It started out as a leaky kitchen drain pipe. It became a week-long ordeal and a huge job. Work included replacement of the Mom-In-Law's (MIL) house sewer line. That entailed digging of a trench from one corner of the — finished — basement to the other, out and under the front lawn to the public sewer main. There were countless trips by the plumbers carrying bucket after bucket of wet, stinking, hand-dug earth out of the basement. So, the rusted-out kitchen drain line got replaced, feeding into the nice, new sewer line. The basement trench was filled with stone, PVC pipe, and concrete (all hand-carried into the basement). The outdoor channel was also filled and mounded over. Big dollars, big mess, but much needed.
When yours truly went to replace the faulty kitchen tap (it leaked profusely when in use) we learned the water shut-off valves for that fixture were also no good: one was leaky and not repairable and the other just didn't work. Got those replaced. More $$.
She Who Must Be Obeyed had decided now would be a good time to replace MIL's terrible old toilet with a nice, new, low-flush unit. Let's get it all done now! Easy? Of course not! Not when the 50+ year-old lead pipe the commode was sitting on was found to be leaking like, well, a pipe with a big hole in it! What should have been a half-hour toilet swap-out turned into two full days' work by a professional plumber. Before you say, "aw… the Roto-Rooter® guy made more work for himself; it didn't need to be done; he's cheatin' you!" I'll just say, that old pipe was pretty obviously leaking for a good long time but nobody knew! There must have been two inches of corrosion and gunk on top of that pipe and I watched it leak during tests. It was hard, nasty, difficult work, too — Bill the Plumber had to remove the pipe elbow connecting to the sewer stack from between floor joists and over a load-bearing basement wall. That was hard, stinky, nasty work. There are easier ways for a plumber to make a living. It's actually a good thing the toilet job got added 'cause that wasn't clean water sploshing down between the basement walls with each flush! If She hadn't asked for a new potty, who knows how much more nasty would have flowed down there.
With a good bit of elbow grease and a pallet-load of cleaning supplies She attacked MIL's kitchen and bathroom. Gone are the old grease from the stove and tracked-in dirt from the floors. Soap scum and mildew/black mold were exterminated from the bathroom. Ah, c-l-e-a-n!
This plumbing job just seemed to go on forever with endless complications and difficulties, add-on work, 12-hour days, and frustrations but it's finally done. Best of all, MIL is happy, actually happy with her new facilities and has noticed the air in the house is fresher, cleaner, and healthier. Surprising what improvements come with good plumbing!