Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: JLR2 on 28 Mar 2019 07:49AM

Title: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 28 Mar 2019 07:49AM
For a few weeks now I have been aware of a problem with my bathroom's plumbing system, the pipes are blocked :-(

Before I travelled over to Berlin last month I noticed it was taking longer than normal for the toilet bowl to drain and then I found that when I ran the hot water tap in the bathroom the water in the toilet bowl began gurgling. I tried the usual remedy of using a plunger but had no success with that and so called a local plumber in to see if he could sort out the problem.

After numerous efforts nothing was working and the pipes were/are still blocked, we even removed the toilet bowl. Well yesterday I had a guy from Scottish water out and he has found that the manner in which the bathrooms plumbing has been put together by the folk the council used to fit the half wet room, using right angle connections, makes using clearing rods if not very difficult down right impossible. His last hope is that having someone with enough rods (he only had two of these) access the house's roof and using the pipe that is up there plunges the system with the clearing rods as doing this might bypass the wet rooms connection.

I phoned the plumber I had out earlier and explained this and he suggested I contact our local chimney sweep to see if he could lend me ladders to help him (the plumber) get onto the roof. I spoke with the chimney sweep and he said he would come out today and using his rods try to clear the pipes from the roof for me, a service he offers as well as chimney sweeping. So now just as I have been since speaking with the chimney sweep yesterday I am sitting terrified of this attempt not working.

So far as my dealing with the calls of nature goes I've been using the local disabled loo in the village where I live, thankfully they are very clean and my having a radar key sees me able to use the loo without any problem.

Funny in a daft way but right now it feels like I need to use a loo every ten minutes unlike my normal day to day needs. One thing that is not so funny to me is how I'm becoming more and more aware of the pain I feel in my chest when I become stressed. This pain and my feeling it is stress related is something I'll have to see my GP about.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 28 Mar 2019 09:21AM

I hope this gets sorted for you soon.Bit of a silly question but is the flushing water flow and amount the same as it was when everything was sorking. I ask because we had a similar problem with one of our toilets and it turned out to be the cistern at the back of the toilet was not working properly. Once the part was replaced and the flush was back to normal it pushed the waste down the pipe and to the sewer properly.

Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 28 Mar 2019 11:56AM
I'm afraid not Sunshine, there is a blockage but as I was saying earlier due to where it appears to be the normal way of clearing these blockages cannot work. I had for a few moments hoped the plumber I had out again this morning had sorted out the pipe connecting the loo bowl to the waste pipe unfortunately the fix hasn't lasted long.

It turns out that the guy from the water board has, in his attempts to clear the blockage, caused the pipe to sink lower in the floor. I think I'll need to find someone to remove the floor boards altogether to repair the support for this pipework.

I'm pinning my hopes now on the chimney sweep, hoping he will be able to clear the blockage reducing the water in the downpipe and in doing so allow me to raise the pipe again and put in some way of holding the pipe in place.

My nightmare continues, a bit like the country's brexit nightmare :-)
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 31 Mar 2019 08:43PM
A wee update on my plumbing problem.

I saw the chimney sweep, as arranged, and very quickly informed by him that the vent pipe on the roof was only there to allow the foul gasses from such as toilet waste to escape so as not to have the house stinking to high heaven. OK I thought, thanks for the advice and I carried on to await the plumber's return. When he arrived he near cracked up on my explaining what the chimney sweep had said. He told me the sweep was wrong and that the vent pipe might, as it bypasses the T-junction fitting between the shower and the toilet, allow rods to clear the blockage.

The plumber later returned with a short extension piece to add to my toilets waste pipe to deal with the accidental shifting of the waste pipe from the toilet. He will be out again tomorrow if, as he hopes, he can obtain a ladder long enough to allow him to get his clearing rods into the vent pipe on the roof.

I still feel I'll have to organise someone to lift the floor boards in the bathroom in order to properly put in support for the toilet's waste pipe as I'm sure the use of the extension piece is only fit as a temporary solution. My thinking this is based on the feeling that the weight of any lying water in the waste pipe will eventually be too heavy for the fitting to bear and I will find, one day, that the pipe has sunk further into the bathroom's floor. That and the thought or impression I have mentally that the waste pipe under the floor boards may have tilted in such a way that instead of the water draining towards the main drain it might be tilted back slightly and so need correcting and more than likely supporting properly.

