Friday, June 25, 2010

Plumbers Helper

We have been battling a slow draining bathroom sink for about 6 months now. I took it upon myself to fix the issue about 4 months ago by putting in a new "U" joint and all the related pipes below the sink. That promptly fixed the issue for the U joint and all the related pipes below the sink. In other words, it moved the problem to the pipe inside the wall. I was pretty proud of my handy work, but when I turned the water on, the sink showed no noticeable improvement. Argh!

Since the problem lay in an "unreachable pipe", I left it and hoped it wouldn't get any worse.

It did.

About two weeks ago it started to drain really slow. Disgustingly slow, esp. at tooth brushing time, if you know what I mean.

Break out the plunger! I plunged until my tennis elbow throbbed. Left handed, right handed, both handed, I plunged. And plunged. I succeeded in making a slow draining drain, even slower.

So I had to bring out the big gun. I went to the hardware store and got a can of "Drain Power" pressurized drain cleaner. This is pretty much a bazooka in a can. You've probably seen it in infomercials where all you do his hold it over the drain for a second or two and "Whoosh" the drain clog is whisked away seamlessly and easily.

I filled the sink to cover the cap, and then plugged the overflow inlet. I braced myself and put the can over the drain. Then, Pop, Whoosh, it went. Donna thought I had dropped over dead, and Ben jumped up and said "Wow, what was that?"

"Oh, just plumber in a can," I answered.

No results though. In fact it made a slow moving drain into a completely stopped drain. Wow. Seriously?

I popped it again. Got the same reaction from Donna and Ben. Evidently they could feel and hear the percussion of the thing in another room. No, it's still not me dying, though after seeing it not get fixed, I felt that wouldn't be a bad option.

I popped it 7 more times and had the same net result. No movement. At this point it's 7:30 on a Tuesday. What does one do at this point?

After consulting a couple of buddies, I went to Home Depot and got a "Snake Kit" which is really a long snake that is operated by attaching a power drill to the end. I brought it home and hooked it up.

The first attempt was a complete bust. It ended up getting so snarled outside of the drum it was stored in that I spent 5 minutes coiling it back up into the drum. Then, with Donna's help, I gave it a second shot. After uncoiling what seemed like the entire 25 feet, the drain suddenly started draining rapidly.

Success!

We let it grind away for a bit longer just to make sure we had a good clean opening. Viola! It now drains better than it ever has.

The moral of the story is, never give up, I guess. Plus it helps to have a couple of good friends to consult when the going gets tough.

Otherwise it was a long, strange week. As I get ready for Canada, every day leading up to today seemed like it was 30 hours long. Throw onto that that Sarah was at Bible Camp http://www.phantomranch.org/welcome.htm?page=main
and a tornado missed the camp by a matter of a couple of miles and well, it was a long strange week.

Hopefully I'll get around to another, more inspired post before I leave for Canada on Monday June, 28th. http://www.niobelakelodge.com/

Blogging off...

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