Listen, plumbers don't have it easy: They're usually called to someone's house when there's either a blockage in their pipes (gross) or a leak (yuck). But, most of the time, that's just part of the job. It's not until snakes are crawling out of the pipeline that it becomes a serious problem. These are some of their worst-of-the-worst tales from the field.
"We thought it was just a typical clogging issue," says Jennifer Rodriguez, COO at . There was a small crack in the pipe with a snake stuck in just enough to cause an issue, then about 20 small snakes came pouring out of the ceiling." Needless to say, pest control and therapy were both involved afterwards.
"One of our plumbers was making a repair in a bathroom and kept feeling like someone was watching him from behind," says Steve Ferguson, owner of . "He finally got up to look and found an opossum on the top shelf of a closet looking down on him — this was quite a filthy house!" You don't say ...
"We once had a customer with a toilet stoppage," explains Ferguson. "When we looked into the pipes to find the source, we ended up pulling out upper and lower dentures from the toilet! The customer exclaimed, 'Oh that's where they went!' Turns out that he had a little too much to drink the night before, and he had gotten sick."
"One of our clients called us for a routine check-up on his toilet, since it was leaning to the side and shaking when he sat on it," says Steve Lefebvre, owner of . "Upon entering the home, our team had to remove the entire toilet. We were shocked to discover there were tree roots from the ground staring up at us."
"This lady called me in a panic, because her house was flooding in the basement," says Derek H. Holmes, a Plumbing Manager at . "When I got there I saw that the main water shut off valves was broken and it was shooting water out like a geyser! I had to call the City of Winnipeg to get them to come out on an emergency to shut off the main water line to her home."
"The day after Thanksgiving is called 'Brown Friday' by most plumbers," explains Marshall Adams of . "This might sound crass, but more people at one house means people flush the toilets more often. One year, we got a call from an older woman, because she had a clogged toilet. When we got out there, we saw she had somehow tried to flush an entire turkey carcass down her toilet! Why? She didn't have a garbage disposal."
"We got an emergency call around 2 a.m. from an apartment owner that had a faucet break that then led to water flooding everywhere," says Ferguson. "When we arrived, we found the tenant holding his hand over the water pipe of the wall mounted sink faucet, directing the flow into the sink. He had been doing that for about two hours to keep from flooding the apartment!"
"We once had a toilet stoppage that we cleared by shoveling and vacuuming out wheat that the customer had dumped into the toilet," says Ferguson. "She tried to stuff down a 10-pound bag! Other items we have found in customers plumbing include: a soup bone, eye glasses, hypodermic needles, a half cut rat and condoms."
"The family had noticed their water was coming out brown, because it turns out the previous homeowner had improperly installed the water softer drain directly to the main drain," explains a plumber from . "When a back-up occurred in the main drain, all that waste material was coming back up through the water softener and contaminating the water supply, resulting in fecal matter in their water."