bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘plumber’

Josephine the Plumber Ready for Action!

Have you ever gone to someone’s house, and, uh, clogged their toilet?  I’m pretty sure this has happened to more than a few of you.  In fact, many of you will scoff, but internally know that you, too, have done this.  Let’s face it.  It’s embarrassing.  There’s no easy way to handle it.

My family and I went to Dallas recently to visit our friends from church and Tom’s brother.  When we were at our friends’ house, I went to take a shower and put my contacts in, etc.  When I flushed the toilet, I looked in the bowl and saw something swirling around in it.  I knew it wasn’t anything I had contributed, plus it was blue.  Weird, I thought as I watched it get sucked up.  As I was putting my contacts in, it hit me.  It was the 2000 Flushes cake from the side of the bowl!  I couldn’t really see it because my contacts were out, and, believe me, I’m practically blind without them. 

I tried flushing it again.  Water filled up….almost to the top….slowly went down.  Oh dear.  One more time.   Up….top…slow.  Great.  Now I get to inform my hostess about it.

I walked up to her and sheepishly said, “Uh, Liz?  I’ve kind of messed up your toilet.”  She laughed and quickly ran and got the plunger.  I said, “Oh.  No!  I didn’t do THAT!”  Then I explained what had happened.  She thought the plunger thing might work anyway.  We tried it.  No luck.  She went to check on the setup in another bathroom and sadly said, “It’s in a plastic case.  It’s not just the blue cake.  There’s a plastic part too.”  Oh man!  She went to get a wire hanger (look out, Joan Crawford!).  I told her to be careful not to scratch the porcelain.  She tried to get it out, but no luck. 

We deemed the bathroom off limits and she looked up plumbers on the internet.  Surprisingly, not too many answer their phones on a Saturday morning.  Finally, a nationally-owned-chain-that-shall-remain-nameless-but-rhymes-with-Foto Footer, answered.  This guy could not tell Liz when they could come, how much it would cost, or the price of a first-class stamp!

I was feeling just awful.  Now, I realize that this incident wasn’t exactly my fault.  I’m guessing I accidentally lifted the lid when I grabbed my towel and knocked it into the water.  I don’t know.   What I do know, is I did it.  Now, my dear friend is going to have to pay a plumber who knows how much to fix it.

Never fear, my friends.  I wasn’t taking this lying down.  No sirree!  I went on the internet to search for “unclog a toilet” and sure enough, there was a video (I think it was on ehow.com) about unclogging a toilet when you know that clog is caused by a solid object, such as a makeup tube.  Sweet!  I watched and watched until I was ready to present my case to Liz.  “Liz!  I think we can fix your toilet for under $10!”  The look on her face was worth a million dollars.  I told her to call the plumber and cancel.  Then, she became skeptical.  I told her, “Don’t sweat it.  I saw a guy do it on the internet.  We just need an auger.  It should cost us about $8.  We’ll either pull it out or push it far enough through that it will finally fall through.”  I could see her weighing her options…Spend $8 and let Michelle loose on my toilet or spend $200 and wait all day for a guy who knows what he’s doing, but has a giant butt-crack, to come fix it…She went with option #1.

We went to Home Depot, bought the auger for $8, and when we got home, I was ready to take it on!  Liz just enjoyed saying “auger” like Shrek saying “ogre.”  I shouted to Jayson, her husband, “I just saved you $192, bucko!”  He had no idea what the heck I was talking about, but smiled just so that crazy person (me) would leave the room.

I headed upstairs and got to work.  Huh.  This was a little harder to do than the guy showed online.   Well, I’ll do it again.  I cranked.  And cranked.  I sweated.  And sweated.  No butt-crack though.  Otherwise, I was a plumber in action!  Just no action.  I took a little break.  Liz looked a little disappointed.  I promised her I had not given up.  I just needed a little time to cool off.  As I cooled off, I wondered, “What happens if this doesn’t work?  Then, she’s going to have to pay the $200 and wait around for this plumber tomorrow or tonight.  We’ve got plans for tomorrow and tonight!  I can’t let her down!”

I put on my Supergirl cape and ran back up the stairs!  Da-da-da!!!  Crank…crank…nothing.  Oh, I did break off a piece of plastic on the auger, but it didn’t go into the toilet.  I realized I needed help.  I called downstairs for Superman (Tom, of course).  He rolled his eyes as if, “Yeah, like this is going to work,” when I told him what we were doing.  He held the plastic part steady while I cranked.  Nothing.  I’m telling him what I’m feeling, and he’s just sweating and wishing he were anywhere else besides here with me. 

