Plumbers deal with poop. That's just a fact of plumbing life. But they also encounter many other nasty situations that may surprise you. Plumbers find crazy things in drains, but what about the most disgusting? For instance, ever considered the size of a hairball that can clog a shower drain? What happens if a pipe bursts and empties into a crawl space? Let's just say that employees of cleanup and restoration services earn every penny they make.
Plumbers of Reddit are here to tell you what it's like when they find - and smell - things in pipes, toilets, and drains that don't belong.
From Redditor /u/do_theTruffleShuffle:
Not a plumber, but I heard a story just yesterday from the guy who pumps our septic tank.
Guy calls because he got drunk the night before and puked up his dentures and flushed them. So he goes over there and they have a grate to sift through the septic tank. They find the guy's dentures, pulled them up. He picked them up, dunked them in a bucket of water to rinse them off, and put them right back in his mouth.
He said it was one of the grossest things he's ever seen; he started gagging when the guy put them in.
From Redditor /u/AJewishPlumber:
I've told this story whenever people tell me, "Plumber? I couldn't deal with human sh*t!" Dude, you think sh*t is bad? Try hair.
My boss and I once went on a service call to this summer house. Sweet old lady answers the door, and tells us that her upstairs shower drain is clogged. We get up there and there's about 2 inches of standing water in the shower. We ask how long this had been happening, and she says 8 MONTHS. So we grab our automatic lav snake (for snaking out sinks, shower drains, small pipes) and the thing actually burns out. So we grab the big closet snake (for toilets and the like) and it gets it, and we both pull up on it together.
The f*cking monstrosity we pulled out of that shower drain was approximately the size of a decently big otter. And if you think that's bad, the smell. THE F*CKING SMELL. It is by far the worst smell that I think has ever existed. As soon as we cleared the drain, both my boss and I starting violently vomiting all over the room.
The old lady comes in to see what's wrong, and that demonic scent takes hold. She's going full f*cking exorcist all over the sink and mirror. This lady is sobbing, crawling out of the room, so we grab her and drag her out.
So we're all just laying there, the lady is crying, my boss is still dry heaving, and I feel like I've been violated in every orifice I have. She ended up making us hot chocolate and letting us shower in her downstairs shower. We didn't go back into that room for 2 1/2 hours, and not without masks. So next time you think sh*t is gross, just be happy it isn't eight months of clogged hair.
Moral of the story: pick up your hair out of the drain after you shower, you gross f*cks.
From Redditor /u/moxso31:
I'll tell you a story I heard from another plumber. Guy gets a service call from a husband that had a clogged toilet. Gets there, checks it out. The toilet was not fully clogged but would slowly drain after a few minutes. He tried using the snake but kept running into something solid a few feet in. He decides to pull the toilet.
Inside he found a broken toothbrush lodged sideways with a bunch of condoms wrapped around them. The condoms were filling up with water blocking the drain, then would slowly let the water through after deflating a bit. He let the husband know what he found, and to his surprise the husband was shocked - he told the plumber he had a vasectomy years ago and has no use for condoms.
Guy felt bad, and couldn't charge him, but he ended up driving by a couple weeks later and saw the house up for sale.
From Redditor /u/DevilDog1966:
Had a call from a Circle K. Leak under hand sink in the employee restroom. Reached up to find the leak, and out falls a BIG strap-on. Fixed the leak, picked up the strap-on with my channel locks and put it in a bag. Washed my hands and left it on the manager's desk with a note and a copy of the work order.
Was not the end of story... if I recall correctly, the "evidence" was used in a harassment case against the manager and assistant manager.