I was bemoaning to myself yesterday morning about how boring a day I was having. I guess the 'may you live in interesting times' gods overheard me and sent a challenge my way.
About 3:00 I got a call from Kirsten, which ran along the lines of:
Ah! Sewage! Laundry Room! Come home! Ah!
I raced home to find her in the laundry room mopping the floor (the goddess that she is, she was trying to clean it up before I got home). In the time between her calling me and me getting home, she'd called RotoRooter and the city to find out how much it would cost to get the lines rooted and when they could come.
It turned out that the city could come around 9, and that if the problem existed due to city trees (our road is lined with boulevard trees) it would be done at no charge to us; if the problem was due to our trees (we have none in the front yard that would get to the sewage line) or something we flushed down the system (we tend not to flush non-flushable items), it would cost us $157.
In the meantime, we had to pull out a wall in the laundry room that was already half-destroyed (long story, half-demolished when we moved in because they needed to put in a new water heater a few years ago) and move the washer to get the sewage underneath. Ironically, the wall demo went quickly and smoothly while moving the washer caused us untold grief.
Before moving the washer, I wanted to undo the hoses. As soon as I went to turn off the cold water tap it sprung a leak. This was the first in a series of things that broke Kirsten and I. We watched as the tap slowly leaked water onto the floor, and wondered what, exactly, the benefits of home ownership were at that moment.
Just before leaving for Home Depot, I called the city to get a better estimate of when they were coming to root our pipes. The woman at the dispatch office told me that they likely weren't coming at all tonight, as they had had another call come in seconds before us that was supposed to be the last call of the night. Kirsten called back to impress the gravity of our situation on her to no avail; she continued to say that we likely weren't getting someone over, but they'd call us at 10pm to let us know for sure.
I then raced over to Home Depot to get some more disinfectant cleaner (we ran out of bleach) and some parts for the leaking faucet, then came home to start working on replacing it. It turns out I didn't completely turn off the main water supply, however (it's actually really hard to tell when it's completely off, because the handle is extremely stiff to turn), because as soon as I started pulling off the faucet's collar, it was shot across the room by a jet of water. I then became a literal Little Dutch Boy, holding my palm over the open pipe end to stem the flow of water in order for our laundry room to not flood. Finally I gave up after Kirsten couldn't move the main line handle and let go, ran to the main line and turned it off through sheer annoyance and frustration.
After that point, it really couldn't get any worse. The faucet repair went quickly and didn't leak when I was done, and I managed to get most of the water cleaned up. The laundry room looked much larger without the imposing half-demolished wall, and Kirsten had made a quick dinner of pesto, pasta, and pork.
Even better, the city workers showed up around 7:15 to root our pipes and managed to find the blockage under the city trees. They were in and out by 9, and were pleasant as hell about it. I also got to watch them use the video inspector machine to go through our pipes, which from a geek perspective was cool as hell.