A Plumber's Job is Never Boring

Sewer is leaking again! A plumber's job is never done.
Sewer is leaking again! A plumber's job is never done. | Source

I dedicate this hub to our local plumber.

The plumber...a person that is not appreciated until needed. The one person who is brain-sick enough to wade through human waste to conquer plumbing issues.

I was having coffee one morning with my cousin when our local plumber walked in. I'll call him De. De is an easy going guy that loves to shoot the breeze with his fellow mates. This particular morning he was in a bit earlier than his usual time. I was trying to come up with ideas for my next killer hub, when he joined me at my table.

Instead of sitting in an awkward silence, I decided to ask him about some of his plumbing woes when dealing with the public. What I didn't expect, was to walk away knowing a thing or two about plumbing don'ts.

These don't look like they could do that much damage.

These don't look like they could do that much damage, but stuck in a toilet, will back the whole system up.
These don't look like they could do that much damage, but stuck in a toilet, will back the whole system up. | Source

Look out for the dentures!

“I was called to this elderly ladies house one day. Her toilet was clogged. No big deal, I tell her. I dug out my snake and shoved it through the sewer line to see if maybe it was a tree root plugging it. Not such luck. I swabbed the rest of the plumbing until I had the plugged tracked back to the toilet. I drained the water, cleared the toilet, and unhooked it from its resting place. What I found was a bit unusual from the normal stuff plugging the toilet. You know...Lego's, hot wheels, diaper wipes, lady's lipstick. Nope, I pulled out the culprit clogging the throne and put her back together. Then I placed the ladies dainties back on the back of the toilet and asked her to come in. While she was standing there in the doorway, I asked if anything was missing off the toilet. She browsed her items and said, “I'll be...my dentures!” I handed her back her dentures, packed my stuff, and never thought more about it. She went into the kitchen. Next thing I knew, she had boiled her dentures and put them back in her mouth! I can never look at dentures the same way again.”

I was bored through most of the telling of this story. Tapping away at my keyboards. Until the end, when the idea hit me. I couldn't help but ask... “What was your most embarrassing moment?”

This turds for you

“I was called to this couple's house. Their plumbing was one that the sewer dumped over a crick bed when the septic was full. I went to see what the problem was and why the lines were plugged. I swear these people are the only ones I know that have floating turds. Their problem was that since their turds floated, it plugged up the lines to the crick bank instead of sinking. Try explaining that one...hehe. But, that wasn't my most embarrassing one.”

Note to men: Don't flush the condom!

These little things look harmless enough, but enough of them will plug your lines.
These little things look harmless enough, but enough of them will plug your lines. | Source

Just press the lever please!

Did you know that flushing condoms down a toilet will cause a toilet to back up?

  • Yes, I have had that happen to me before. It was pretty embarrassing.
  • No, I didn't know that. I had never heard of that before.
  • I always thought it was a myth.
See results without voting

Don't flush the condom!

I was hooked now. My hands poised above my keys.

“I was called to a prominent banker's house. They don't live here any longer. I wouldn't either after this incident. They were the kind of people that image was everything. But, ya know, bankers have plumbing problems too. Well, this guy's toilet was clogged. He figured it had to do with his wife's female stuff. You know how the box claim that some are flushable? Well, I dug in figuring he was probably right. As I was pulling out the line, he came in to ask if it was her stuffing. I told him nope, it was condoms this time. He looked me straight in the eye and said “I don't use condoms.” I was sweating bullets. He went to confront his wife. She was having an affair. To hid the evidence, the condoms were flushed. They are divorced now.”

De leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his coffee, as my fingers flew over my keyboard. I felt a story coming on.

"The dumbest thing I ever saw...", De said.

“The dumbest thing I have seen done was when a guy used silicone to fill the hole around the toilet instead of beeswax. Do you know how hard it is to pry that stuff off? Lets see, oh ya, I was working late on a job and wanted to hurry to finish it. I was changing a hot water tank. Tired, I didn't pay attention to the layout of the pipes. I just glued them and slapped them together. Next morning I get a call, the lady told me she though I had hooked up an outgoing pipe to the hot water heater. I asked her what gave her the idea. She said, the birds. Intrigued, I drove out and sure enough. A flock of birds were resting on the outside hydrant. They were having a steam bath in the fall air. The hot water line was attached to the outside hydrant, which created steam in the cool air and the birds were attracted to it.”

The modern outhouse


My Scariest Moment...

De took a sip of coffee again...I was beginning to believe he was an addict...before continuing his tall tale.

"My scariest moment was when I encountered a copper head under the house. I hate snakes. Snakes and spiders...but you have to face your fears when plumbing. I couldn't have faced mine any closer if I tried. I was so frightened coming nose to nose with this copper head, I started clubbing him with my flashlight. Suddenly my flashlight broke and it was pitch black! Just me and the snake! I wiggled back out and got me another flashlight.

There ya have it! You can say a plumber's job is never boring."

De was right! My fingers flew over the keyboards, as I thought of a few of my dad's plumbing stories. I laughed to myself as I thought back to those times my sister always asked my dad..."Do you know crack kills?" It would take Dad a moment to figure out what she meant.

After listening to De's tales, I pondered to myself...maybe an outhouse would be easier to deal with deal with...less plumbing!

More by this Author

Comments 24 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Awesome! These are the stories I like. The story about the banker is sad but not his fault at all. The one about the dentures was hilarious and the scary stuff scary. You would think a plumber's job is boring but they seem to have their fare share of drama too.

