Plumbing And The Family Tree: The Roots Run Deep

by Julie Wilson on January 28, 2013

in Family, Save Money

My husband had just left for a 3:00PM-11:00 PM shift at work. I was home with my two little girls and my two stepsons were on their way home from school. I walk into the bathroom and see the floor is covered in water.

The toilet had overflowed at a very inconvenient time. Then again, what would be a convenient time? Not only that, but I heard something behind the shower curtain. I open it up and find my bathtub filled with about six inches of dirty water.

I didn’t panic at this point because it just so happens that my father in law is a plumber. He also happened to be the one picking up my boys from school and dropping them off. How convenient!


He pulled up in the driveway with the boys and I asked him to come in and look at the bathroom. He knew right away that it was a main sewer blockage. His demeanor didn’t give me that sense of relief I was looking for.

He went outside and came back in much more confident. He said our house had a pipe leading to the outside that connected to the main sewer line. This was a very good thing because then he was able to get to the blockage. If we had not had this, like many houses don’t, we would have been looking at a very expensive fix. It could have been more than a thousand dollars. We are a family of six living on an extremely tight budget. I was very relieved to have this pipe to say the least.

My father in law went home to get his tools, which was just a few minutes away. In the meantime, I was texting my husband to try and tell him the news without sending him into complete panic mode.

During this time, we could not use our upstairs or downstairs bathrooms. We couldn’t use the sink or washer either. Of course, the moment when the toilets are shut down is when you have to go to the bathroom.

My two year old is in the middle of potty training, so she had a potty chair that came in handy for my nine year old. Ha Ha! My 12 year old refused to go in it and it was too cold outside. My mother in law came to the rescue and took the boys to their Auntie’s house.

Baby on Potty

My father in law comes back with his tools. It involves sticking a tool all the way through the pipe until the blockage was found. Sure enough, there was a big blockage. I thought it was a good sign. I had it in my head that he would just pull out what was in there and we would move on. He looks at me and says that he hopes it’s not tree roots because he doesn’t have the tool to cut that. I saw dollar signs immediately. So, I sat their waiting and he pulls some things out. He looks at me and says, “Tree roots.”

Tree Roots Wall

This was the last thing I wanted to hear. We sat discussing the options and trying to figure out how to get these taken care of. He called a guy from our church who owns a plumbing, heating, and cooling business.

Instead of him coming out and charging us a lot of money, he drops off his tool for my father in law to use. The guy lives one block over, so it was convenient on his way home. This was such an answer to prayer. It was cold and rainy, and it was completely dark by this point. My father in law spent a lot of time cutting roots and cleaning it out.

About four hours later we had use of everything again. I had to deep clean the bathroom with bleach, but that was the worst part for me. We were so blessed to have all these events happen in the perfect order. I sent my husband a text and his response was Praise God! I couldn’t agree with him more. It’s times like this that remind me of why it’s important for me to help others when I can.

This whole experience reminded me how important it is to think about the resources we have close to home. Many times, someone knows somebody who can help much cheaper than if you had called an outside source. Many times we panic and call a company right away to come deal with things like this.

There may be people in your family, your church, place of employment, and even friends that can help save you time and a lot of money. Always remember to use your own gifts and talents to pay it forward and help someone else when you get the chance. It will be a blessing to them and more than likely an even bigger blessing to you.

© 2013, All rights reserved.

Andrew January 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

Wow, that’s awesome that your father in law’s a plumber and I’m sure it’s come in handy more than once. I’ve done some of my own electrical but I tend to avoid plumbing because a screwup could lead to terrible destruction by water (especially for the downstairs apartment)!

I’m about to do some tile and I hope my fiance’s uncle can help. Nothing like a family discount of sweat to help with the household work and keep costs down.

Julie Wilson February 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Yes, I feel very blessed! I have been married for 4 years and we have had many plumbing issues, definitely comes in handy! Good luck on ur tile!!

Untemplater January 29, 2013 at 2:54 am

That’s great you were able to get help and quickly. I’ve had my share of plumbing and toilet problems too. Each one makes me so darn appreciative of having running water and a flushing toilet.

Julie Wilson February 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Thanks! Oh, wait til you see some future posts..I wouldn’t exactly say the problems were taken care of at this point;)

Squirrelers January 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm

How convenient to have someone able to help like that! I totally agree, pay it forward and help those who can use your skills in times of need.

Julie Wilson February 7, 2013 at 10:38 am

Yes, it was convenient! It happened again, but the problems are done now, and Ill be writing an update soon:)

Evan January 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Wow. You are so lucky to know a plumber. Every time you need to get one it is at least a few hundred just to look and see what’s wrong.

Squirrelers said it best – Pay it Forward!

Julie Wilson February 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

It has come in handy many times, although this saga will continue in some future articles;)

Lorillia|Your Money Mentor February 16, 2013 at 1:34 am

Your father in law is the great.

Julie Wilson February 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

I agree! Thank you!

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