I hope the plumber is out fairly early tomorrow so I can get some idea as to whether I need to bring in new plumbers or maybe builders who also deal with plumbing issues where lifting floor boards is involved.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 31 Mar 2019 09:15PM
It all sounds terribly complicated, just reading the above made my head spin  >yikes<

 >x-fingers<  that all tradespeople who may be involved can resolve the issue for you as soon as!!
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 31 Mar 2019 10:37PM
>x-fingers<  that all tradespeople who may be involved can resolve the issue for you as soon as!!

Me too Kizzy, I've just finished mopping out my shower again following my flushing the loo  :-(  Who needs gym workouts when there's energy sapping mopping available? >biggrin<   
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 01 Apr 2019 09:49PM
I bumped into my GP today in my local Co-op and mentioned to him just how depressed I'm feeling, slightly does not come near. Today I had the plumber I've been having look at my plumbing problem and he did all he could including trying to clear the blockage through the vent pipe, this is the pipe that carries foul gasses away from the house and can be seen as it emerges through the roof of most homes.

In as much as the plumber managed to move some of the blockage he couldn't clear it telling me he has never in all the years he has been in the trade experienced anything like the problems I've been faced with. Unfortunately he told me there is no more he can do.

Tomorrow, some time after 9am I have a plumber coming from ERG, the price of this plumber has been explained to me as being 210 per hour, now you will understand why I mentioned to my GP I'm feeling depressed. Sadly I have no choice, I can't go on with the problems I'm having.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: auntieCtheM on 02 Apr 2019 12:48AM
Poor 'ole you.  *hug*
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 02 Apr 2019 07:40AM
Thanks AuntieCtheM, life can be really awkward at times. What I'm meaning in that is that yesterday as I popped into my local for a quick Irn Bru (diet), and to see my friend before he heads off on his holiday to Spain, I told him of the arrangement I had made to have the ERG plumber out to clear my plumbing blockage and he was stunned at this companies hourly rate. He told me of a guy through in a village nearby who would probably have been able to do the same job for half the cost.

It turns out I knew the guy from when I was going out with a woman from the same village. Unfortunately between the time of the day I learnt this about what the guy could do 6.30/7pm and my having already cancelled a previous appointment with the ERG plumbers I just felt I couldn't cancel again.

In part because I could not be sure that the local guy would be available to do the job of clearing the blockage for me and due to the fact his phone number is not available the only way for me to contact him was to drive to the village and then begin searching around (door knocking) asking if someone might direct me to his home as I've never been to his home before even though I've a rough idea where it is as I've seen if from my ex's late father's croft.

The way the single track roads here can run could see me easily becoming lost or confused as to which way I'm heading. This and the fact that by the time I'd get there the area would be getting really dark so maybe not a clever idea for me to be driving around without a good idea of where I'm going.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 02 Apr 2019 04:49PM
Update, the plumbing company who were looking to charge 210 an hour called this morning cancelling the appointment :-(  I've just came off the phone to a local engineering company boss who whilst explaining they do not normally do the type of work involved in my situation is going to have some folk come round tomorrow, I hope he doesn't have a change of mind as I'm really at the end of my wick with this problem.

I feels ridiculous that here in the Highland's it is near if not impossible to get a plumber who can deal with my plumbing problem. If tomorrow turns out negative I think I'll have to talk to my GP as I'm becoming seriously depressed, I can't eat and even drinking is weighing on my mind as drinking has its own natural consequences and without easy access to a loo not a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 03 Apr 2019 05:49PM
An update  :-)

I have a loo, I have a loooo >biggrin<  The guys from the local engineering company turned up around 10 this morning and at first felt there was nothing really they could do if the blockage was in the pipes junction under my bathroom floor but they carried on looking at things and then we went out to the back garden to look at where the vent pipe sat on the roof.

From this the guys suggested to me that they'd lift the paving stones to dig down to the pipes and see what they'd find. They brought in a small tracked digging machine and amazed me as they managed to get it through to the back garden. Once the pipes were exposed they decided they'd have to cut into it and having done this discovered the blockage and it was huge. No amount of power jetting was ever going to move this blockage as I was later to find out.

Into the afternoon found the guys enlarging the area they had dug up and in doing so found the source of the problem. When the original piping was done, before I moved here, a cover for a junction had been broken and some smart alec decided it would be OK to leave a couple of big rocks/boulders on the opening left by the breakage. Over the years this has led to a gradual build up of toilet paper (and the contents thereof) I have taken photos of the 1mtr+ length of pipe they removed blocked solid.

The main guy involved today believes the Scottish Water guy who put a camera down the main drain has unfortunately fed his camera into another area of the pipes system. As the cause of the blockage is actually outwith the house I am hoping Scottish Water will meet the bill that will be coming my way.

