Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22206 – 761:
Here’s the haps:
For the last couple of days my wife has been unable to do the laundry because when the tub would empty the drain would back up and overflow. In the past a thing of drain cleaner and some hot water fixed the problem just fine. I armed myself thusly and went to work. Except that, this time, it didn’t work. A lot of times, if it was really bad, it would make at least some little progress. I could use a second bottle and some hotter water and fix it. Not this time.
I have a little device that is like a heavy rubber balloon with a small hole in the end You attach it to a hose and run it down the pipe as far as you can, turn on the water, the “balloon” part, I can’t think of the proper name for the tool, hold on a minute…Okay. It’s called a Drain Bladder or a Drain Cleaning Bladder and you can get it at the Home Depot if you don’t have one. It looks like this:
This little gadget had worked well in the past but not this time. I ran it all the way up to the clog and turned on the water. and while the water didn’t back up from the bladder, meaning that it was working as designed, but I couldn’t get past that spot, either. One of my daughter’s called a “nephew” of ours who is a licensed plumber. He mainly works in new construction but knows how plumbing works and came over on his Saturday afternoon, free of charge, of course, for Uncle Herb. He spent several hours trying various tools and tricks of the trade, getting on the phone, and consulting with co-workers who had more knowledge and experience. Finally, he got hold of a “power snake” and got into the clog. If you are not familiar with this device the end of it looks like this:
And when he extracted it from the pipe the nice clean spaces you see were all filled with thick mud, like clay. Not lint or hair or anything you’d expect. As generous as he was, this was beyond his scope. We called a plumbing company that does drains.
I wasn’t here when the guy arrived but I was told that he was a big guy with a large caduceus tattooed on his arm. The Caduceus, among other things, is a symbol used in the medical fields and looks something like this:
More about that in a moment. He had the big kahuna of power drain snakes. He got three feet in and broke the end off his machine. Not even a little bit good. He will be back tomorrow with a camera. Oof. Not good at all.
While they were making the necessary arrangements for the appointment tomorrow the question did come up about the rather curious tattoo.
“I went to medical school for eight years to become a doctor. One day I was helping my mom do some remodeling work on her house and realized that I liked doing plumbing better.” The philosophical part that he added was, “I went into the medical profession to prevent and cure diseases. I think that by what I am doing now I have prevented a lot more diseases than I would as a doctor.”