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Funny Drain Clogged Story

ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
edited September 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
My wife is a teacher and went back to school yesterday, the students come back next week. Her well liked principal starts off the kick-off meeting annual meeting in the morning with, "how did your summer go?" He shares a personal story that I thought most of us would get a chuckle out of. I could certainly relate as I have had some drain issues at my own house in the last thirty two years.

He and his family went away for two weeks and he asked a friend to check on the house while he was away. Apparently for some reason his friend used Clorox wipes and flushed them down the toilet. The family comes home from vacation, someone tries to use the only bathroom in the house and quickly learned that toilet was clogged. Homeowner (wife's boss/Principal) decides he's kind of handy and can take care of this problem himself, how hard can it be?

He goes to the local Home Depot and rents a manual snake to clear the drain. Comes home, unbolts the toilet from the floor and tries to get the snake into the drain lines. After about a half hour and no luck he decides he needs a bigger snake. He returns the manual snake and rents a much more powerful electric machine that he believes will certainly "destroy" those Clorox wipes. The guy at the store claims this machine will go through anything.

He watches a you tube video online when he gets home and feels confident enough to start the procedure of clearing the clogged pipe. He struggles while the snake is snapping at his knees and the wall next to the toilet. "Fluids and things" are flying from the drain and the snake cable, but he is determined. His wife walks in while the sweat is pouring down his face and yells a few words I cannot mention. Wife also reminds him he not so handy. Needless to say this makes him push harder on the snake, after all how hard can it be?

After an hour or so of fighting with the "clog" in the line, he finally got the snake to go somewhere. Unfortunately, the drain was still not clear, how can this be? He decided to keep going and assumed the line was clogged further down the line. Things were finally going well and the snake stopped fighting him altogether. So he kept going, then it got tough again, he was not going to let a filthy cable slapping his knees and the wall stop him so he powered through. Then it got easy again, he figured he was finally finished but the drain was still clogged, how is this possible? He just about emptied the one hundred foot snake and this time it really jammed up bad. Now the cable was slapping his arms, chest, legs and the wall was really beat up and wet with (you know). Unfortunately, he cannot retrieve the snake, it's really jammed on those damn Clorox wipes!

By now the wife and kids are screaming at him. Everyone has to use the bathroom and despite a near perfect family vacation, he's no longer in the running for father or husband of the year. Despite his efforts (and his ego) he is finally convinced to call a professional. The pro comes and knocks on the front door, they let him and he gets to the bathroom/blast area. Principal tells the plumber the the story and the plumber listens closely. Without batting an eye the plumber says, "I can fix this."

The plumber says with a straight face:
1. The first thing you ran into the was the tee in the main stack, unfortunately your snake went up instead of down as you hoped.
2. The second thing you ran into was your gutter and you bent it pretty good, especially the top of it where the snake grabbed the lip of the gutter and you kept your foot on the pedal.
3. The third time you managed to get the cable snagged on the chair of your outdoor patio set and actually were able to spin the char. The reason you could not retrieve the snake is because it was tied up on the chair and you were lifting the chair off the ground and slamming that poor gutter.

Evidentially the plumber pulled up while the wife and kids were screaming at him in the bathroom and noticed the snake sticking out of the vent on the roof. Playing detective, the plumber looked out back and saw the carnage while taking mental notes.

Sorry for the long story, but I certainly got a chuckle out of it.


  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
    Oh this is great, thank you for sharing!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,837
    This is why you should use a tee-wye.
    rick in Alaska
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,737
    Probably one of the best stories I ever herd.

    I have one that's pretty good

    When I was a rookie, I had a friend with a leaking tankless coil gasket. I knew some/most of the bolts would snap off so I gave him a can of penetrating oil and told him to soak the bolts every day for a week before we attempted anything. It was an old obsolete boiler, so I had to make a new gasket.

    As predicted some bolts came out and some snapped, probably 50/50.

    The bolts were 3/8" so I used a 5/16 drill which is 3/8 tap size this worked well enough on most of the broken bolts.

    Some bolts wouldn't hold as I was probably drilled off center but again, I was prepared as the boiler had enough "meat" I drilled the holes oversized and tapped them for 7/16 which also worked ok.

    Problem was some of the tankless bolts were different lengths, so the holes were a shorter depth and YUP I drilled right through into the boiler!!!! But only on 1 hole!!

    We shoved a small pc of gasket material in the hole and put the tankless back in.

    He lived there 5 more years and then got divorced and sold the place and it never leaked during that time :)
  • george_42
    george_42 Member Posts: 121
    I had one go through a 6 inch line and up a vent in a parking lot full of cars at an apartment compolex
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,837

    Problem was some of the tankless bolts were different lengths, so the holes were a shorter depth and YUP I drilled right through into the boiler!!!! But only on 1 hole!!

    We shoved a small pc of gasket material in the hole and put the tankless back in.

    It is common for engines to have bolts that go in to the water jacket. Those just get esentially pipe dope.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 603
    I have a 4" main drain that goes from the septic tank south of the house, under the slab where it picks up various connections, and terminates in a 4" cleanout under the garage sink at the north end of the house.
    The pipe was pushed into the tank too far, so eventually a buildup happened at the baffle and backed up our line. The downstairs toilet overflowed. Priority cleanup of the toilet area first, then an inspection of other pipe areas.. found "water" under the garage sink cabinet. Ah.. the cleanout adapter was never glued, just test-fit and forgotten.
    Head under the cabinet, cleaned it up and just starting to apply cement when I heard a strange sound. The wife had assumed that this "problem" was just the downstairs toilet, so she flushed the 2nd floor toilet.
    It took me a second or so to realise what was about to happen, with me stuck in the cabinet up close and personal. World record attempt at finishing the cement and the last thing I saw was the slug of sewage quickly rising before I slammed it on and twisted. Im so happy that I already had the cap screwed on.
    It might be a record time between making a fitting and testing the fitting under 'load' ?

    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    That’s hysterical I have to share this with my guys
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.