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Remnants of a White Trash Picnic.

Remnants of a White Trash Picnic.

Two recent discoveries:

1. Someone, at some time, burned a giant candle on the roof of the house (above Sadie’s room) and let it burn down to the bottom which melted a swath the rubber roof. This will need to be cut out and patched. Not a huge deal. What is a huge deal, potentially, is number 2…

2. Our sewer “lateral” (the pipe connecting our basement to the city’s sewer tunnel under the street) may need to be excavated and replaced. Our plumber was connecting our waste water pipe to the cast iron trapin the basement when he realized that the trap was not connected to the lateral, but sitting there unattached. In fact he could, and did, lift the iron trap (the size and weight of a small anvil) completely out with his hands. The pipe, he said, looked to be in bad shape and possibly asbestos-lined.

A call to the city gave me an idea of the cost associated with digging up the old and laying a new lateral: $5,000. The first step is to get a company to “TV” the line, meaning to stick a tiny camera through the pipe and videotape the innards. This runs $225 at EcoClean, a company recommended by the city’s Public Works Dept. They have sample videos at their website, one with rats in it!

EcoClean comes Monday afternoon and then we’ll know what we’re dealing with. There are options for relining the lateral, but only if the connection to the main is solid. Sheesh.

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