When I phoned Scottish Water to tell them of what has been found I got the impression that they do indeed feel the blockage issue is something that they would accept responsibility for. Hopefully I will be visited tomorrow by Scottish Water's sewerage department, certainly I was told that this would be happening and given I've not seen them today hopefully they'll be here tomorrow. The guys from the company who did all the work today will be back out tomorrow to finish the work they've done today.

Given the nature of the work involved today, (sewerage pipes) the serious effort of the guys doing this work and given the weather conditions they worked in, very strong winds and heavy rain. I offered them some money as a thank you and they wouldn't hear of it, telling me not to be silly. These guys are absolute hero's to me.

I doubt I'll ever take for granted a trip to the loo :-)
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: auntieCtheM on 03 Apr 2019 09:17PM
Well phew !!
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 03 Apr 2019 11:14PM
Hi AuntieCtheM, very much a phew, even though I have seen myself the repaired piping where the guys replaced the pipe they cut out with its contents I still find myself very nervous of flushing the loo, looking to see if there are any signs of the flushed water coming up through the shower drain.

I've managed to get one big washing done and if things go OK tomorrow I'll make a start on washing all the towels I used to stop the shower tray over flowing and flooding the bathroom.

I'll certainly express my appreciation, to the boss of the engineering company, of the help he has provided to me.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 04 Apr 2019 10:03AM
How wonderful to have the plumbing sorted. I am glad you kept trying to get help and it worked out in the end.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 04 Apr 2019 10:41AM
... and assuming the depression was temporary and directly (understandably) linked to the plumbing problems? Hope you are managing to eat and drink properly now..
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 05 Apr 2019 09:10AM
 >biggrin<  Plumbing is still doing its job. Kizzy I'm feeling much better and even though I am aware I'll be having a big bill coming at some point next week I am not depressed about it.

I drove through to the village where the boss of the engineering firm lives and visited him to thank him personally and to ask him to pass on my thanks to his mother who gave me his mobile number. When I tried the engineering bosses number it connected with his former home where his mother now lives and thankfully she thought to suggest that I tried his mobile, might seem like a wee thing but her doing this is what led to his replying to the message I left on his mobile.

I saw a Scottish Water engineer and had a bit of a debate with him as to what they are responsible for and after he had gone I discovered looking a bit more at the graphics of their web pages that the gut was right, the blocked pipeline involved in my problems is my responsibility, so when I get a chance I will apologise to the guy.

I had a chat with my sister on the phone about things and during this chat she told me of how they have an insurance thing through Scottish Gas for their plumbing, an insurance separate from the home insurance, and so I looked into this following the call and have taken out similar insurance with them and given the cost is only 48 per year I feel it is worth it for the peace of mind. This insurance covers all my private plumbing both within the house and outside to the property's boundary where Scottish Water become responsible for things.

Funny thing, well it is now I've a working bathroom again, the portable loo I ordered through Amazon arrived yesterday >lol<  I'll not be returning it as should I ever experience plumbing problems like I have had I will not find myself totally dependent on the local public loo.

My nearest point of concern just now is not spending anything I don't need to till I have received the engineers bill, one really good thing that happened yesterday was my returning to the plumbers merchant where I bought a new toilet bowl just in-case as the plumber I had trying to help explained the original bowl might break. I went into the plumbers merchant without the receipt and explained the bowl was still in the back of the car where the store assistant put it when I bought it and that it hadn't been used/fitted.

The guy remembered me and used the store's till record to find my purchase and having checked with the store's manager gave me a full refund of 41+ :-)

So today the weather is a bit sunnier than yesterday and certainly my mood is a whole lot brighter too  :-)

I hope no one else goes through what I have over recent days, it is not nice.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 02 May 2019 10:21AM
Update, I have received the bill :-(   804.00  I'll have it paid before tomorrow  :-)  I'm relieved that it is nowhere near what I feared, I was expecting the bill to be 1000+ and now having put in place insurance cover to protect me from such bills in the future I'm more relaxed about things.
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: Monic1511 on 02 May 2019 07:35PM
At least that's one worry out of the way
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: auntieCtheM on 02 May 2019 07:39PM
All part of the fun of home ownership!   >hugs<
Title: Re: Having a nightmare
Post by: JLR2 on 02 May 2019 08:58PM
Yup home ownership one of the things that puts a smile on insurance companies faces >biggrin<

I have been very fortunate in having the wee bit put by for emergencies, well to be honest it was to pay for getting the car through its MOT, now it's a case of saving up for my next emergency >yikes<  >lol<