Journal Entry: February 19, 2009

So, I don’t think I mentioned this yet, but we’ve been having plumbing problems.

As part of the construction project to renovate the kitchen, we had to bypass an old copper drain vent that ran from the sink/dishwasher drain up through the roof (and right through our window). As I mentioned when describing the project, we just capped that off, knowing it could impact our plumbing, but hoping it wouldn’t.

Then over the weekend T– was doing a load of laundry and I stepped out in the garage to grab something, and noticed a stream of water creeping from the water heater cabinet down toward the door. We’d encountered that a couple years ago when we had a clog in one of our drains, and the washing machine would regularly flood the garage when it drained. I recognized the effect immediately, and given the timing I just assumed it had to do with the capped drain vent.

Yesterday I opened that closet in the garage and pulled off the sheet of drywall hiding the drainpipes, and discovered (remembered?) that there’s a dedicated vent right above the washing machine drain. So that gave me some hope that a plumber would have access enough to fix the problem. It occurred to me that maybe that vent had been clogged for a while, and the one upstream was doing double duty. In that case, a quick snaking of the vent pipe would stop the drain from backing up.

So T– called our favorite plumber, and he came out this morning and did exactly that — snaked down through that vent, and it immediately fixed our problem. T– even had a coupon from the phone book, so it cost less than a hundred bucks to get it taken care of. Before he left she told him exactly what we’d done, and he told us (as we had guessed, before our garage started flooding) that we probably wouldn’t have any serious problems with the capped vent. So that’s a relief.

Anyway, the plumbing situation is resolved now. Last night, we went to El Chico for dinner with my sister and her family. We showed up at 6:00, and the waiter didn’t come around to take our orders until 6:30, and then the food didn’t show up until about 7:10. That was a problem, because T– had prepared cupcakes for a birthday party for AB at church, which started at 7:00. The girls ate quickly, and then my sister complained to the manager and we got a free dinner. Nice!

Then I took my brother-in-law back to the house while the rest of them rushed to church late for AB’s party. It was Jeff’s first time seeing the remodeled kitchen, and we spent half an hour discussing the work that had gone into it.

When the girls got home, we talked for a bit until the little ones started fussing, and then my sister took her kids home to go to bed. T– and I watched Lost (a really good one, and frustratingly short even at 40 minutes), and a couple other shows before going to bed.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.