That'll be another $339.
The toilets are backed up in the House. My daughter was almost afraid to tell me, after I lost my mind with the hole in the wall and the need to replace the hall bathtub, but I just shrugged and laughed. Of COURSE this happens on a holiday! It always does. This is not the first time we've had to clean out the main drain under the house. In...doing math in my head...giving up and scratching on paper - 18 years of owning the house, I think we've had to clean the main drain 3 or 4 times, and I am not kidding when I say it's always Christmas, Easter, or the 4th of July, never on a random Tuesday afternoon. This House Knows.
I live in the worst of all worlds, property-wise. I live in a condo, where costs like that are part of common element issues and not mine alone to bear, though I pay every month for the overall maintenance, but I also still own a single family house I've wanted to sell since 2007, which for various sensible and practical reasons was and is now rented at less than break-even, and that is always ready to kill any thought that I might get out of debt someday. So, yeah, hey, Happy 2014! That Discover Card bill you'd just paid down? Yeah, nevermind.
Yet when I do my taxes, the IRS considers this an investment, and I can't just scrawl in crayon, splattered with wine stains and tears, "YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!" I have to do the math and explain it on paper. The math is very depressing.
This, too, shall pass. It really will. It will work out. It always does.
And when they came out to make the toilets flush again they used a camera on the lines. The house is fine, these pipes are fine, the source of the recurring blockage is at the clay pipe put in by the county 30+ years ago. Good to know, and time to contact the HOA to see if this is a problem on the street - if it's the age of the pipe, and 30 years of roots of various growing things intruding, it's time to bitch as a community. Past time, really.
Of all the times this has happened, this is the first time I can remember that anybody suggested dropping a camera down the lines. They took the time. Go, Roto-Rooter! When a company comes out and does a great job and goes above and beyond and finds the answer, at night on a holiday, I am happy to sing their praises. (This isn't the company I used to trust that left me with a hole in the living room wall.)