Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry christmas to me . . .

Among the gifts I didn't want to receive this Christmas eve was the appearance of kitchen waste and turds burping up from the floor drain in the mechanical room; the sewer line was clogged again.


Last time this happened it was a plugged macerator, but everything down the line from this drain was flowing fine; there was a clog somewhere in between the mechanical room in the Bio-Lab building, and the Aquarium which was still draining without issues.  This meant . . . that I was going to go crawling under the building.  I prepared myself in the only way you can; put on your rain gear and duct tape your pants to your boots, because you're going wading in . . . well, you know.


To make things more complicated, we still don't have a long snake on station; the only snake we have is a 5-foot hand snake, and while we've ordered a long power snake, it's probably not going to get here for a few months.   The only thing I had to work with was this hundred foot long spool of what amounted to over-sized fish tape.


I did luck out in that we were able to get to the clean-out without problems; I was worried I'd have to go crawling under the building to get to one further up the line, but when we opened up this one about 20 feet down from the backing up drain, we got the small geyser of raw sewage to indicate that the clog was still down stream from here.  As much as I never though I'd say it . . . I was pretty happy to see that fountain of shit.  At least it was in a nice open area where we could avoid the spray, as opposed to being wedge under the foundation at the other clean out, praying to god you're up to date on all your immunizations.

The head on this auger tape thing isn't much larger than a roll of dimes, so even after shoving it ~30 feet down the pipe and feeling the clog, it took me the better part of an hour to break up whatever was down there.


I was having fantasies about a big power snake; a nice 1/2 horsepower unit with hundred foot spool and a big three inch auger on the end of it.  But it wasn't to be, and I got to spend my morning feeding this fish tape in and out of the drain line, mashing up whatever was down there enough to get the poop flowing again.

This is what I quit a desk job on a tropical island for.  It's still the best decision I ever made.

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