70 years of eeeewwwwwww!

Our house was built in 1939. I suppose someone has lived in it pretty much continuously since it was built. Said people probably used the kitchen sink about every day as well. Furthermore, occupants more than likely washed crumbs and chunks of food and marbles and all sorts of other stuff down the kitchen sink.

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(the original, offending pipes!)

Fast forward 70 years…a lovely, young, intelligent and beautiful couple moved in with their delightful children. Suffering from the sins of the folks who had mistreated the drains for 70 years prior, the brilliant couple discovered that their kitchen drain was stopped up (I wrote a limerick about it yesterday). A simple plunger and even a drain snake could not clear the clog.

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(hey, is that a pickle?  Yum!)

The handsome man of the house decided there was but one solution…buy a new tool and do exploratory surgery. Fortunately, the main drain from the sink was exposed in the basement.

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(part of the monstrosity/atrocity that I removed)

The original equipment was 2 inch galvanized steel. I originally cut the cleanout “Y” with my new reciprocating saw. It was clogged in both directions so I continued to cut back, piece at a time until I found clear pipe. All in all, I removed about 5 feet of pipe and 1000 pounds of corrosion and clog. Galvanized steel pipes (I recently learned from a co-worker) corrode on the inside and causes build-up. Sure enough, that’s exactly what I found. In the 2 inch pipe, there was approximately 1/2 inch of pipe still open. The remainder was a rock-solid corrosion that, of course, was a clog waiting to happen.

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(ahhhh…much better!)

So I finally found my clear pipe and hooked up new pvc drains and all is well. As I looked around more, I found that every single sink and tub drain in the house is made of galvanized steel. I think I see the next couple of years’ worth of projects…

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(we can do dishes again!)

So, if you live in an old house, what sort of quirks have you found? What about things that are unique to a new house?

12 thoughts on “70 years of eeeewwwwwww!

  1. We have that same heavy steel pipe drain in our house. I’m very fearful that the same thing is gonna happen. What kind of tool did you use to cut that pipe? You need to start doing tutorials.

  2. Ours is an 1890 farmhouse so in addition to the corroded pipes that you discovered, we had some electrical challenges; prior to installing a disconnect and new 200 amp breaker box, we could not have the furnace, dryer or stove on at the same time or it would trip the main house breaker. I was living the Green Acres dream for awhile – anyone remember that show?
    .-= Annette´s last blog ..An Observation =-.

  3. You da Man!
    I noticed you got a new reciprocating saw because of this job. I’m thinking you saw it at the Home Depot and wondered “OOoo, what can I tell Emily needs fixing so I can buy this saw!!”

    Great work, and you’re right—Ewwwww!
    .-= Ceecee´s last blog ..Gary Cooper vs. Mickey Mouse =-.

  4. We live in a 1911 farm house… one that obviously did not have indoor plumbing when it was built. When they did add the bathroom (not sure the exact date) they put it IN the kitchen!! they plumbed the kitchen and the bathroom at the same time.. easy right. It is so weird having the bathroom door right NEXT to the stove (between the stove and the window. We added a second bathroom and plan to close off the door by the stove and have the bathroom open up into the master bath…. ahhh progress!!!! I almost had to click off your post while I was reading it… I was EATING my lunch and almost lost it!!!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Its fall BREAK and praise time! =-.

  5. Improper installation of tiles in tub surround=invisible leaks until the floor in the next room developed a mysterious bulge. Scary, and we are lucky the tub didn’t end up in the basement. As a result we spent a couple of months showering in the outdoor shower. It was very pleasant until the temperature went down to 40. Then we told our “contractor” (husband/dad) to stop doing such a fancy job and just finish it. Now he’s tackling a rotting window frame. Rhode Island gets lots of nor’easters so the windows on the north and east side of the house are pretty bad. Come to think of it, the western ones are bad too. The house is only 40 years old but a lot was owner done and poorly at that. Plus, late 60’s materials weren’t exactly high quality.

  6. OK…that was gross!

    We are in the middle of a remodel of a house built in 1895. What cracks me up is that they used old newspaper a a vapor barrier! Nothing like reading old newspapers from the early 1900’s when you are tearing out walls!

    Not a single stud in the whole house is the same distant apart. I also know that no one could afford to build houses like this anymore. They used tongue and groove both on the outside and inside of the walls, beautiful old wood…love it!

    New houses just don’t have the same character. Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..How to Take a Better Picture and Its Not What you Think! =-.

  7. Kristen – I bought a new reciprocating saw…one with variable speeds…my old one was not variable and it nearly killed me…

    Chiot’s Run – honestly, you are right and I’d take an old house in most cases…

    Annette – we are suffering some of the electrical stuff too…though not nearly as bad as you I am sure!

    Ceecee – I had been eyeing it for awhile…

    Heather – Oh wow! I don’t think I like the sound of that either…make that a priority indeed!

    Diane – I am getting a lot of the “just finish it” stuff too…our house is a constant wreck!

    Kim – we bought our old house because it is full of character. I can’t imagine it any other way!

    tipper – I took many shots too…so I could get the lighting right!

  8. Yuck…

    Seems like no matter how old or new a house is there is ALWAYS something to fix.. The place we have here in Alabama was new (no one ever lived in it.) Well, we had to fix the dishwasher (because a silly little washer broke- it’s amazing how much water gets every where from something so darn small), the bathroom shower floor leaked (we still need to fix that, we take showers in one of the other ones), the heating ducts where all wrong and there were a few other odd ball things like that (believe it or not we had inspections done but they didn’t find the leak in the shower floor but they did say something about the ductwork.)

    Gotta love ownership. Sometimes I wondering if renting isn’t better. I did say sometimes…lol…

    Dora Renee’ Wilkerson

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