This is Groundhog Day number three hundred and something.
As an indicator to my mental state and my desperation to break the daily routine I decided to unblock the sewers the other day.
Now unblocking the sewer is a relatively simple job. Just open the manhole [personhole?] and poke the congealed shit with a stick while jetting a hose at it. It takes a few minutes and is satisfying enough provided one can hold one’s breath for the few minutes.
The problem is in the preparation.
First of all I had to force the back door open. This door is used exclusively for my sewer clearing, so it was firmly clamped shut with ivy on the outside. So I had to remove the ivy first. To get at it I had to force my way through the Back Yard which is like a rainforest of strange plants, ferns, tons of ivy, dozens of raspberry canes [where the fuck they come from I don’t know] and a few trees.
Once the back door is opened I have to dig down through accumulated mud and silt to find the manhole cover.
Having done all that I have to find the garden hose which is curled up on the terrace the other side of the house. This part of the terrace is also overgrown, though on this side it’s mostly grass and brambles. Having unearthed the hose I have to hack my way through bushes to reach the outdoor tap.
Next job is to untangle the hose. Having done that I have to feed the hose from one side of the house to the other through windows and doors through the kitchen and the back lobby.
Next I have to find the large screwdriver I use for lifting the manhole. This screwdriver has a mind of its own and has the miraculous property of never being wherever I last put it. I have a place especially reserved for it, but it’s never there.
So my preparations have taken me an hour or so and at this stage I’m fucking knackered. Nevertheless the job still has to be done so I finally get to lift the manhole and start jetting water at a mountain of congealed shit while poking it with a stick.
Of course, once the job is done and the shit has vanished off down the pipes to the Underworld, I have to tidy up again.
I finally got to sitting down flushed with success as it were.
Well, at least it broke the routine?
Hope you did not wash your hands afterwards
Just have to do it all again at some future point in time; why bother.
[And I didn't wear a mask either]
I hope that you rope yourself to a tree or large bramble stalk just in case you are overcome by by H2S and collapse down the person-hole.
What a way to go.
Up Shit Creek?
Slaving away – or just going through the motions?
OK, I'll get my coat.
I've never known you lost for words before, Sir.
Nice to know I'm not the only one who occasionally has to shove a garden hose up the end of the sewer pipe in order to clear up the blockage. The sure sign it needs to be done is when the downstairs toilet refuses to flush. Unfortunately it tends to happen in the dead of winter when the manhole cover, which is on the edge of the street, is basically inaccessible (snow, ice, snow plows, traffic, etc) so we end up traipsing to the upstairs bathroom in the wee hours of the morning until spring arrives.
This year we finally decided that the downstairs loo is for liquid stuff only. Anything else requires a trip upstairs. So far, knock on
headwood, it's working–so far.
In our case the toilet flushes apparently normally. But when the flush is finished, the water level [+ contents] slowly starts to rise. The bowl fills and just when you start panicking at the thought of a flood, it slowly sinks again.
Surely gravity would cause an upstairs flush to magically reappear downstairs? Unless they have separate feeds to the main?
Separate feeds is right. The upstairs toilet is sitting atop a a pipe with at least a 10 foot verticle drop to the sewer pipe below. This junction is located at the beginning of the main under the house. By the time the contents reach the other end of the house where the downstairs loo is it's picked up a whole lot of speed. The downstairs loo piping must of been designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson as the pipe drops down approximately 6 feet to the main (which is actually situated approximately 4 to 5 feet west of the actual downstairs toilet) but not before it takes 4 right angles to do so.
Whatever comes blasting down the main from the upstairs toilet most likely ignores the downstairs piping out of complete disgust.
The upstairs toilet continues to flush okay even though the end of the main is blocked probably because there’s a whole lot of pipe to fill before the upstairs toilet starts having problems.
My last employer decided to jump on that "Green" bandwagon and had all toilets replaced with those "low flow" jobs. I get the point, but for some of us low flow just defeats the purpose if you have to flush more than once to get the job done.
We had a bathroom overhaul a few years ago that included one of those "low flow" jobs. That's when the problem started as there is a ninety degree bend outside that needs a good swill to get any solids around the turn. Fucking Greens!