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This is so funny, I laughed all the way through. I hope you have entered this in the Coins and Clogs comepetition.

Voted up

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I laughed every inch of the way through your story. I loved it. I hope you have this entered for the Coins and Clogs comp.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Absolutely hilarious. Uh, I didn't know about the "banker's divorce proof" either. Wow, a plumber's life is exciting, well worth a Hub and even a book! This guy would be a hit on Oprah.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

You have given a whole new meaning to plumber's snake! Very funny Hub.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

@Cardisa-Thanks, I was re-reading it and realized I left out a whole paragraph about the couple with the floating turds. So, I had to hurry and do a re-edit. I am glad you enjoyed it. It isn't much of a how-to, but what to avoid. I will have to quiz my dad on some of his stories on his days of plumbing. I would have added them now, but he is currently out of town. Thanks again! I am glad I could brighten your day.

@Rosemay-I have entered it, but don't expect to see much action. There are so many stories out there better than mine. I just wanted to add a bit of humor. You should read the hub about the time I wrote an essay on outhouses and modern toilets to pay a teacher back. That didn't go as planned, but was funny non the less. Thanks again for stopping by. I am glad I could make ya laugh!

@Hyphenbird-That story alone was enough for me to write this hub. I was in la-la land until he told me that one. I had to ask him to repeat it twice just to make sure I understood him. My pops was a plumber back in the day. I wanted to pick his brain for this hub, but he is out of town for a bit. I may have to add a few stories later on when he gets back. Thanks again for stopping by.

@Mckbirdbks-I tried to keep it pretty clean despite the topic. I had to edit a few of his dirty words, so I was glad the meaning wasn't lost. The plumber's snake...I could write a hub on that topic alone and the things it has seen. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks!

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Funny stuff. I have read several of the stories about plumbing and yours is one of the funniest.

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

My landlord had our home re-plumbed just before we moved in. It had been sitting empty and the pipes had frozen. When I used the commode though, I discovered that it was hot water. We moved in in Dec. and it was cold in the bathroom. I almost hated to call him and tell him that he needed to get the plumber to fix it.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Becky,

I am glad I could brighten your day with a laugh. I bet you hated to call the plumber. That redefines the term steam cleaned. (I had my bottom side steamed cleaned today!) I once lived in a house where the plumbing to the kitchen sink was above the heat vent coming out from under the sink counter. In the winter it was nice because we didn't have to wait for hot water to do the dishes. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I laughed from start to finish. A plumber's life, who would think about it being funny? Thank you for sharing...

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Always,

I guess sometimes it is easy not to think about a plumber's life being funny when one is trying to tackle plumbing problems. It isn't until they start to share the stories that it clicks what kind of issues and funny predicaments they encounter. Thanks for stopping by!

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I once had a dog who hated plumbers. Whenever workmen came to the house he was friendly but never with plumbers. When I had the bathroom and kitchen ripped out and replaced he would sit with the workers and they would share their lunch with him. But as soon as the plumber arrived he wouldn't let him in the house. I had to shut him away. Must have been the smell.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Rosemay,

How comical! That is interesting that he didn't like plumbers. It must have been the smell. Thanks!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi tipoague, De's stories are hilarious! I love them all, but the condom one is my favourite!

Very funny hub, loved it and voting up.

Tom T profile image

Tom T 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

Loved the way you tell your stories. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Movie Master and Tom T,

@Movie, I was trying to remember some of the stories my dad use to tell us when De walked in. I remembered that he was a plumber and probably had some good ones to tell too. The condom story was the last one I expected, and ended up being my favorite too. Thanks again, and sorry to took so long to respond back.

@Tom- Thanks Tom, sorry it took so long to respond back. I am glad you enjoyed it.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Quite a story and surely you learnt a thing or two. So did i. Awesome piece and great story.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Ubanichijioke,

I did learn a thing or two. I went straight home and asked the men in my family about the flushing condoms. My hubby agreed with the plumber, and my son looked horrified. I think I wasn't the only one to learn something that day. Thanks again!

lonnierakestraw profile image

lonnierakestraw 4 years ago from South Florida

This is a great hub. I've been in the business for a few years and can testify to the fact that there are a lot of these types of stories. We see some of the craziest stuff!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks lonnie,

My dad was a plummer for years. He had some interesting stories he would share. It made for some facinating writing matterial. I could only imagine what you have seen. Glad you like it! Thanks again,

Sophie Mortimer 4 years ago

Wow, these stories are great! I'm suddenly thankful that the only major plumbing problem I have is that my hair clogs my drain. Luckily, I've figured out how to clean it myself. Otherwise, I'd waste so much money calling a guy to come and dig it all out. http://www.academymechanical.com

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Sophie, Sorry for the delay in commenting. I had a great time listening to the plumber tell some of his horror stories. I learned a few things too. Luckily enough, my hubby is my mister fix-it to help keep the costs down. Thanks again for leaving a comment.

jessesToons 3 years ago

This was one fascinating article. I have always said I couldn't handle being a plumber in Toronto. But now I know I couldn't handle it. Some of the things they have to deal with is mind blowing. Its weird because I have always loved using my hands and fixing things but when it comes to plumbing for some reason I can't handle it. Thanks for sharing this article though, it was fun to read. "http://www.aalertdrain.ca/en/plumbing.html

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Jesses, I think it takes someone with a strong stomach to be able to be a plumber. I know I couldn't do it. Thanks again for stopping by.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article