Wednesday, 24 February 2016

No good turn goes unpunished

Maybe I have used up my quota of posts but, for whatever reason, Google is making it very difficult for me to put up any new ones. Perhaps it is because I cleared my cache of cookies the other day - one thing they really do not like is if you cut the links between yourself and their advertisers. There again, maybe there is some geek in an office randomly reading posts and punishing those who repeat themselves - "Oh no - not another post about bloody kittens!"

The last bit may not be so far-fetched as it sounds. If you look at the Google example of what a blog post should look like in the list, some wag has made a fictitious example called, 'All About Kittens'. That made me smile.

I will not add to my sins by going into great detail - again - about the progress (or lack of it) in getting a little job done which was begun months ago, and was supposed to be installed in about one hour, but I will just say that the day before yesterday, I left the site with a plumber drilling a long hole through a thick wall so I could run a pipe through it (for melting ice water - don't ask) and arrived the yesterday hoping it would be ready to go.

There was, indeed, a 20mm hole, but it was entirely blocked by the drill bit which had snapped off at the drill end, leaving the hard steel jammed into the hole at full length. It took them three hours or more to push through 4 inches of the bit, cut it off then push through another 4 inches and cut it off - for the whole three feet. The plumber had volunteered to carry out this little task, and I know damn well he instantly regretted it.

A friend of mine runs a small building company here, and some years ago was asked - by a friend - if he knew how to unblock their upstairs lavatory. He went to have a look and discovered that the access trap for their sewage system was right at the bottom of their garden, about 40 feet from the house.

He went off and hired a high-pressure water-blasting hose and pump, with a bullet-head nozzle on the front of it which blasted water backwards at about 200 psi, pushing the nozzle forwards and forcing any obstructions back behind it.

He set it up in the garden and began pushing the hose up the 6 inch drain toward the house. After about 35 feet, he felt an obstruction, so he pulled the hose backwards and forwards until it ran free again, then continued on feeding the hose through the drain.

As he began to run out of hose, he realised that he had fed in more of it than there was distance to the bathroom, so he went into the house to investigate, leaving the machine running at full pressure.

He went upstairs to find the ceramic toilet bowl in pieces and the metal bullet-head nozzle thrashing around in the bathroom, chucking out water at 200 psi. The obstruction was the toilet bowl.

It cost him about £3000 to repair and redecorate the bathroom, and the owner did not offer to contribute. See the title.

20 comments:

  1. Am having similar problem as yourself in regards to Google, had one helluva job yesterday to put up a new blog post - thought perhaps the tower was too tall !
    Re soil pipe blockages have found that a strong caustic soda solution does the trick.

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    1. Re your strong caustic soda solution - yes, I too often use it for unblocking the traps of kitchen sinks, but to fill a 40 foot, six inch soil pipe with it would be prohibitively expensive, not to say bad for the environment.

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  2. That would never have happened if P had been doing it. He knows about these things and the stories of what he finds in blocked pipis, well you would never believe. Unrepeatable.

    Yesterday i checked your blog and got a message to say your blog was inavailable.

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    Replies
    1. Not like you to shy away from things found in pipes. Oh well.

      Something weird is happening with all Google things right now, including You Tube.

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  3. Perhaps Google is jealous you know so many people and they are unable to collect them for the circles.

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    1. Yes, and they know my real name as well. Linkedin are much worse - signing in with them is offering them free legal use of your email contacts.

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  4. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the obstructive toilet. I guess you eventually posted as toilets are allowed and you'd removed any kittens.

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    1. It was a drowned kitten which blocked my friend's toilet. Four went down, no problem, but the fifth wouldn't budge. (joke, btw)

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  5. Loved this blog post Tom. Thank you for making me laugh.

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    1. Hello Moll - I'm glad I made you laugh. If only one person laughs, that makes it all worth while.

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  6. We have tree roots growing through an 100year old drain.Mr EM pulls them out every couple of years. These trees on adjacent property are protected and also damage our roof. But the Council won't allow them to be taken down more than one year's growth. Any suggestions gratefully received.

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    Replies
    1. Suggestion 1: Build a tree house.

      Suggestion 2: Run a powerful arboreal biocide down your drain.

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    2. Wow thanks Tom. Will suggest the arboreal biocide. Where would be obtain it? Local garden centre attached to Wilton House maybe...

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    3. A recommended brand is called, 'Ent-Gone', and is made by Mordor Chemicals, Inc.

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  7. Thank you and the previous commenters for lots of valuable information delivered with wit.

    I also was unable to access your site yesterday. This post was well waiting for.

    Best wishes.

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    1. Flattery will pay dividends, Frances. I don't know what happened to my blog yesterday, but it is running faster for me today.

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  8. We have recently had a similar drain problem, but found it easier simply to replace the drain pipes. I haven't had the bill yet.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, Eau de Toilet - splash it on all over.

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  9. A sepic tank plus drain/soakaway meant that a great deal of care was taken with chemicals (& kittens, not) that went down. Now we are on the new village mains drains scheme and heaven knows what gets flushed away. Trouble is that now we have to pay twice for our water -what goes in has to come out- and the fosse had not been emptied or cost us anything for 10 years.

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    Replies
    1. A man had his own well and septic tank in rural Wales, but still received Water Rate bills. When he complained, the authority informed him that as soon as a rain drop hit his roof, it became their property and he had to buy it back from them.

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