So far, June has been the month of things breaking around the house. I alluded to one repair that cropped up in our May 2015 update, and I was expecting to have to get new tires soon as well, but man, it seems like every time I turn around, something else has broken. What all has gone on? Well, let me tell you.
It started a few weeks ago when we noticed one of our pipes coming out of the house was dripping water. Mrs. SSC googled it, and found out that, “Yipe! That is our AC overflow drain and it shouldn’t ever be dripping water!” We immediately googled DIY AC drain cleaning. Looked pretty simple, just find the original drain, hook up a vacuum and it “should” suck out all the built up algae and what not. Bada-Bing, Bada-boom! Clean drain! I get in the attic, as this is where our main units are located, and trace the pipe across the attic to where it drops into the wall and into the guest bathroom where it is tied into the P trap under the sink. I start monkeying with the joints, and hooray, they have glued every single joint… At this point, I don’t want to start cutting PVC, and get myself into a plumbing rabbit hole nightmare, so we call around and find out it’s only about $69 for drain cleaning. I find this price point definitely worth it, so I set up an appointment.
The guy gets there and cuts apart the joints, and snakes the line, and nothing. He gets in the attic, cuts apart the line somewhere else, snakes it, vacuums, and nothing. He keeps at it for 4 hrs. and kept re-iterating that there was no guarantee on this drain cleanout. After about 5 hrs., he got a bunch of gunk out of the line and it was all sealed up. However, because this wasn’t a typical drain cleaning, it was in the $450 range, and not $70, but I had signed off on this before he started, and inwardly I was a little glad it took 5 hrs., because I felt a little more justified. I also watched everything and asked lots of questions, and realized that with 5+ hrs. of my own time, I could’ve saved $450. Lesson learned for next time.
Three days later, we notice the drip is back. Yep, remember the non-guarantee about cleaning? This time I call no one, and head to Lowe’s for some PVC connectors, piping, and then start cutting up the pipe. I essentially cut the pipe near the unit, and disconnected it at the last place the plumber cut it. This was about a 10’ section of pipe, and after some finagling, I got it outside. There I turned the jet nozzle of our hose into it and even that wasn’t getting the blockage out. I poked it with a sink snake I had sprayed some more, and about a cupful of algae, scale, and God knows what finally came out. Then I go upstairs and 15 minutes later, clean drain. Yeah me! I was sorry that I didn’t try that sooner, but I’ve always had poor luck when I work on plumbing, so I didn’t feel confident enough to try it on my own the first time. Not anymore!
The second major cost was a broken garage door spring. I went to open the garage door, and heard a loud snap and banging sound. I went to investigate and I saw that the one of the mounts had ripped out of the wall. This was the mount that holds up our garage door overhead bar that the belt travels on, and keeps it attached to the wall.
The people who had installed it had just barely hit the stud with their bolts, and it had ripped out of the top of the stud, and out of the drywall, and was laying on the top of the garage door. I sighed, cursed a little, but 15 minutes later I had it repaired and sunk into a solid stud. Yeah me!
When I hit the door button, it would only travel about 4 inches and stop. I investigated closer and saw the spring was snapped in half. Aye yi yi! I disengaged the motor and tried to manually lift the door so I could at least get the car out, and no. I could get it up about 2 feet before the other spring forced it back down. A couple of calls around and I got some rough quotes and found a place that could get out there that afternoon. This was about 2 pm, because I was home taking care of a sick little one. That repair for both springs (why wait for this to happen again) was right at $440 too.
I think home repair folks just look at some papers, shuffle them, and say, “Meh, that’ll be about $450.” And then shrug their shoulders at you with their hand out waiting for payment. It’s only June 10th, so I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings.
How about you? Have you run into any unexpected home repairs recently?
Did you have the time to DIY them, or did you call someone?
Anyone else feel like it’s at least $100 for someone to show up to your house to say “This will cost more than $100.”