plumber fixing the toilet, holiday disaster
Photo: Ryan Lane/E+/Getty
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Old-Plumbing Failure

"Despite all my years warning TOH readers to never call a plumber on a holiday, we did just that one Christmas a few years back. Having the whole family using my parents' two full bathrooms and 40-year-old plumbing quickly led to a clog in the main line out to the septic tank. We're talking raw sewage backed up in the downstairs tub. No one could shower or even run the water in the kitchen sink, and the only toilet available was in an apartment over the garage. To make it worse, the access point to the line was in a closet in the living room. So while we all sat around opening presents in our pajamas, Christmas tree lit up bright, the plumber snaked out the line just 10 feet away. What a lovely man to come out on a holiday. (Of course, we paid a premium for that!)"

—Alexandra Bandon, Online Editor
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