Sewers and plumbing have to count as the paradigmatic examples of technologies that you never pay any attention to, unless they’re broken. Well, we get to pay some serious attention to ours now. I blogged an earlier appearance by a plumber who had to make a late-night house call, and promised a picture. Here it is.

Going up on the roof to get underground. Don’t ask

Today, we got a fuller diagnosis of the probem. It turns out that during the postwar suburban housing construction boom, many builders eschewed old-fashioned iron pipes connecting their houses to sewer mains in favor of pipes made from, basically, tar paper. Needless to say, these don’t last forever.

So, we now get to deal with the whole drama– logistical and financial– of getting a new sewer line installed. Since the last major project we did with the house– laundry room– turned out to be about as complex as the Great Wall of China, I can’t wait for this…. Still, I expect it to take less time that it would to get my cell phone repaired!