Roto-Rooter truck

Water. Again.

What is it with this house and water? First there was the flood. Today the sewer backed up and required the services of Roto-Rooter.

This morning I put one load of laundry in the washing machine and went into the bedroom a few minutes later to gather up another load. An ominous gurgling sound came from the bathroom. The sunken tub was quickly filling with icky dirty water. More water seeped from under the toilet. In the guest bathroom still more water seeped from under that toilet.

Why me? Obviously a pipe was plugged up, somewhere, somehow. I called Roto-Rooter.

Soon Roto John showed up, listened to my tale of woe and asked, "Where's your cleanout?"

Roto John Roto John clears the crud and routs the roots

I know where the main water shut-off valve is. I know where the main gas shut-off is. I know where the main circuit breaker is. But "cleanout"? It's amazing how quickly a simple question can completely erode one's sense of competence. Even when John described what this cleanout should look like I was nonplussed.

"You probably have one, but it might be buried," explained John. "Never mind, I'll go in through a vent on the roof." He started to get his equipment on the roof.

Meanwhile, Wanda wandered over, having heard the prancing and pawing on the roof and seen the truck on the street. When I asked Wanda if she knew anything about a "cleanout" she said, "Well, I have this black thing. Come look." The black thing matched John's description of a cleanout.


"Yo, John!" I called up to the roof. "Wanda's got one of those things. If I have one it should be in the same relative position, since our units are mirror images of each other." Sure enough, John unearthed my cleanout next to the palm tree by the front door.

This discovery enabled John to use the heavy-duty machine, and he made quick work of the blockage. He also put some root-killer into the pipe to prevent the roots from growing again. Just like that I'm good to go.

Now I have to think of another excuse not to finish the laundry.