Someone Call a Plumber

Sometimes (okay, rarely), I have an excited feeling in my stomach because my day is going to plan and I just know that before the sun sets everything on my to-do list will be accomplished.

Last week there was a moment where I had that feeling and I was feeling confident that I was actually going to make headway with the monstrous and ugly task that is the preparation of the tax returns the accountant has been asking for since last October (yep, six months – she’s patient).

I would love polished floorboards

I would love polished floorboards

But then, just as I was walking down the hall past my bedroom, I heard what sounded like a little fountain and out of the corner of my eye I saw rivers of water flowing from the ensuite to the carpeted bedroom floor.  It was like a scene from Titanic.

Back-tracking fairly smartly I entered the room and there was so much water on top of the carpet my thongs were under water.  Water was coming up from the floor-waste in the ensuite and bubbling and trickling like a little brook all over the tiles and onto the carpet.   ‘Somebody call a plumber’, is what I yelled out to Archie which was ridiculous as Archie doesn’t know any plumbers.

Commercial dryer - effective but noisy.

Commercial dryer – effective but noisy.

I turned off the water and the bubbling brook ceased.  I called Drew who was unavailable (standard).  My mother phoned and I said, ‘Can’t talk; plumbing emergency’.  I ran to the computer and googled emergency plumbers.  Interesting how none of the companies answered their phones and I had to leave messages on answering machines.

Then Drew phoned back and gave me the name of a plumber who does work for the company where he works.  The guy was on his way to another job but because of the good business relationship he double-backed and came straightaway.  Praise God!

Getting the water up from the carpet

Getting the water up from the carpet

He said I had blocked sewer pipes and set to work clearing them.  I think he thought that would take a matter of minutes but after five hours he was still on the job.  Finally he said he had temporarily cleared the pipes but that it was a difficult job because some of the pipes are cracked, tree roots are involved and two different thickness of pipes have been laid causing blockages.  He said, ‘Basically they’re old and beyond their use-by-date and all pipes will need replacing’.


Curtains billowing with the cyclonic wind

Curtains billowing with the cyclonic wind

Meanwhile I had been on the phone to an emergency carpet cleaning service.  Brad came to the house immediately and after rearranging our furniture, took the water out of the carpet with a suction machine.  He said the amount of water he drained out of the carpet was staggering.

Then he said the water damage was mostly under the layer of carpet and we would need two commercial dryers blowing air 24/7 over the carpet.  He brought the machines into the house and positioned them and when he switched them on it was like we had our own internal cyclone happening in our bedroom.

Rosie sitting too close to the dryer

Rosie sitting too close to the dryer

And then there was the noise.  He shouted, ‘You’re not staying her tonight are you?’  And I shouted back, ‘I don’t have a portfolio of other homes to stay in so yes, we’re sleeping here tonight’.

‘That’s a problem’, he said.  ‘Well just switch off the dryers when you go to sleep but in the morning put them back on again to stop the damp smell’.

The bed had to be moved

The bed had to be moved

Three days later the dryers are still here and my bedroom furniture is still all over the place and the damp smell is vile.  Brad phoned today and was highly positive saying the smell will be gone any day.  Let’s hope so.

And on the day in question, my parents arrived to give me some flowers to cheer me up.  Even though only a couple of the buds have opened, there’s enough perfume to nullify some of that damp smell.

Fragrant lilies

Fragrant lilies

Life never happens as planned and bubbling brooks do erupt into our schedules and yes, the accountant is still waiting on those tax returns.


  1. Sigh…. as a property manager in a former lifetime, I cringed when I read this! Thankfully you had it attended to quickly! Life is full of ups and downs indeed… and if the need to call a plumber is our only problem, we’re doing quite well xoxox

  2. Whats another month to the accountant, sorry to hear this happen, those blowers make such a huge sound, love the photo of Rosie in front of the dryer to cute lol. Hope the weekend is going well for you 🙂

  3. Oh dearie me charlie. How dreadful for you. Nothing worse than damp smelly carpets. Hope all is fixed now. We had a sewerage pipe broken one time – you can imagine the delightful smell plus the wonderful detritus floating around:)

  4. Danielle says:

    Never a dull moment! Oh, I feel your pain with plumbing emergencies. I always feel so powerless when they happen. I hope the smell and dampness is finally going away, bless your parents for bringing you lovely flowers.

