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family, seattle, Uncategorized

about that broken pipe

the house looking deceptively whole

Now that we’ve had a little space to enjoy functional plumbing, we’re ready to talk about the event referred to in the Klug household as ‘poop-a-palooza 2010’. Most of you heard about the broken sewer pipe in the front yard, but unless you’ve dug around in your own feces, it’s hard to appreciate the sheer crappiness of the situation. Poop in the basement, poop in the yard, and a particularly enlightening moment gazing into the hole around the pipe together, pre PVC patch. Alan: “What’s that white stuff?” Leah: “That’s toilet paper.” Eeeewww. First off, to find the leak was an ordeal in itself. It took removing the boards from the front porch, digging around, and squeezing alongside the porch into the side hole. Eventually, the hole was enlarged to become the Seattle version of the Big Dig.

the porch, boards off. alan constructed a path for our intrepid mail person, who never missed a delivery. USPS ftw!

Our house was constructed in the 1940’s, a time when sewage pipes were made of concrete. Raise your hand if you had no idea concrete pipes even existed. Me too. Turns out you can wear a hole in a concrete pipe, especially if it has a sharp, 45 degree angle. The City of Seattle plans we unearthed showed the approximate location and shape in the end of the pipe, and when I pushed the trowel through a wad of muck and water started flowing out, we realized we were in for an interesting situation. Alan continued to unearth the pipe over the course of a week (did I mention I married a superstar?), and figured out a solution.

getting warmer. you can see on the big dig on the left.

PVC and concrete can coexist, given enough encouragement, adhesive, and metal clamps. Hopefully, the PVC joint will last at least another 70 years, and be more resistant to root growth. Note to former builders: what made you think a 45 degree angle in a sewage pipe was a good idea? Did you see all the other houses on our block? No 45 degree angles. Why? Because eventually, water hitting a 45 degree angle will wear through concrete.

post-operation. new pvc joint in place, leak stoppered, cesspool neutralized.

After hours of careful pipe surgery, full sewage capacity was restored and Alan was able to rebuild the porch. Not only does Mr. Klug now have a badass story to share, he saved us tens of thousands of dollars. Rock. Star.

the joint: 1940's concrete meets 2010 pvc.

While we won’t miss digging around in our own poo, I have to wonder what the neighbors were thinking. On a warm, sunny day taking Eddy out for a walk in the neighborhood in the midst of this situation, I caught a whiff of ‘eau de Klug poo’ while walking up our block. To all our Wallingford friends, my sincere apologies. And to the guy next door holding an open house during poop-a-palooza, if I knew your new address, I’d bake you a pie. Rest assured, we’re all kinds of clean and sanitary these days.

the side access point. this is where i jumped in and dug around to find the hole in the pipe. mmm, snuggling up to the sewage.

Many thanks to all those who helped out: Alan’s dad for the tireless digging, trips to Home Depot covered in crap, troubleshooting and assistance. Steve for coming over and helping us load up the cleaned-up snake. Intrepid mailperson for never missing a delivery. Sinners and Saints folks for offering showers, toilets, and alternate locations for Sunday meetings. And of course to the Alan, for persevering and kicking some concrete pipe booty. High five!



4 thoughts on “about that broken pipe

  1. Wow. That’s quite the ordeal. Go team Klug!!

    Do you at least have a newly fertilized lawn to show for it? 😉

    Posted by Blake Pusztai | May 21, 2010, 1:15 pm
  2. Seriously impressive. I can not believe you all did it all yourselves. That’s some poo to be proud of!

    Posted by Jason | May 22, 2010, 9:32 am
  3. our lawn was mysteriously green and lush. jason, you’ve dealt with this stuff a few years back, right?

    Posted by leahklug | May 22, 2010, 8:41 pm


  1. Pingback: Leah and Alan » Blog Archive » does this thing still work? - June 16, 2010

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About Me

wife, partner, daughter, and sister. traveler on the journey of faith. rage against the machiner. sometimes pastor.


May 2010
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