Theory 8… Plumbing Problems are Like Hurricanes

Perhaps the worst thing about being a homeowner is dealing with plumbing problems. I think it’s one of Murphy’s Laws… Upon purchasing a home you will inevitably have pipes that break, drains that clog, a basement that floods, etc. etc. etc. This past year I’ve had my fair share of plumbing issues. Yes, plumbing problems really do remind me of Hurricanes… CONSIDER… 1- often times you know they are coming. 2- You can’t just ignore them. 3- You’re likely going to get wet. 4- When it’s all said and done they cost a lot of $$$. I think it’s easiest to categorize plumbing problems by size and severity… the same way we categorize hurricanes using the famous Saffir-Simpson Scale. See below…

CATEGORY 1: Toilet clogging. Very Common – Easy problem, little cost, no big deal… but has potential turn into a mess if you’re not careful.

CATEGORY 2: Drain clogging. My project for this weekend is unclogging the downstairs bathroom sink drain. Requirements… $6.00 for a bottle of Drano, possibly a plumbing snake.

CATEGORY 3: Late on Christmas Eve last year my mother-in-law was just starting to clean up the big pile of dishes left over from our delicious ham dinner when she realized her kitchen sink was clogged. Personally I enjoyed the challenge of trying to unclog a drain… so I pitched in to help. My unsuccessful efforts with the Drano and the rusty old auger that night paled in comparison to my mother- in-laws chore of finding a plumber available at 11:00pm on Christmas Eve. Eventually she found someone… altogether it cost her over $300… but the Christmas gathering the next morning went off without a hitch. Now imagine a Category 3 Hurricane hitting Miami on the day of the Super Bowl!

CATEGORY 4: Last April my wife noticed a muddy puddle near our front door. Originally I thought it was the stop-and-waste to the sprinkler system. I took off work that Friday and spent a few hours digging a 4-foot hole in my front yard to discover no problem with the stop-and-waste. After digging down another 3 feet I discovered a leak on the water main… a problem that required a professional plumber. $400+ and a few hours more of labor (filling in the hole) the problem was fixed.

CATEGORY 5: I have never experienced a Category 5… and hopefully never will. I can only imagine it has something to do with sewer system blockage on a birthday.