Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Plumbing Problems and Old Houses

DR and I have owned a lot of houses; we've owned four and rented three. In 7 years. I've learned that I'd rather rent a house than own one.


Because when you have home repairs or improvements to make, as a renter, it's not your problem.

But we own a house.....and we have a problem. Ug...a plumbing problem.

See that old pipe on the right? That's where my washing machine drains water into. Well, it did. Lately I've been doing laundry and the whole floor would be wet by the end.

The water from the pipe is somehow connected to the drain on the left and water is backing up from the drain. DR can't figure out where it's blocked and it looks like we are going to have to call in a professional.

The good news is I have a concrete floor and there's no water damage.
The bad news is I have a concrete floor and no crawl space underneath to work on the pipes.
DR can't even find how the pipe and the drain is connected.
We might have to tear up my concrete floor.
I am not looking forward to the possiblity.

DR went outside and even dug around trying to find a pipe.

No luck. No pipe.  
Did you notice that DR is standing on concrete outside too? This stupid pipe could be anywhere. DARN OLD HOUSE!

This would be so much easier if this weren't my problem.

Any suggestions? What's the worst home improvement project you've had to deal with? What should I worry about?


  1. worst plumbing problems. . .McDonald's Tinker Bell Toy's don't swim through toilet plumbing very well. (I'll let you imagine the rest!)

  2. I'll ask my resident expert when I see him what he thinks. I know with tile, they have a long pole they sometimes use to put in the ground to see if they can "hit" anything. Not sure how they tell the difference between a rock and a tile/pipe ?!?!?!?! Stay tuned!

  3. My husband is a sewer and drain cleaner. They have a camera that they send down those things to see what's going on if they can't clear the blockage with their blades. I wouldn't worry much yet until you get someone out there. Too bad you live so far away! look up "sewer and drain cleaning" in your area and make some calls.

  4. Oh wow. What an ordeal. But I love that bloggers are reaching out to offer solutions in their comments!

  5. I hate it when that happens! When we first moved to the farm - the house we were living in used garden house for plumbing! I hope you can get it figured out!

  6. I’m glad that your plumbing problems did not cause water damage on your flooring. It would be more difficult to resolve this problem. Regarding your other problem, one way to locate pipes inside your home is to use a metal detector. Find an area in your house when the length of the copper pipe is above the floorboards, and you can start from there. But accurately tracing the pipes requires a bit of detective work, as metal detectors also detect other metals objects like nails and screws. Make sure that you are tracing the right ones. Or better yet, call a plumber to help you do the job.

    (Darryl Iorio)

  7. That was not a pleasant sight. Good thing there was no water damage or any serious problem caused by your plumbing issues, although the absence of crawl spaces can be a big problem in the future. Were you able to fix it? I think it is important to have some spaces for the piping system. For one, it will be easier to install plumbing fixtures around the house, and you can lessen the possibility of clogging since there will be other pathways for the water to flow.

    [Carmella Vancil]

    1. You know, that was a year ago. A plumber came and took a look, dug around, didn't find anything of consequence. We relaid the linoleum and haven't had a problem since. I'm not sure if we ever figured out what was causing the water backing up!

  8. Aww… I’m sorry to hear about your drainage issue. I know that’s a real problem. The best thing you can do is to call a professional plumber, tell them the issues and ask for an estimate. I honestly think that having your own house is better than renting because you can save money and allot it to other things.

    ~Kurt Verdejo


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