Monthly Archives: February 2014

Plumbing

My father-in-law had a favorite saying: ‘Owning a house is god’s way of making sure you never have too much time or money’.

So true. The last few nights, the inevitable cycle of clearing and then slowing clogging our bathroom sink drain finally reached the ‘its too clogged to ignore any longer’ stage.

To enlighten those who somehow aren’t aware of this cycle (its more inevitable than “the circle of life”, in my experience), it goes like this:

  • Clean, free flowing drain, a.k.a. nirvana
  • early clog forming stage: if you run the water on full blast it might slowly fill up, but really its not a problem yet.
  • mid-clog: water backs up a bit, but it drains out without too much delay and nothing gross is left behind in the sink.
  • late-clog: water back up a lot, really at this point you should clean it, but its such a pain, so you decide to ignore it a while longer.
  • terminal: doesn’t drain at all or at best only very slowly, the stuff you spit out from brushing your teeth stays in the sink, along with shaving cream and whatever else makes its way into the sink. Time for the liquid plumber.

Julie has a go at it Monday – one or possibly two rounds of drain cleaner, and the sink just laughed at her and said ‘is that all you got? watch this!’ as it went from late-clog to terminal stage, completely ignoring the drain cleaner. Our sink is the Richard Sherman of plumbing. So Tuesday I had a go. Again, our sink was not impressed – two rounds of drain cleaner and it only receded to late-clog stage, so after a couple of candy bars to build up my plumber nerve, I dug out the snake, unpacked everything from under the sink, and had at it. It was a tough fight. I survived, but was left with trembling hands devoid of grip strength. Further, as I finished snaking, I was pretty sure that I’d been defeated. On a whim, I put the drain bend thingie back in place and ran the water just to see if there was any improvement, and I must have loosened things up just enough because there was a gurgle and then suddenly we were back to sink nirvana.

For the rest of the evening and again this morning, I have repeatedly found myself running the sink water and marveling at my plumbing prowess.

Best of all, project cost was < $10 and required no trips to the hardware store.

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