling and the floor above you, with no way to get to it! Like, if something went into that trap, how are you going to get it out without ripping up the floor or the ceiling? Smart planning there!

Sylvia said...

I know the house is really old.Maybe they knew you was going to move in there when they built the house.How old are you.hahaha.I bet it was a man who planned how to do it.

David Reish said...

Now I know why you invited me down this Sunday, there's no cook-out... what you really want is for me to be the one getting slimmed! See you Sunday... maybe?