On Sunday evening, our basement drain backed up. Luckily our boxes had been elevated on plywood just enough to avoid damage. But it was a mess. Yesterday we rented a big plumbers' snake from Home Depot to try and clear the drain. It didn't work. We finally counted up our money and called a plumber in to see if a professional could solve our problems.
Bob the plumber came over at 5am, and for $80 he used his extra big plumber snake machine with the big blades on the end, and got nowhere, though he tried for about 2 hours. In fact it's worse now, the water won't drain at all, so we now have NO water use unless we want to flood the basement. NO dishes can be washed, NO flushing the toilet, NO washing hands -- NOTHING. I have no idea what we're going to do.
It turns out we have a break in our sewer line, or possibly a collapsed section. Fixing the line... requires excavation and replacement of some or all of the waste pipe. This is a 5 to 6 THOUSAND dollar job. Might as well be $5 or $6 million. What the fuck are we going to do? Maybe the city won't find out if we put in an outhouse, but it would be nice to wash up now and then.
We checked with homeowner's insurance and, no, there is no coverage for a broken waste pipe. Interestingly, there is some limited coverage for damage to the house from a broken waste pipe, but we had no damage. The break is right up near the house, too, so we can't get the city to cover it. Things look very grim.