Tales from the Call Center By Dale Harper
Like an all-night convenience store, The Waterworks Plumbing & Drain Company operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a customer service representative (or CSR for short), I’ve answered some very interesting call-ins. After nearly two years, I’ve taken just about any call you can imagine. Yet to this day, it never ceases to amaze me when “one of those calls” comes in. These types of calls typically start with “Well, you won’t believe this!” I do believe this because it happens more often than one may think. However, there have been a few gems out there that stick in my memory to this day. The calls that make you raise an eyebrow are the calls that make you question just how that happened in the first place!
My first example is a gentleman who called in to let us know that shotgun shells got lodged inside of his grinder pump. Now for those who don’t know much about plumbing, a grinder pump is used to grind up solid waste and shoot it through your sewer line. Think of it as a garbage disposal for your sewer. Logically, you might consider contacting some sort of explosive disposal service, but, in fact, you can call a plumber. We quickly sent out one of our more experienced and certified plumbers, and he removed three somewhat damaged 12 gauge shotgun shells.
This is not the only example of something completely foreign getting lodged in a plumbing scenario. Another situation I will just call “the Case of the Unknown Sewer Backup.” This issue was caused by multiple bricks of scented wax (sold by your friendly neighbor representative), which ended up in the sewer line. You know…the kind of wax that is melted in a bowl or crock on a heating pad. It makes your house smell rather fresh. Long story short, our drain technician unclogged a drain line and estimated that he dislodged and retracted six bricks of the scented wax. The customer had no idea how or why the scented wax ended up in the toilet bowl, and subsequently the sewer line, which clogged the whole house and proved to be a costly repair. Item of note: toilets are not a garbage disposal nor trash can. Be careful what you flush.
The Waterworks has been in operation since the 1930’s. Although plumbing fixtures and homes have evolved since then, homeowners still call us with a challenge or two, because they know we have fixed or experienced just about everything. Don’t let one plumbing issue build up. It could wreak havoc on your home and if it does, you know who to call!