  5. Oh I feel your pain. I’ve had to deal with collapsed sewerage pipes which had to be replaced at my own cost, and then a blocked sewerage pipe at the same house within 5 years. I hope your insurance company was more helpful than mine 🙁 I’m glad you got some flowers to cheer you up though x

  6. Life is always a trip! Sorry to hear about the joys and trumps of this week. At least your plumbers speak English. My days have a tendency to get much worser being here on the other side of the pond where most workers only speak Chinese/Cantonese and not a word of English…

  7. Oh my gosh! How utterly awful, Charlie. Life is so crazy to us sometimes, isn’t it? If it makes you feel better, I haven’t done my taxes from last year either. Sigh. Hopefully we’ll both get them tackled soon. xo

  8. I’m so, so sorry for your troubles. Having sewage back up is indeed a troubling scenario. Hopefully insurance or the city’s insurance pays for this type of this type of thing. It does here. My dear friend just renovated her basement from the 2012 sewage backup flooding and insurance paid for it. Fortunately insurance sent a cleanup crew immediately and within days the house didn’t smell vile.
    In Toronto, the city owns 4.87 m (16′) from the centre of the road to your property. So plumbing, large trees, sidewalk issues are the city’s problem although the home owner needs to shovel the snow!

  9. ouch – that sounds painful (haven’t you got enough drama at the moment!) – I worry about our pipes as I had a tradie once tell me they could just fall apart if we did too much work on the bathroom – 5 hours cleaning sounds crazy, tree roots in pipes sounds wrong and a blower that loud is ludicrous! I just hope those flowers don’t drop pollen everywhere and given you hayfever – good luck with your plumbing!

  10. Charlie, I really feel like you experience more than your fair share of challenges (and certainly more than your fair share of internal bubbling brooks)! I’m glad you got a plumber out quickly but it sounds like there will be more work to replace all the pipes. At least the flowers are beautiful xx

  11. Tonette Joyce says:

    I am so sorry. I hope all gets resolved QUICKLY…or less slowly, anyway!

  12. What a nightmare, Charlie. I do love it how you take it and everything else thrown your way completely in stride. I do hope this gets resolved to your satisfaction and soon!

  13. How horrible for you.

    Hope the situation gets cleared up soon. I don’t even want to THINK about the cost along with the stress and inconvenience.

  14. My word Charlie, sounds like a day, hope everything is taken care of in a somewhat timely matter, thank goodness for the quick response of the plumber.

  15. One of my father’s favourite expressions was ‘It never rains, but it pours!’ Hope you are now all cleaned up. xxx

  16. Oh dear Charlie, the fun never ends does it! Coincidentally yesterday we were picking up our bedroom and found part ofthe carpet was soaking wet too, but scarily it’s creeping up the wall as well. We had to pull it up to investigate and it appears to be from where the main pipe enters the house. We’ve had fans blasting too…. Looks like it it’ll be a job for the insurance agency now 🙁 Extending sympathy… xox

  17. There is never a dull moment at your house, is there??? We had a pipe come unattached IN the wall. What a disaster!!! I’m quite familiar with those fans, unfortunately, but Lambeau was never brave enough to get that close 🙂 Hope you’re dried out and smelling sweet by now!

  18. Never a dull moment Charlie! Glad its all sorted now. X

  19. Oh Charlie I know you have had a terrible time. Poor thing. BUT when I saw that photo of Rosie I truly laughed my head off out loud. That is hilarious and made my day xx

  20. Charlie, I’m so sorry! Plumbing problems are the worst! I do hope you’re going to keep us informed about how all this plays out.

