Home life

The plumber and The Machine

If there’s one thing you want to be working in your house, it’s the drains. At their worst, if there’s a complete blockage, you’ll end up with nasty smells and even nastier effluent in the house.

Thankfully things weren’t that bad, but there was that suspicious level of water in the toilets, and some stuff wouldn’t flush down properly (eugh).

The benefit of owning the house is you can get any plumber you like, at a time of your liking, so you can choose not to hire the cheap-but-unreliable type. The disadvantage is you end up paying for it.

Having got the name of a good plumber from my sister (since I’ve never had to ring one before), he arrived and took a look around to work out where the drain actually goes. If it went under (and was shared with) the neighbour’s house, it could get complicated. It wasn’t actually clear exactly where it went, but he did find what he needed to have a go at unblocking, and went to get The Machine.

The Machine is an ancient looking beast. Probably the oldest bit of kit he has, it looks like it could easily be sixty years old. All utilitarian metal, it reminded me of the prehistoric hat-stretching device at Hattams.

The actual bits that go down the drain, though, reminded me more of the metal tentacles from the final battle scenes in the third Matrix movie, if a little more benign. 15 feet long, the plumber fed them down one-by-one, bit by bit. “15 feet… 30 feet… 45 feet… much longer and we might be in trouble. Ah! Here we go.”

The machine spluttered, and then kept pushing. Somewhere down in the depths of the local drainage system, the blockage — probably tree roots — had been cleared. A few test flushes later and all was well.

Except for the bill of course. $180. Ka-ching!

Still, worth it to avoid getting poo all over the floor.