Goal Trackers

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Plumbing Disaster no. 2

I know, I've been a bad blogger lately, as my friend Ellen has pointed out to me (Hi Ellen) but as you can see from the title of this post, I have good reason for being behind. Back in January, you may recall reading of my water woohs on my basement. Then again in April when "The House Strikes Again" I had my front yard dug up because the main sewer line needed to be replaced. Basement water problems all solved right! You would think. Right?


Picture this, Sunday June 14th (this is now about a month to 6 weeks after the sewer lines has been replaced) I am getting ready to go out to lunch with my sisters for our birthdays - mine was the 8th of June and my older sister's was the 9th and my younger sister was taking us both out to eat as her gift to us. I was just going to throw some clothes in the laundry and head over to my older sister's house. I head down to the laundry room in the basement, turn on the light at what do I see but a small puddle of water on the floor! Immediately, I look in the basement bathroom and sure enough the water in the toilet bowl is very low and it looks like there is some sediment in the bowl, but there is no water on the floor in the bathroom. BAFFLING! I'm at a complete loss at this point and trying really, really hard not to just completely break down. I didn't know what to do except call my big sister.

I was absolutely positive the water came up through my toilet - AGAIN - and that somehow the plumber had not fixed the problem. For whatever reason, my sister wanted to believe it was a different problem *I think she wanted to try and see if she could push me over the edge by creating another problem for me to think about with my house* She had me checking the foundation walls for cracks, the sump pump, she was thinking it was rain water coming in because we had so much rain the last few days - which to her credit would have all been valid reason, but none of them connected to, nor explained how there was dirt in my toilet bowl. The only logical explanation was that the clog was still there and that water had come back up through the toilet. It's the only thing that made sense, and yet - they had replaced my whole sewer line. So maybe I was going crazy.

So within the hour my sister, who is an architectural engineer so she knows a little something about something when it comes to construction, come over and took a walk around the house to check the drainage flow from the house. She came inside to check the cracks in the foundation, which were all normal settlement cracks and now allowing water to come in. She was still thinking it was the sump pump pump though, but she couldn't explain the sediment in the toilet.

Then my younger sister, BIL and the baby came by. My BIL was telling me all these other things I needed to do in my basement, which really were not things I needed to hear right then. I had just spend $3G removing all the trees from my property last year, and another $3G replacing the sewer line, I am tapped out in the money department and he's talking about redoing my basement. I told him, unless he won lotto and hasn't told the family, there isn't much I can do right now. Then he pointed out the black mold that has started to grow in some spots due to the repeated flooding, so I might have no choice be to tear down my basement to the bare studs to get rid of that mold, but I can't replace anything right now.

And of course, every time I talk to my mother she's telling me to just sell the house and get something better. What she doesn't seem to grasp is that if I put my house on the market right now I would probably lose EVERY DIME I put down on the house, not to mention EVERY DIME I put into this house to make improvements since I moved in.

Can I just run away and hide??

So, getting back to basement. Later on that night, stupid me, went ahead and did a load of clothes and when I went downstairs to put them in the drier... *squish squish* I turned on the lights and there was water all over the freakin' floor. All the water that had drained out of the washing machine had come back up through the toilet, I was sure of it this time. People, I can't even explain to you the emotions that racked through my body at that point. I completely lost it and the flood gates opened up. Once the tears dried up then the dam bursted and I let out a string or curses that would have made a sailor blush! I marched right upstairs at 10:30 PM and called the damn plumber to let him know something was wrong.

Of course, he insisted it had to be on the county end since they had just replaced the line. Called the county the next morning. OMG! Talk about dumb things people do and say....

me - Yes, I had water back up into my house and I just had my sewer line replaced a month ago, so I really doubt it can be on my end, can you please send someone out to check the county lines.

county person - is the water still backing up into your house?

me - no, I turned the water off

cp - well we can't determine anything if the water isn't flowing when we come out and look

me - *stunned* Excuse me??

cp - the water needs to be runner in order for the guys to look down the pipe to determine if there is a blockage on out end, they need to see of the water is back flowing.

me - are you kidding me? what idiot is going to continue to let water backup and flood their basement waiting for you people to come out an take a look??

I couldn't believe this conversation. Anyhoo, turns out, the blockage was not on the county end. I filled up my washing machine again to get ready to show the plumber exactly what was happening. Then he finds it necessary to tell me that if they find out the problem isn't connected to the first issue and is not connected tot he work they did, then they are going to have to charge me to snake and camera the line. NO SHIT, but I have water backing up into my basement and I would like to figure out where it's coming from and fix the problem so that it doesn't happen again!! When he got here, I showed him the toilet and ran the rinse the cycle at the point were it was starting to drain the water. After a few seconds, they heard the water bubbling in the toilet and this time it was ever backing up in the sink in the bathroom. We turned it off before too much water overflowed and then he snaked the camera down to take a look. He still didn't think they did anything wrong. He was thinking something happened to the pipe at the foundation wall when the house settled.

