I am a huge proponent of learning. I love learning. I believe that the only way to grow effectively in your life is to allow yourself to learn regularly.
But there are some lessons that, when you learn them, you almost wish you could go back and try to learn what you are learning a different way. Lessons like these make me not want to learn so much as get mad and cuss loudly.
Today, while I was in the shower, I noticed the shower started to back up. I didn’t worry about it too much seeing as this has had happened before and had actually corrected itself when it happened last time. So I got out of the shower and went about the rest of my very busy day without giving it much thought.
Later on in the day I checked on the shower and the water was still there. Plunging the drain was totally fruitless so I decided I would try some Drano gel stuff to try to break through the clog. So I headed for the drano and stopped along the way to move laundry down because of the many things I had to do yesterday, laundry was a priority.
Before too long I was back in the bathroom and pouring the remainder of the half full bottle of Drano into the shower. I then went back to work for my family by getting some meat prepared for cooking. A short time later I went to check on the shower and to my surprise I found my shower drain not only not draining but to the contrary, it was spewing water like a fountain. And it was not just any water. No no. It was Drano ridden.
As I stood in awe over the mess that was unfolding in my bathroom I began to wonder how in the name of all that is good and cuddly I was going to get this thing handled. In the time it took me to think of options my bathroom had about an inch of Drano water in it and the level was rising.
After some (brief) deliberation with myself and my wife we decided that a call to the plumber was in order. Can you feel a lesson about to me learned coming on?
I called the plumber and he showed up about an hour later.
Brief sidenote: Given my wife’s distaste for people seeing our house dirty I experienced a tremendous bonus… my living room, my hallway, my laundry area, my hallway bathroom, my bedroom and my bathroom we are cleaned in the hour or so before the plumber got to my house.
After looking at my blocked up shower and running two very brief checks, he determined (and I concurred) that my entire plumbing system for my house actually leads into one pipe. At the very least, the hallway bathroom, the laundry area and my bathroom all tie into a single drain. So he gave me two options: 1) he could go up on the roof and, using his electric snake, cable the drain through the roof stock vent; or 2) he could try to cable the drain through the shower. Of the two choices, the roof cabling, he said, was the most effective.
Of course the roof cabling fix would cost $225 as opposed to the less effective shower cabling process that would cost $175. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of a lesson not being learned yet.
I gave the plumber the go ahead to get on my roof and cable the roof stock vent. 20 minutes later, as I signed the credit card charge for $225, it hit me.
Why couldn’t I head to Lowe’s or Home Depot and rent a power snake and do this myself? Did you hear that? That was the sound of an expensive lesson being learned out loud.
Once my signature was on the contract and I had the yellow copy in my hand, my plumber, Rudy, made sure to tell me that if this ever happens in the future I could save myself some pretty decent money if I just head to Home Depot and rent a power snake. Did you hear that one? That was the sound of stupidity being confirmed after an expensive lesson was just learned. Thanks Rudy, that hurt more than just a little.
On the bright side I now know that if I ever have 20 pounds of hair clogging my shower, or for some reason my washer machine doesn’t drain, I don’t have to spend $200 on a 20 minute plumb job. I can just go to Lowe’s and rent a power snake for $40 and be on the road to clean showering once again.
Lesson learned. Just wish it was learned a little cheaper.