Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Small Successes

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We have been experiencing an increasingly noticeable septic odor in the area near our kitchen sink. Early on, it was vague enough to defy positive identification, so the suspected source bounced around from something bad in the trash bin under the sink to dirty dishwater left too long. We continued to hope we could avoid finding out it was an actual septic tank issue.

When you are in the house long enough, your nose learns to tune it out, so troubleshooting the source is a challenge. However, when you walk in from outside, and the first thing you notice is that smell, even though you are not at the sink, it becomes clear there is a definite problem.

Eventually, I broke down and called our septic tank company for help. The gentleman was very helpful in providing possible sources to check before needing to pay him to come out and pump the tank for inspection. He said they have found nests blocking the vent pipe and traps that have dried out as examples of causes for that odor. When he asked if we had a bathroom downstairs that doesn’t get a lot of use, my hopes climbed.

Yes, we do. I went downstairs and ran water in the laundry room, poured water down the floor drains, and then hit that bathroom, flushing the toilet and running water in the tub and sink.

Could it be that simple? We have suffered with this smell becoming increasingly annoying over several weeks. All I needed to do was run water? Apparently.

I did go up on the roof, to verify there was no nest in the vent stack. Now, after having run that water, and waiting a few days to try to sense an improvement, I am ready to claim success. The clincher was having Cyndie walk in the house when she got home from work and her not noticing any bad smell.

On top of that success, while in that basement bathroom that I never use, I was reminded that the lever on the bathtub drain plug was not working. We first learned it was a problem over a year ago when our friends from Guatemala stayed with us. I’ve forgotten about it multiple times since.

I unscrewed the lever mechanism and found that whatever may have made it work at one time (I don’t really see how it ever did work), it was useless now. A simple trip to the hardware store for a replacement and I would have it fixed in no time. Except… the new screws were too long.

Luckily, walking a few steps down to the shop for a hacksaw and vise was also very simple.

They are all small successes, but they combine to create a very rewarding sense of accomplishment at the end of a day. It reminds me that there is value to be had in celebrating the small successes of everyday.

Maybe more so when the success is one that has been over a year in the waiting.

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Written by johnwhays

January 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

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