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fast friends with a sewer auger

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I had the morning to myself since Gumby is sick and slept late.  I fed the critters, routine for my mornings, and since I now number among the unemployed I looked for jobs and applied online to two.  Not a smooth process since I'm a little rusty.  One company asked for the manager's name from each job I had, and I couldn't hardly remember the the one from my temporary job in 2006.  I did my best and coughed up a name.  I hope it's right.  The resume isn't polished and I don't have a cover letter.  I also had to get re-acquainted with the e-mail address I use for job hunting;  I needed a password reset to get into it.

Then I had a late breakfast and got hooked on watching TV.  One show was "Flip This House" where some people bought a house, renovated it and sold it for some $50K profit.  The next show was "Drill Team" and in this episode they majorly renovated a basement in six days.

Gumby joined the living around noon.  I was going to paint the entryway and asked Gumby what were the colors picked out.  After at least an hour of looking through swatches we had on hand and the Sherwin Williams color tool online, we gave up.  The onscreen rendition of the colors doesn't match the swatches.  This would have to be a project for another day.

Gumby was hungry and wanted grits, eggs, and toast.  So I proceeded to cook while Gumby went to wash up.  I had the grits going and was buttering the bread for cinnamon sugar toast when Gumby called me.  As the water drained out of Gumby's sink, bubbling would occur in the toilet.  So I'm thinking "hmm...what happens if I flush?"  We almost had water overflowing the toilet bowl is what happened.  So I stopped the cooking and attacked the plumbing.

It turned out that both toilets were not draining.  Plunging had no effect.  Since Hurricane Alex brought torrential rains in the area, we thought maybe the sewers were backed up.  We called the water company; they sent a guy out.  Nope, not the sewer lines, it's the house.  By this time, I had finished cooking, but the grits didn't turn out right.  I gave Gumby the food but I guess the grits wasn't palatable.  I had to start and stop on the grits several times and judging by the results, it looks like I can't do that.

Anyhow, I called the neighborhood Ace Hardware store for advice and they said I could rent a sewer auger.  So off I go.  I love our local Ace.  They are very helpful. Probably all the houses in the neighborhood were built by one or two builders, it means that houses here share similarity in hardware and brands.  Ace seems to stock the right replacement parts.  Also, at Ace I could buy low quantities of fasteners.  I only needed one bolt or one washer, I can get that at Ace.  But I digress.  Today, they rented me a sewer auger and talked me through how to operate the machine.

Since I was in a hurry, I just set up the way I was instructed and used common sense where safety is concerned.  Thank goodness it wasn' raining, but I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes until Gumby gave me the OFF spray.  I forgot we had that spray.  All went well and the toilets got to draining and I was finished before dark.  Others advised that I run the auger again tomorrow before returning the machine.  They also said to run a water hose into one of the main lines to help flush everything out.  Ok, so I'll get up early in the morning to run the auger again, but I'm not dragging a water hose in here.

In conclusion, I'd like to recommend to Ace that they include a safety sheet with each rental.

Apparently I had taken a few risks:  Yes, I was standing in water.  It had been raining and the yard was wet.  Yes, that was an electrical appliance I was using while standing in water.  No, I didn't think to test the GFCI before use.  Yes, I had shoes on.  No, I didn't wear safety goggles or gloves.  The manufacturer recommends ONLY leather gloves and I don't have any of those.  I suspect I will have blisters on my hand tomorrow.  Yes, I know to keep stuff away from rotating machinery.


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