Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's that Farty Smell?

I love our house.
I really do love it to pieces and plan to live here until my motorized stair-chair jams and Karl signs me up for an assisted living facility that allows dogs and is heavy into arts and crafts.
(Oops...but I digress, apologies.)
Our home is wonderful (to us) but it has it's lion's share of quirks that we, as a family, flow around until those quirks turn dangerous or disgusting.
(Or sometimes both)
Which leads me full on into the farty smell in our basement.   
Our house was built in 1897 and so, this means that our sewage pipes were lovingly placed under the basement floor 116 years ago.
They have done an awesome job for for about 112 of those years.
For the past four years (roughly) Karl and I (and the darling children, too) played the blame game... we pleaded for gas laps, avoided fiber...and while Karl (the architect) blamed the house, we blamed each other.
Or Turkey.
Who really is quite flatulent.

Then one day, Karl (the architect), with the professional expertise of someone who knows that 116 year old pipes might be a wee bit outdated, called the plumber with a snaky camera to drop into to poopy pipe and have a looky-see.
What the brave little camera saw was a whole bunch of really old and broken clay sewage pipes. 
It was no surprise that my healthy family had worked our dear sewage pipes to death.
They were droopy and pitiful and even though we could practically hear the geriatric cries of "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." our poor pipes could NOT make it over the mountain.
They were too broken and holey and even though they were doing their very best they could only barely keep the poop (etc.) moving and were powerless to keep the farty sewer smell in the pipes where it certainly belonged.   
So we made the appointment to retire the old guard and bring in the PVC new.
And while jack hammering the basement floor into a million pieces was a little noisy and stressful on the schnoodle and flatulent terrier, it was music and progress to mine. 
And before too long...this is what my basement looked like...
a channel of gross mud where once there was antique farty sewage pipe.
(the old clay more or less disintegrated upon contact with powerful jackhammer)
Please note the four foot wall of nastiness to the right and just a hint of glamorous PVC to the north. 

Our dear plumbers, Jason, Jason and Tyler, worked hard and when they weakened, they brought in their plumber pals and totally busted it out. 
(as they say)
Here is my most favorite jackhammer in the world taking a break in the powder room. 
When it came time for the nasty farty basement sludge to be taken out, Jason, Jason, Tyler and their strong and lovely friends did so with five gallon buckets.
I fell more and more in love with each of these men as I watched them hand carry out 116 years of very heavy, smelly, buckets of basement  floor.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better... PVC happened.
Beautiful, beautiful fresh and lovely PVC pipe came into my basement and changed my life forever.
Then in what seemed like no time at all, sparkly clean pea gravel filled in the spaces and a new floor was poured.

Here are Lily (and Harry) admiring the new fantastic basement floor where we all signed and dated our names in wet concrete.
It's been a full week since our new floor was poured and I can report that our basement smells really nice...completely and happily farty smell free.


  1. Funny, interesting AND COOL! You know I couldn't help but click with a headline like that LOL!

  2. One of our domestic horror stories is when our sewage started to reek, which clearly states that it needed immediate attention. And yours actually lasted for 116 years? Wow! Good thing someone has taken the job and saved the day!

    Allen Hoffman