The kitchen sink stopped draining two weeks ago. Just all of the sudden.
There had been occasional backups before — a nasty backwash from the dishwasher, or maybe the full basin took longer to drain somedays — but the water always went away after awhile.
Not this time. A giant pool of stale pasta water.
After a couple nights of me trying to clean it out with the pipe snake, and dry heaving under the sink because of the smell, we called a plumber.
The guy came over, took a look, and brought out the heavy-duty tools. He did his thing for about an hour without any luck.
Definitely not a clog, he said, but he’d have to come back to the house another day. He didn’t have the company pipe camera to see what was really the problem, but he also didn’t hesitate to speculate that we had a broken pipe under the basement floor. Would probably cost us a COUPLE THOUSAND DOLLARS to dig up the concrete and run a new pipe to the drain in the laundry room. Oh, and that’ll be $240 for today’s visit.
At this point, we’re terrified. No solution and a giant repair bill looming. Time for a second opinion. But first, an angry phone call.
Stephanie tore into the Aksarben Plumbing people on the phone, arguing that we weren’t paying for their unsuccessful unclogging. They got the message — refunded the all the money (even the fee for the service call) and agreed not to send their guy back with his camera for a second look. (Poor fella wouldn’t have stood a chance after Stephanie had already wasted all of a Friday afternoon with him.)
Next up: Aspen Plumbing, on a recommendation from Steph’s uncle. Their guy drove over the same day, on his own time, and gave us some super-poison-acid stuff to try on the clog. If that didn’t work, we were supposed to call another of his guys to come fix it.
Two days later, the Aspen guy is standing in the kitchen, laughing at the idea that a pipe might be broken in the basement. No way, it’s a clog, he said. After an hour of work, he busted through and we had a fully operational sink once again.
And the guy charged us 85 bucks. Bravo, Aspen Plumbing — cheaper AND better.
Plus, I really wasn’t in the mood to dig up the basement.