I'm thinking, this house is 30 years old, this house should be done settling and I'm not buying this load of bullcrap! Something inside me just knew it had to be something on their end.

They snake the camera down and they find the blockage, tree roots.

plumber - There's you problem, tree roots

me - *just looks at the pictures on the camera screen*

plumber - you must have a cracked pipe and the roots have gotten in and their catching the toilet paper and causing the blockage

I'm taking a closer look at the screen when it hits me - "ummm Joe, that's the same shots from the first time you guys came out. That's the exact same things that was there when you first came out and snaked my line with the camera that you were suppose to have fixed when you fixed my sewer line!"

plumber - huh?

me - That is the EXACT same picture from the first video tape that you guys recorded when you came out here the last time.

plumber - do you still have that videotape?

me - I sure do!

And I go running upstairs to find the tape and of course I can't find the tape. Here I am look through my stack of tapes "Shit!" , "FUCK!" , "Frisco where did I put that tape?" *yeah, the cat looked at me like I had lost it* I found the tape and brought it to them and they popped it in and sure enough it was the same! Thank God I kept the tape for insurance reason, even though insurance doesn't cover tree root damage.

So they had to come back out and dig up my front yard again, and this time they had to jackhammer the foundation in my basement because with Donald Duck installed the plumbing they somehow zigzagged the lines and 28' hit just underneath my house. I measured it out myself several times the night before, 28' at closest should have been underneath my front porch, but somehow it was underneath my foundation. Go figure!

It turns out that there was a crack in the pipe. There was also a tree root growing right along next to the pipe and at the point of the crack all the little rootlings that grow off the root were growing into the pipe and those damn rootlings had actually almost filled up the 4" diameter of the pipe!!


That sucker in the middle was the root that was growing next to the pipe! It's almost as think as the freakin' pipe!!


And there are all the damn rootlings that were growing inside the pipe causing me all the problems! Damn trees. And the freakin' HOA thinks I'm going to replant trees to replace the ones I cut down?? Hell no! Not in my yarn. I'll be happy to buy seven trees and give them each on they can plant in their yard!

The plumber then I think felt sorry for me knowing that I am a school teacher with like ZERO extra cash, so when he was done with the sewer line asked if I wanted him to take the backhoe to the backyard and pull up and roots and tree stumps I might still have back there. I was like sure! Not thinking of all the work this would leave for me!!

So this is what my front yard looks like again, and still because I am still waiting for them to come back and finish!!


And this is what my backyard looks like now:



Here are all the roots and stumps he pulled up from the grounds and if you can bleieve it, there are still some in the ground - I didn't want him getting to close to my house. Now I have to figure out how to get rid of all this. Unfortunatley, I don't know anyone with a pick-up truck that help me take it the county dump, so I may just have to cut it down and put it out a little at a time with the yard recyclables once a week. Once things at a time, right?


This portion of the fence fell over when that tree fell and just missed my car a few weeks ago in that bad storm that we had.


It looks like a tornado circled all the way around my house, and left my house intact!

Since this piture was taken, I have removed that portion of the fence and placed all the side beams under neither my back deck till I figure out what I am going to do.

But, in looking on the bright side, when I finally get all this shit done, I'm going to actually have a beautiful, usuable backyard!! I'm just not good with patiences, I want it NOW DAMN IT!! :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Furiously Frustrated!!

I am so furious with the county that I work for right now that I could spit fire! Back in November, I achieved National Board status. As a "Job Well Done" all Nationally Board Certified Teacher in my county get a county bonus added to their normal pay AND we are suppose to received an additional bonus paid out by the state. The state bonus is added to our paychecks in one lump sum toward the end of the school year. Now, just a couple of weeks ago we received a notice from our joke of a union letting us know that the state made a decision to cut these bonus by 50% for next year. To borrow Gomer Piles infamous line:

this was done very quietly so that no one could raise the red flag in the educational community to try and find this decision BEFORE it occurred!

Anyhoo, getting back to this year and the county underhanded: that state bonus is going to be in my check come Friday. Today, we can view our pay stub to see what will be directly deposited into our accounts on Friday. Imagine my surprise when I got barely more than 50% of that bonus in my check - BEFORE TAXES are taken out!! Well, the emails started firing off wondering what the hell was going on. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeet, I started calling around the all the county office wanting to know where the rest of my money was! Two hours and four different departments later, I come to find out that some bigwig of a jerk at one of the school county office (NOT the state department) just up and made the decision to this year prorate the bonus from the date that we actually received our official scores stating that we achieved. Again, no prior notice was sent out through the county's National Board department, nothing was received by any of us "newly achieved" telling us that - "oh btw, you aren't really getting you whole bonus this year either."

It is now six hours after I received this wonderful news *dripping the angered sarcasm* and still NOTHING is officially being said about the change to our bonus for this year. How frustrating!!