[July 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage] By Jim Elder, Finance Editor
WATER IS MY NEMESIS. Anytime we go on vacation or have guests stay at our home, water rears its ugly head and creates a mess. Whether it’s a leaking water heater, flooded basement or a backed-up sewer system, water has impeccable timing.
So, when we recently had relatives staying at our farmhouse, I wasn’t surprised that our septic system backed up. To protect the innocent, there will be no comments about relatives and too much poop. Nor will there be any comments about being a crappy situation.
We first noticed the problem when the first-floor toilets wouldn’t flush. (Our 1904 vintage farmhouse has two bathrooms on the first floor with the toilets back-to-back.)
Like a member of an Indy 500 pit crew, I jumped into action and ran to the tool shed to fetch my handy-dandy, homeowner-style snake, promptly shoving the snake down the toilet. No results. Glub glub.
I then removed the toilet from the floor so I could get a better look. All that was visible was sewage.
Needing bigger equipment with more power, I sped down to the nearby rental store to rent a commercial-duty sewer snake. “Now this will clear the clog,” I thought. I shoved the snake down the pipe. The snake popped up where the other toilet was on the other side of the wall. Pushing the brown sludge up into the bathroom toilet and bathtub. Now we had two messes.
I fiddled with trying to get the clog cleared for three hours. The only thing I accomplished was sludge being hurled around the bathroom floor.
Finally, I called it quits and returned the machine before the rental time ran out. The man at the rental store received it and asked, “Did you get it all cleared?” In order to protect my manly ego and embarrassment, I replied “yes” and paid the man.
Feeling defeated, I sheepishly called a Roto-Rooter firm willing to come out on Sundays, for a small additional fee. They showed up in an hour and shoved their snake down the drain. Instantly, the clog was cleared. “That’ll be $250.00.” I paid him and he went on his way.
This situation is very typical of us when we think we can take care of issues on our own with our brains and brawn. We think “this can’t be too difficult,” and we try to take care of it ourselves. When in reality, it’s often a little more complicated than first thought.
At Elderado Financial, we meet many folks who come in our office looking for financial and investment help, after they tried it themselves and failed. We have heard almost every story under the sun.
So, don’t be too embarrassed to come to us for help. We understand. I just tried fixing our sewer and failed. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Jim Elder is the owner of Eldorado Financial, Montrose CO.