Thread: Moving Story
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:03 AM
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Default Part III: The sewer main.

The maintinance crew did eventually get our water turned back on and we returned the key to the alternate unit since we didn't think we needed it anymore.

The peace lasted one day. The water was turned on late on a Thrusday. On Saturday evening my wife decided to take a bath. One of her favorite activities that she had been denied while our water was off. After her bath she open the drain to let the water out ... and all hell broke loose. I was downstairs in the living room and I heard a strange bubbling sound coming from the bathroom. I ran into the bathroom to find the toiletbowl filling up on it's own.

I immediately started scream for her to call maintinance (we now had their number conviently handy) and I started grabbing boxes and moving them as far away as I could. As the water came pouring up and out the toilet drain I thought if I could open the sewer clean out I could releave the preasure and stem the flow. I ran out the back door with a pipe wrench to where I had seen the sewer clean out hatch. For any familiar with plumbing, I expected to find a cover with a big square projection on it. The kind you can put a wrench on and turn it. Instead I found a cover with a flush surface with a slot it. The kind of thing that looks like an old battery cover where you use a quarter to turn and unscrew it, only much larger. In any case, I don't know what tool you use to remove that but I was boned.

I ran back inside to find the warm sewer water now covering the floor of most of the dining room and running into the kitchen and the nook under the stairs that we set up as an office for my wife. She was now standing in the corner of the living room in a towel screaming into the phone at the receptionist for emergency maintinance. Apparently despite the fact that she was telling them there is sewage running into our appartment right now they were telling her to calm down and spell her name for them. Personally I would thing they would just take the address and get on it but hey I'm not a bureaucrate so I don't know how they think.

Eventually we got a maintinance guy over to our place but not before I had to heap most of our down stairs belongings into the end of the living, the stairwell, or outside. About half our stuff was still in boxes from the move, and where now dripping with the dirt water that came up the drain.

The maintinance guy couldn't do much himself, but he summoned a plumber and a carpet cleaning crew to come in the middle of the night. The carpet cleaners brought a pump truck and some fans. They sucked up all the water they could, put the furniture up on foam blocks and installed the fans so they were blowing under the carpet to dry it. They said they would return on Monday to do a steam cleaning.

The plumber eventually showed up and tried to snake out the drain, but to no avail. He told me it was the worst blockage he had ever experianced and that the snake would only go down the drain about 15'. He said the oak tree outside our back door had likely blocked the pipe with roots and possible broken it entirely so it didn't line up anymore. The sewer main would need to be replaced.

So we were left in the middle of the night on Saturday with dirty carpet, about a quarter of our belonging piled outside, and no working sewer. I couldn't even wash my pants (soaked up the knees with sewage) or shower, because any water we ram would have just come up the toilet, reflooding the dining room.

My wife called a friend of her's and we spent the night there. The next day I got a hold of the appartment manager (I had asked the maintinance guy to help me get a hold of her on a weekend). She gave me a key to another unit (there model unit) and told me we could move in there. I told her it took me over a week to move in and that I would need some help moving. She told me she would see what she could do. I called in another favor and got a friend of mine to help us start moving Sunday afternoon. We got all the major furniture moved over and my wife and I were able to sleep in the other apparement that night.

The next morning I got a call from the manager telling me that should could take a few guys off of maintinance for the day and have them help me move. Great except for it was a weekday and I just started a new job, not the best time to ask for time off. I told her today was no good, as I had to work, and that I would be free on Wednesday. At this point she told me that I had been given a new unit because I said the other one was unliveable and that she had expected I would want to move things as soon as possible if that was the case. At this point a really lost my temper and started shouting about the whole thing. She backed off, and eventually I was able to get enough time to have the guys comeover from 3-5pm. It was a bit of help, but really 2 hours was meaningless to getting everything moved over. My wife and I repacked and moved the rest of our stuff over the course of the next 5 days.

We are now done moving for the second time ... but still unpacking. My wife's area rug is still in the other unit awaiting the carpet cleaner to steam clean it as it was soiled as well as the appartments wall to wall carpet. I've spent countless hours over the last two weeks on the phone with the appartment, my credit cards, the post office, the DMV, insurance companies, etc, trying to straighten out address and charges for things at multiple address.

I have not resolved all the bills yet, but I got my apparement manager's boss on the phone yesterday and it sounds like I may get some satisfaction. My wife and I are both physically and emotionally drained at this point. Hopefully the nightmare is over.
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