A year or so ago, our tub backed up. Tub drains have always clogged for me, so I use a drain cover to catch the hairs before they head down the drain and cause problems. Kris is annoyed by the tub trap, mostly because it already has my hair in it, though it does have some of his, too. He usually kicks it away, and lets the shower drain normally instead of blocked by whatever hair was in the trap from my shower (even though I'm pretty good about keeping it clear, less good about putting the hair any place but the side of the tub).
We called the plumber, one who had been out before to fix the our fountaining toliet, but he didn't have any luck fixing the tub's draining, so we dealt with the problem was best we could: shorter showers, horrible chemicals down the drain much too frequently for my tastes, easier but less effective enzymes down the drain also too frequently. Nothing much was helping, and the backups were getting worse.
Today, when the cleaners came over, I mentioned the tub wasn't draining, so don't fill it up too much before cleaning, otherwise it won't drain. "Not draining?" the one in charge asked. "I'll fix it," he said, and went to work.
After a short while, when he sighed in exasperation and I heard it two rooms over, I explained that the last time the backup was this bad, we called a plumber. He, too, was unable to clear the drain because he was unable to put a snake in the pipes. The trap in the tub was old enough (the original on the house, we think) that it wouldn't allow a snake down it. "Oh? The trap? Do you want it replaced?"
"Three hundred dollars."
Okay. $300 and the snake will fit and I can shower without standing in 3" of water? Okay, sure.
So, he's coming tomorrow morning early to fix the plumbing. Great.
Kris and I went off for dinner with Mike and Liza and Maeryn (fun time that!), and returned to find a note from the cleaner in charge, please call.
So, I call to talk to him. No, he's not going to bring over the shower hardware, so I'll need to purchase a new set. Okay, I'll go out to get it. Oh, and the full cost is going to be $1200.
Well, turns out to replace the trap, drain and showerhead, the wall needs to be opened up. Once that happens, the pipes can be replaced and the fixtures put in place. Then, when all of that is done, they can snake the pipes and clean them out. Voila!
The time estimate is about 6 hours, can they start at 7:30?
7:30 am? Ugh.
I asked Kris what he thought. Well, the last plumber quoted us $2000 to do the same work: replace the trap and clean out the pipes so that everything drains properly. He tried the snake through the drain without success, through the trap without success, down the roof cleanout without success and through the ground level trap without success. The longer we go without fixing this problem, the more expensive the fix is going to be.
But your decision.
Well, 7:30 am, six hours, $1200. I'm hosting another Master Gardener website sprint tomorrow. Done by 1:30, they don't arrive until 10, should be okay.