The day after Chef left for Alaska, I noticed there was an inch of water in the basement. My father-in-law came over and investigated and helped me get it pumped out as much as we could, and for three weeks, I continued (with help from various individuals) to pump out the basement.
At first, I thought it was a combination of snow melt and crazy-hard rain from thunderstorms that was flooding the basement.
Then, I started to think it might be sewage.
My father-in-law said it wasn’t. But I kind of thought it was.
And then Chef did some clean-up down there and determined that I was right.
On Friday, Chef called the town to see if the problem was on their end. They checked two manholes in front of our house and said they were fine, and the trouble must be somewhere between our house and the street. Darn.
Then Chef called a plumber who said they’d be there at 10:00 Saturday morning. At 11:00, they still hadn’t arrived and hadn’t called. Chef tried to call them to check on their status, and no one answered. So we called a different plumber who said they’d come Sunday morning, and that they don’t charge overtime ever.
And the plumber determined that yes, it was sewage. He sent his tools down the pipe to clean it out, and the water now goes down the drains without coming into the basement. But there was one place where the plumber was only able to bore a hole through the blockage, not clear it completely. There’s a gigantic tree root blocking about 80 percent of the pipe. And probably what happened is that toilet paper and lint and whatnot got stuck on the tree root and occluded the pipe. (The word “occluded” has been in my head all morning, and I’m really excited that I just got to use it.) This will happen again unless we get that root out of there.
The plumbers are coming back today with some sort of fancy hydro-jet tool with which they will blast that root and cut it out of there. They’ll guarantee that work for three years.
But it’s kind of expensive.
Emergency fund to the rescue!
Because we’ve socked away a good amount of money in an emergency fund, we will be able to pay for this work with cash, and we will not have to use a credit card or incur any other sort of debt for it. It will pretty much deplete the emergency fund, but a tax refund (that we totally weren’t expecting!) will help us build it back up again. And until we get it built back up to a healthy level, we’ll pay minimums on the other debts.
I don’t like to have emergencies, but when they happen, I’m thankful we’ve got money stashed away to take care of it.