We pull the auger out and I decide to see if I can feel the plastic thing with my hand.  Of course, this is when Jayson walks in.  “Eh.  How’s it going?”  Supergirl replies, “Fine!  Just fine!  I’m just seeing if it’s close enough now for me to feel with my hand!”  “Uh huh.”

I looked at Tom and said, “Okay.  Three more times and then we’ll quit, okay?  Just three.”  After the first crank and pull, we saw a little piece of blue come out into the bowl.  You would have thought we had found gold!  I was soooo excited!  I got down on the floor and put my hand up the pipe and exclaimed, “I can feel it!”  We inserted the auger one more time, and “Voila!”  There it was!

I was jumping up and down, screaming!  (Publisher’s Clearing House should have been there with their balloons, I tell you.)  I ran downstairs to show Liz.  She laughed and laughed.  Then she said, “Do you want me to take your picture?”  My response was, “DUH!”

The one that almost got away
The one that almost got away

Now, if you have read this entire blog, (which turned out MUCH longer than I had planned, I will reward you by telling a story on myself that I’ve only told my husband.  When he and I were dating, he lived in Springfield and I lived in St. Louis.  I was at his house and I clogged up the toilet.  I was horrified!  I had no idea what to do!  There is no way I could tell him, but it wasn’t going away on its own either.  I could have blamed one of his roommates, but unfortunately, the “evidence” was still there.  If I told my boyfriend, then that pedestal he had me on would be knocked right out from under me!  No thank you.  There was no plunger in sight, so I did what any thinking woman would do.  I grabbed a TON of toilet paper, grabbed the evidence, ran out the front door and threw it over the hedge in the neighbor’s yard across the street.

What?  You wouldn’t have done that?  Please.  I have no idea if he heard me come in the door or what happened.  I just remember running back into the house and washing my hands.  Over and over.  And over.

Then, I left it.  Yep.  Let his roommates take the blame.  After all, a lady like myself never would create such a situation.  Hand me my handkerchief, I feel faint.

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Dishwasher 1: Zuzu 1

This morning I was running my dishwasher and noticed there was no sound of water entering the unit.  Hmmmm.  First thing I did was try the “Rinse Only” cycle.  Nothing.  Then I checked to make sure the water to the dishwasher was on.  Of course it was, but I had to check.  Maybe my plethora of flower vases had pushed against it and turned it off.  Nope.  Then I went online looking for help.  I had tried the first two steps already.  Yeah me!  Then I read about the intake valve being clogged and to check the control panel, blah blah blah.  Okaaaay.  Now entering the world of “Wha?”

First let me mention that I installed this sucker with a little help from my father (not a lot.  Seriously.  Mostly lifting and things like that.  I did check everything before I actually did it, but “technically” I did it.)  I did it four years ago, so my memory of how to do it was a little fuzzy.  So I grab my manual.  Yeah me!  I kept the installation manual AND the operating manual AND I knew where they were!  RAH RAH, ZUZU!

So, now, I’m headed to pull this baby out.  I know!  I can’t believe it myself!  What do I know about dishwashers?  Very little, my friends, but I’m like Rosie the Plumber in this house.  No, that was Rosie the Riveter….JOSEPHINE the plumber from those dishwashing ads!  My hubby is very handy with anything electrical or other stuff, other than plumbing.  And, I am thinking that this may not make his top priority list, since he probably has no idea what is wrong either.

Now, I head to the basement to grab the trusty cordless drill/screwdriver.  Yep.  Know how to use one of those too.  Actually, as a side note, I had this dishwasher repaired a couple of years ago, and the repairman was using a regular screwdriver.  I asked him if he wanted to use our cordless one and he informed me that they are not allowed to use those, because customers think that they are not working hard enough if they use the cordless ones.  WHAT A CROCK!  Anyhoo, I’m not an official Maytag repairman, so I did use the technology that God has given us.  Weeeeeeeeee!  I like unscrewing screws.  Don’t have to worry about getting them in straight or anything like that.  It did take me awhile to find all the &*%^ screws holding that thing in, but I found ’em.  Then I started to pull out the dishwasher.  Good gravy.  This was no easy task.  The dishwasher is stronger than I am, I’m afraid.  I pulled it out about 6 inches and that’s as far as it will go.  Nice.  I think I need to disconnect the return hose and the copper pipe going to the dishwasher before I pull it out anymore.

So, now, I’m waiting on my dad to stop by and give me the go-ahead.  Plus, I need someone here to tell me which breaker switch is for the dishwasher so I don’t electrocute myself and rob my faithful readers of some fabulous writing!

Stay tuned for more on this exciting Monday morning event!  (Oh, and I gave the dishwasher 1 point for stopping me from fixing it without help, but I gave myself 1 point for getting this far on my own, baby!)

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