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Haz-Mat To The Rescue

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  • Haz-Mat To The Rescue

    I had a interesting service call this morning .. A referral from a old customer of mine . Talked to the customer and determined he had a clogged main .. All PVC piping everything seemed normal .

    Got to the house , fairly newly built , easy access , full cellar ... line leading out of the house was holding water .. and determined by tapping up the line my small trash barrel will be able to catch all the backed up water ... In and out in no time ( so I thought ) .

    The only thing I noticed was the smell of bleach when I walked in to the main house .. but thought nothing of it ... I have had some customers pour bleach down drains since Covid - 19 usually when one drain backs up into another like a bath sink into tub.

    I get all my gear into the cellar .. got the barrel under the clean-out and let it rip .. While the drain was emptying in the barrel it hit me .. looked down at the barrel and looked like steam coming off the water .. I had to get out of there ( smell of chlorine was that strong ). I get outside and call the customer to ask him what he put down the drain after a delayed response I hear " OH S*** I need to find my cat.

    I hang up and call 911 and while on the phone trying to explain what's going on go back into the house and find customer is running down the stairs with his cat .. ( what he did was open the door to the cellar probably figuring I was still there but I was outside .. ) and left it open while searching for his cat to get out of the house . So whatever was in the barrel emanated to the main house.

    Fire Rescue showed up along with Haz-Mat , Ambulance practically the whole town .. and after talking to them they went ( fully geared ) in open all the windows brought in fans and removed my barrel half full of back-up water out and dumped it into there container barrel.

    They told the owner the house should be aired out in a couple hrs to go back in ... an had the customer call me ( when house was aired out ) so I can finish the job then went home the change clothing and shower ( felt like a walking bleach tablet ).

    To shorten a long story come to find out he poured pool shock down the drain how much ? beats me but it wasn't a cap-full .. but I was able finished the job.

  • #2
    Click image for larger version

Name:	pullover.jpg
Views:	3517
Size:	2.59 MB
ID:	746385 Just to give you a idea of what was in the drain line this is the pullover I had on at the time I was emptying the drain.


    • #3
      A$$holes. I mean I get they’re just trying to save money but when they put crap like that down the drain they need to let us know. Least it was chlorine based and not the really bad $hit. But it sucks when that crap ruins your clothes. I had a brand new set of car hart coveralls ruined the same way one year.


      • drainman scott
        drainman scott commented
        Editing a comment
        I didn't think I got that much on me .. but luckily I was wearing a N-95 face mask with goggles and a spit shield and of course rubber gloves.

    • #4
      You were lucky, and made the right call for Emergency Services.
      What happened to the cat?
      Add the cost of a new shirt to your bill. Why? They should have told you they dumped all that bleach in there.
      I trust you wear safety glasses when doing this type of work for just this reason.

      Remember, you can walk on a wooden leg, you can chew with false teeth, but you can't see with a glass eye, so wear your safety glasses. :-)
      Last edited by Bob D.; 04-05-2021, 08:05 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2006
      "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"


      • drainman scott
        drainman scott commented
        Editing a comment
        The cat ( big orange one ) is fine .. I was more worried that when I went in the house I find the owner past out on the floor .... had to more than just bleach , looking down into barrel it appeared to be steaming . I know that when you mix bleach with other chemicals like ammonia it becomes deadly .. And I always wear safety googles and face shield when emptying out a drain .
        Last edited by drainman scott; 09-18-2020, 06:18 AM. Reason: typo