Clogged Drain Could Be Caused by Clogged Vent Pipe Pt2

So today was rather warm and tomorrow will be also so I figured the ice I had left in the vent pipe would have melted. I’m POSITIVE it froze at some point given how cold it’s gotten in the last 2 weeks. But today when I looked down the pipe there was a hole going down the middle of the ice all the way through.


The game plane for the day was to mix a nasty concoction of chemical and let it eat its way through whatever is clogging up these pipes. Muriatic acid, bleach, and non lye drain cleaner. A local pal/handyman said this stuff would get very hot and a) melt any ice in there and b) hopefully eat through the blockage. I DO NOT recommend this, it’s just something I’m trying before we open up the walls and dismantle the pipes.


But if you’re going to try something like this have some protection, like gloves…


And a clean air mask. If you don’t have one like this even one of those paper cup type is better than nothing. As those of you who’ve been to boot camp know. These big boys do work.


So we’re going to let that jazz sit in there and soak for a while.


One of the things you can do is if you need a local handy person–Check Service Magic Call them at 877-576-3375

In the meantime here’s a picture of my uncle walking around on his building. And a few shots of Chicago from up there.

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Downspout Drainage to Sewer Clogged or Leaking

So OK, I’ll admit it, I’ve been involved with multiple outdoor projects. But actually they’re all connected; the siding installation made me look at the gutter situation, and the gutter situation made me look at the downspout situation. The downspouts are in place but water should be going somewhere right? But it isn’t. It’s going down the downspout and just sitting there. Or rather if it IS draining to someplace it’s doing so VERY slowly. And I’m convinced that water sitting next to a house foundation isn’t a good idea. In fact (and I haven’t done the research) I get the feeling that if a LOT of water pools and seeps into the ground it will freezes expand.

I have a crack in my foundation that was sealed up, but it is coincidentally very close to the spot where the water that isn’t draining pools. As you can see here, The snows out there, but I’ve started to move it.


Where the water is supposed to go via gravity. And the old crack.


So initially I’m looking at all this water go into the downspout drainage and it’s just not going anywhere, it’s just pooling along the side of the house. The water is supposed to go down that whole, connect to a pipe underground that runs parallel to the house right on out to the sewer line in front of the house.


I had 3 different shovels. A big one for the snow, a regular one for the actual dirt, and a pointy one for the tight places. Yeah, I know there’s an official name for the pointy one. And after a while I had a hole about a foot and a half down, and about 2 feet long.


I could see I would might digging a while to find the underground pipe to the sewer, since it’s supposed to be about 3 feet down below the water table. So I decided to get a little closer to the downspout connection pipe. As I started carefully digging the dirt away from the pipe water started to seep into my whole.


And in the next photo you can see what happened as I moved even more dirt-more water came gushing out. So the location of the problem is no longer in doubt.


The only issue now was; is the tile pipe cracked and going to need replacing OR is there a clog in the pipe. I can see the water setting in that (vertical) pipe, but I don’t know if there’s just stuff in there or is the pipe cracked and not flowing into the horizontal pipe to the sewer. I’ll let you know as I get in there. I’ll connect a link to that post. And by the way Need a local handy person? Check Service Magic Call them at 877-687-4550

Judgment Call: Telling Young People About Torrents

Couple of days ago I wrote about my dealings with the elderly and computers, and that puts me in mind of age issues and their relation to computers. And so we face a sort of strange question; is it ok to let kids into the world of torrents?

Well I can you give you a definitive “I don’t know.” Depends on the family, the kids, which kind of torrents. There ARE legal torrents that don’t have any kind of copyright infringement issues; of course those are typical the UNexciting torrents. So it all depends on if you’re ok with young people breaking the law in the convenience of the home. It’s not as dangerous as going to a store and shoplifting, but it’s basically the same thing.

If you read a bunch of the torrent sites, as I do, you’ll hear all kinds of arcane and abstract arguments about how downloading music, tv, movies, comic books, books, and software that you would normally have to pay for is ok because a) the big companies can afford it b) nothing is really stolen since you don’t end up with any kind of physical object in your house c) if they’re not in the US they aren’t breaking any US law and defghijklmn…..there’s no end to “why I’m not guilty” arguments.

So ok, I’m not a hypocrite, so I’m absolutely not here to argue the merits of is it right or wrong. But as an older person the chances are pretty likely you’re going to be faced with the question of whether or not you should tell some younger person HOW to do use torrents, if it’s in your house should you allow it. and if you say yes what conditions are you gonna set.

Yesterday I was visiting with a young woman, who’s now 18, and back from college break and she wanted some music from something called Rihanna (HEY, I told you I was the older person in this scenario!) and she wanted it right NOW. She had discovered Limewire on her own some years ago and I asked how why she didn’t use that, and she said it messed up her computer. So I asked her why she didn’t use Bearshare? And she said she hadn’t heard of it, but a friend had a Mac and there was this site for people with Ipods and did I know about it and all she wanted was just one song not a whole album, and on and on it went. And I finally said OK, just use a torrent!


And she was like, what is that? Now I recently read that recently uTorrent reached a 5 percent saturation on PCs. That means that 5 percent of every computer out there is running uTorrent. That is very intense. So I took her to Wikipedia and had her read the torrent entry and then gave her an explanation of the basic technology and asked her if she had any moral conflict with just taking this song she wanted. Can you guess the answer?

I had faced a similar situation about half a year ago with a young lady about the same age. But in her case I explained that this knowledge is a little dangerous. If you’re hanging around a lot of kids and you know how to “get stuff” off the internet you’ll have lots of kids either begging you for the stuff itself, the information on how to do it, or the criminal minded kids DEMANDING you do it. So that young person and I had a very serious talk about personal use vs. spreading. So just be aware; you ARE going to be an older person than you are right now, and you ARE going to come into contact with younger people who are going to want info like this. And yeah I know kids usually find out about “computer stuff” first, but not our generation. We grew up with the stuff so many of us are serious users already and we’ll determine the habits of the next generation.