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The Great Sewer Room Kaboom

Late last week, the toilet in the basement bathroom backed up.  Woulnd't flush no matter what.  So we finally called a plumber.  The first one didn't answer the phone and didn't respond to the voice mail I left.  The second didn't have a plumber available until Saturday--four days away.  The third could send one out that afternoon.  Well, good.

The plumber arrived.  I also explained that the sink drain was slow, which probably meant the clog was past the toilet in the main pipe.  The plumber wanted to trace the pipe, so I took him to the pump room.

Oh, fer--

The reason the for the toilet backup and slow sink wasn't a clog.  See, the basement bathroom sits =below= the septic tank.  This means that waste waster empties into a holding basin in the pump room.  When it's full, a pump kicks in and moves everything up to the septic tank.  Turns out the outlet that supplied the pump has a local circuit breaker that had tripped, which shut the pump off permanently.  Waste water filled the basin and overflowed into the pump room and into the back section of the family room.  It went unnoticed because no one walks in that back corner.  The carpet back there was soaked with . . . yuck.

We reconnected the pump's power source, and it sucked all the standing water out, but the carpet, pad, wall board, and trim were all soaked.  Great.  Just great.

The plumber's job was done, so he left.  I was just trying to figure out what to do about the rest when I remembered to call our homeowner's insurance company.  Duh.

Here, I'm going to sound like a commercial, but Allstate revved right into gear.  Within the hour, they had a cleaning crew at our house.  They removed all the damaged materials (including some destroyed personal items in a nearby closet), photographed and documented everything, and submitted the value to Allstate.  They cut out the wallboard, insulation, and everything else that had touched sewer water; disinfected everything; and installed dehumidifiers and fans.  (Allstate reimbursed us for the electricity!)  A few days later, they came back and took the equipment out.  Today, a reclamation company showed up, examined and measured, and said they'd come back with an estimate in a day or two.  It'll be their job to reinstall carpet, wall board, trim, and paint.  I didn't even have to call any of these people--Allstate found them and sent them over.  Man!

We have a deductible, which we'll have to eat, but we can manage it.  When all I have to do is let people into the house and have them do their thing, I'm thrilled.

So now we're just waiting for the reclamation company to get their machinery going.

This is why I love Allstate.


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