So, our bathtub drain was slow. The classic old-house-can-of-worms turn of events:
Here's what we found: the byzantine mess of pipes is inherently cloggifying

Our friends Pete and John, who are pro plumbers, got to work:

Here's what they found: A "Little Shop of Horrors" bittersweet vine had infiltrated the main sewer line.

The culprit - no wonder this vine stayed green all winter.

Adding a PVC line w/cleanout. By the way, our culprit's little brother is climbing the house on the right. Guess we better get him removed, too.

By the way, John found a newspaper fragment in the crawlspace about the U.S. about to go to war with Japan.

Here are the replacement pipes:

Which left another project, restoring the patio bricks, when filling back in the big hole. But the good news is now I can plant whatever I want now that the big huge root is out of the way.

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Comment by Susan Scofield on June 5, 2009 at 2:53pm
If these pipes are in your basement ceiling, good for you. Ours were behind the bathroom wall, behind the fireplace wall in the living room, and in the living room ceiling. I am stilling holding my breath on that job. We replaced everything but the main toilet/tub drain due to lack of funds several years ago and put up a temporary ceiling over the fireplace mantel since we knew it would have to come back down. That was when I got the bright idea to put in the clawfoot tub on a WEEKEND project. Ha! It took us six weeks to re-route copper pipes and re-build the subfloor, since somebody had cut out portions of the joists.
Comment by Carrie Z on June 8, 2009 at 10:51am
Wow - I know how those jobs like your tub can go...I call them the "Rambo Effect." This is because we get an estimate from a contractor, the contractor starts out doing a great job on the project, then the poor guy realizes that the job is taking him WAY longer than he planned, gets tired and "Ramboes" the rest of the job as fast as he can and goes home...this happened to our chimney and the ductwork in the attic...hence I've learned we have to make lots of room for contingencies and make sure they know we can pay by the hour if things take a turn for the worse...or have a contract that looks like a flowchart (IF this happens THEN we pay this amount...)


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