The good news is that we're back to working on the house. The bad news is that it's because of a plumbing leak...
On Wednesday night last week, Shayne dumped some sulfuric acid drain cleaner down the sink and toilet drains. 5 minutes later, when he started flushing the drain with water, he realized the tub drain was leaking. Into the kitchen. In case you didn't know, sulfuric acid is some nasty stuff. When it came out our pipe and into the kitchen, it ate the finish off of the countertop as well as the nice, shiny fronts of our (new) stainless steel dishwasher and refrigerator.
We (meaning Shayne) pulled down the soggy ceiling tiles and neutralized the acid with baking soda. The sink drain was now stopped up completely, so I dumped backing soda down the drain and plunged until it stopped fizzing. I used an entire box. But I was afraid if I let the acid sit in the pipe, it would eat the pipe like it had the shower drain.
We called out a plumber that my mom has used, and he came out on Thursday. He took down some lath and plaster in the corner of the kitchen ceiling and completely replaced the old galvanized drain with PVC. Thanks to the PPOs, the tub drain went uphill in a loop before connecting to the original galvanized and running to the main stack. There was also a clean-out fitting crammed in there, which was totally useless because the only plumbing access was reached by ripping out the kitchen ceiling. Sigh. I should have gotten a picture, but it was yet another completely jacked-up repair courtesy of our "handy" PPO. Thanks K!
But anyways, that's long gone. Today the plumber is back removing the bathroom drain pipe. There was only a leak in a corroded fitting, but we told him to get rid of everything. I'm SO done with water leaks, especially the kind that start upstairs and end in the kitchen or basement.
Yesterday was spent tearing out the ceiling tiles and removing the lath and plaster where the sink drain runs. Our kitchen ceiling is a wreck. The plaster is covered with THICK, shiny, yellow paint (mmm, lead!) that is falling off in most places. Observe Exhibit A (this is after I knocked off a lot of the loose chips with a broom):
Please note the duct-taped wires protruding from the ceiling to the left of the fan. That's bad.
Also note the insulation visible where the lath has already been removed. It's pulped newspaper blown into the sidewalls by the PO. It "leaked" into the first four joist cavities. I prefer it to fiberglass, since it's not itchy, but it still made a HUGE mess when we tore out the lath. We had a pile about 3 feet high in the corner of the kitchen and filled a contractor-size trash bag.
As of this morning, our poor kitchen looked like this:
Hopefully soon we'll have a new PVC drain line installed for the sink.