Monday, March 5, 2012

What You Don’t Want to Happen the Day You Move in Your New Home

Last week marked the five year anniversary of Tim and I purchasing our house (our first house at that). We closed on Friday March 1, 2007 and did not have the picture perfect move in experience that one hopes for. The closing went off without a hitch and we excitedly headed to our new house. The big move would be the next day with our friends and family but we were taking over a few things on our own and also had the cable guy coming to install everything. It was a cold, rainy, icy, miserable day which would only end up getting worse. We decided to run the dishwasher mainly to make sure it worked and figured it hadn’t been run in a while so we might as well, right? After it had been going for a while, the cable man shouted up from the basement that we should turn off the water because water was coming in the basement. In actuality, water was GUSHING into the basement from a pipe. We spent the rest of the day using buckets, mops, and a wet vac to get the water out. The house had been empty for a while before we bought it so we figured that there must have been some part of the pipe that was frozen. We were able to open up and empty out the pipes in the basement (which only added more water to the basement/bucket project). Oh, and of course while all this was going on, we couldn’t use any water in the house which normally wouldn’t have been a problem. However, I had just found out a few days before that I was pregnant with baby number one (Isabelle) and would have given anything to be able to use the bathroom! We ended up doing all we could, we found some ice in the pipe as it left the house to head to the septic and got rid of it but it didn't solve the problem. Water still couldn’t flow out of the house to the septic and just kept coming back in the basement. So we had to call it a night and bright and early our friends and family arrived at our apartment to help us move. After slipping on some black ice (which is a pretty awesome thing to do when you just find out your pregnant) I headed to the house to wait for the septic guy to come since we had run out of “do it yourself” fixes. He arrived and said that the septic itself must be full and perhaps frozen and he would need to pump it. Great, however, the ground is covered in snow/ice so he needs to jackhammer the front yard to get to it. “Oh hey, new neighbors don’t mind us with our jackhammer and moving truck!” After all the hammering it turned out the septic was completely empty and not the problem at all. He put our lawn back together as much as possible and told us to just run hot water on low indefinitely until any “hidden” ice in the pipes melted. Sure enough, this simple fix was exactly what we needed and we were finally able to use the water again. 

Our front yard on move in day!

I wish that was the end of our plumbing woes, but for the first few weeks we lived in the house we came to find out that the downstairs toilet would constantly get clogged. We had a plumber come out and they did some things which made no difference. Tim eventually took matters in to his own hand and took apart some of the pipes in the basement and within the pipe he found…


Apparently, when the contractor installed the new toilet before we moved in, he must have accidentally knocked his tape measure down the pipe and it had been living there ever since. So alas alas, it turned out the tape measure was indeed what was making it difficult for things to get down the pipe. Never a dull moment when you are a new home owner, right?!

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