  21. G’day and so sorry Charlie! Seems like you are having a run of the not so good things happening lately, but I am sending you positive vibes and am glad at least your plumbing situation is sorted.
    Cheers! Joanne

  22. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When life hands you lemons, SERIOUSLY!!!! 🙁 I remember my sister telling me she returned to her house after her XMAS festivities (about a week later) and she realized that a PIPE BURST in her and her husband’s CLOSET and it had been gushing for about 4 days and ruined a TON of their clothing and of course the woods! 🙁

  23. Every time I hear you mention taxes, I feel sick…we need to do ours and I know this year we owe and I’m not too keen on that idea. We keep putting them off but they’ll have to be done. Ugh
    You poor thing…if it’s not one thing, it’s another! The smell of damp anything is the worst, happy thoughts coming your way. Hope everything is resolved and dry by the time you read this. xx

  24. Oh dear! That’s no good at all Charlie. But now you have a very big reason why your tax returns weren’t done. Has the smell gone now?

  25. Annie Potts says:

    It never rains but it pours at Hotly Spiced Headquarters !!! if I’d had your last fortnight I’d want to hammer a tent peg into my forehead . Hang in there , chilling a bottle of anything here case you need to escape !

    • Don’t do anything drastic, Annie. And if you give me your address I’d be more than happy to drop in for a glass or two of anything you have chilled!

  26. My goodness, Charlie, there sure is a lot of activity in your life these days. Busted pipes are never a good thing. We actually own a cesspool company down in New York and with all this freezing and thawing going on in these parts, there’s bound to be trouble. The roots grow around the pipes and actually squeeze them.

    It’s great that the fans worked but if I were you, I would sprinkle some baking soda around. The smell may be gone for now but when it gets damp, it has a way of creeping back. Hopefully your insurance company will assist in the repairs. Good Luck, Charlie…enjoy those flowers, they are going to be gorgeous and scent the house with a beautiful floral aroma…

  27. Aww…sorry about what happened. You have such sweet and supportive parents, so there’s reason to cheer up 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  28. What a nightmare! I know the smell can be awful, here’s hoping it all dries out really soon. GG

  29. Hang in there!

  30. OMGOSH,
    I despise when that happens.
    Just when Mr. L and I get a head a bit, this sort of thing happens.
    Keep smilin’ xxxx

  31. This reminds me of the day we moved into our brand new home. John went into his son’s bathroom and turned on the water in his spa bath and walked away. Yes, he walked away and an hour later returned to find not only his bathroom and bedroom floating, it was down the hall too. Did I say brand new home??

    He was devastated and we had those air dryers too. SIX of them. Then we had to get the carpets all restretched. Still looked new once it was done but what a mess! My heart goes out to you.

    I liked that photo of the curtains and those beautiful doors.

  32. Oh no!! This would make me crazy. Stay calm and good luck!

  33. Oh, Charlie, this sounds just wretched, and expensive.

  34. Oh Charlie, we are so sorry to hear, our heart goes out to you! We truly hope and wish that is all well now and Arabella is doing better 🙂
    Hugs to you both from J+C

  35. Nightmare of nightmares… I hope everything is ok now… although the thought of replacing the pipes probably doesn’t help.

  36. It’s just one thing after another! Rosie’s ears blowing in the wind are adorable. And the stained glass doors in your bedroom, gorgeous!

  37. Oh Charlie, you’ve certainly been through the wars lately … so sorry about the plumbing woes!

  38. What a horrible nightmare! Water is so destructive and leaves so much damage. Your bedroom looks cool though despite the disruption.

  39. Bubbling brooks are lovely but certainly not in one’s home. It seems we have both had unwanted plumbing problems recently. I hope all has been corrected by now.

  40. Oh my gosh! I am glad you were home to catch the problem. Friends of ours were on vacation when this kind of plumbing emergency ruined the floors in their house! But this is nightmare for you right now. It’s been quite a roller coaster of events requiring flexibility and resilience lately. You are going to need another vacation soon! 🙁

  41. Oh no Charlie…. That is awful. That damp smell does seem to linger… but just an excuse to keep getting flowers till it goes! Liz xx

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