Saturday, 30 January 2010

Ups and downs

The day started quiet well. I managed to unblock the drain which had been partly blocked for months. The liquid had been draining away slowly but a large quantity, about 0.35 tonnes, of other material had been building up in the drain pipe that runs from the back of the house to the main sewer in the street. I only noticed this problem yesterday when we came home from our weekly visit to the pub.

There was water, smelly water at that, oozing up from around the manhole cover and running down the street. I opened the cover and found...... No. I'm not going to tell you what I found. You can have a pretty good guess; that's if you want to. But the pit was full. It measures 45cm by 60cm by 90cm deep which works out at a quarter of a cubic metre. Holding my nose I poked around with a stick, a long stick. After a minute or so prodding hopefully down the pipe to the sewer there was a glup followed by and other glup and the water began to flow. Wonderful, a result. And I hadn't thrown up. Sorry, spoke too soon, this huge lump that had been festering in the drain pipe suddenly decided it didn't want to make that one way trip to the sewerage treatment plant and blocked to pipe, it just sat there in the u-bend immobile and vile.

However such places that link the house drains, which are usually rat free, to the main sewer, never rat free, do have an escape route for emergencies such as this. There is a pipe bigger and without the u-bend of the usual way to the sewer. Normally it is covered to stop rats heading for the household drains. Enough water (and other material) had gone so I could see the cover which I removed, first placing several plastic bags over my hand. Thank god for plastic bags. By then I had had enough and resolved to sort out the rest of the problem in the morning.

In the morning I got the mop and taped a bit of old carpet round the head and encased the lot in a couple of plastic bags, thank god for plastic bags. They do have more uses than filling up landfill sites. Couple of quick plunges and the water was flowing once again.
The Drain, with cover. I did take one of the drain without the cover but I'm not going to show it here, this is a family show.

In the afternoon I went down to the Harbour where the police inflatable was being pulled up the ramp out of the water. Last Saturday I had taken a photo of this boat to illustrate a post about the protest going on in London about people being harassed by the Met Police and council official when all they were doing was taking photos of interesting places like St Paul's Cathedral and a fish and chip shop. I had assumed they were on a training exercise but they were there again to day. Turns out they are searching for property removed from the apartment of an elderly couple murdered her in Torquay a week or two ago. We seem to have had a few murders here recently, there is a murder trial going on in Exeter now. A man went missing last year and no trace of him has been found. The police are convinced he has been murdered, hence the trial.

Later in the evening the TV began to act up. The sound kept cutting out and the picture freezing. We get our TV from Virgin so when I finally gave up watching the TV and tried the internet which comes through the same cable as the TV it turned out to be impossible to get on the www. Bugger.

It’s now Saturday afternoon and the TV and the internet are working again so I am posting this now, a day late.


Anonymous said...

Very good David, independent resolve. I take alot of calls about blocked drains, toilets, pipes and the vast majority do not make much of an attempt to resolve the problem with or without the help of plastic bags. Glad your pipes are now running free. : )

NThorn said...

We, also with Virgin, also had no internet. Although that was today (mid-morning to mid-afternoon)

Bloody Branson...

it was much better when it was Telewest, and before that, Eurobell :P

Anonymous said...

Maybe what blocked your drain was the remains of the missing man?

retired driver Peter said...

Surely one cannot blame either Virgin or Sir Richard fore the occasional lapse in the mechanics of the tv and internet service.Has N Thorne never had a car breakdown or been on a broken bus or train? Nothing mechanical is ever going to be 100%, I would suggest that the criteria is how long it takes to put matters right and in my area of the East Midlands at least this does not take long to remedy

David said...

to Joe; I have cleared out a drain once before. I owned a house in Manchester and every time it rained the celler flooded. Eventually I decided to open the manhole cover and have a look. The pit was full and once I had got the 'water' out it turned out to be 1.9.metres deep. I had to climb down to remove the blockage. Not pleasent.

David said...

took about 12 hours to sort the problem out. True things do break down but no telly and no internet for 12 hours is more than a person can stand without having a go at someone. As I know from my bus driving days.