Monday, December 29, 2003


Plumbing occupied much of my thoughts on Sunday. It was laundry day for the entire household and I am the washerwoman. We had extra laundry from the holiday, plus some things that I knew would be needed in the weeks ahead. There were about double the normal loads to wash.

In the afternoon after several loads of laundry had been done, I started to walk into the half bathroom that is located next to the laundry room and immediately had soaked socks and feet. Water covered the floor of the bathroom, the carpeted hallway entry to it and part of the laundry room. Looking for leaks I couldn't find any, but cleaning it up I found the wastebasket next to the potty had a bit of water inside it as well. Towels, rags, and a large bucket-full later, it was semi drying in the bathroom, but hopelessly soaked into the hall carpet.

Something like this happened several weeks ago- a single incident with a tiny amount of water on the floor and we thought perhaps the toilet seal was leaking, but it didn't happen again so we decided to simply keep an eye on it. It was only a few paper towels and a little sponging to clean it up- not a big deal.

The husband and I puzzled over the source early Sunday evening, but couldn't come up with a good answer. Because it seemed to be under control, we returned to our previous activities.

A little later I was on the phone to my father and I heard what might have been the washing machine draining, but it was quite loud so I said I had to check and there were massive amounts of water overflowing the toilet- washing machine water with soap!! I have no idea why or how and don't know a thing about plumbing. I shut the water off. I shut the washer off. The water pouring out of the toilet bowl finally stopped, but it wouldn't drain- not even using a plunger. Finally I turned the washer back on and let it start the spin cycle and everything in the bowl returned to normal- by itself. We plunged out the rest of the water so it was very, very low in the bowl and left the water in there shut off.

The entire rest of the night, I spent checking the bathroom every time the washer drained. More water came in, and was plunged out when the washer was finished with each load, but it never overflowed again.

I guess we will call the plumber Monday (it is Monday, but I haven't been to sleep yet- so somehow that makes it still Sunday). I keep thinking that the little quake must have shifted something in the pipes and perhaps that was what happened a few weeks ago, only now it is worse. I can think of no other reason that the water from the washing machine would drain and come into the bathroom instead of going out where ever it is supposed to go. I don't grok plumbing at all. Give me something electronic, or electric motor driven and I can figure it out. Give me something mechanical and I can figure out how it works too... but plumbing? Not a clue.

I convinced the husband that we need an expert to take care of this. I don't want to be cleaning up overflowing potties again- even if it is washing machine water!

It was pretty comical though.. two agitated adults watching the water pour out, standing in the little bathroom trying to figure out something to stop it, trying not to get too wet -but being totally helpless. And something about running to watch the water in the bowl - attentively- every time the washer drained, is also amusing to me now.

No comments: