Yesterday, I got tired of having to wait 20 minutes for my bathroom sink to drain, and finally gave in to the need to disassemble the darned thing. Let me note that, while it is periodically necessary in this 40 some-odd year old house of mine, I hate, no, wait, that isn’t a strong enough word. I despise, I loathe, sometimes, I even abhor working on plumbing. In recent times, when I had a full time job and a steady paycheck (which some may remember, I left voluntarily, and am much happier for it, if a trifle less flush financially, albeit temporarily) I would have simply called in a plumber to snake out my drains. But needs must, and thankfully, the plumber who installed the new vanity and faucet put quick release pipes underneath the sink. That is, except for the one attached to the drain closer thingie (that’s the technical term), which I have yet to figure out how to detach.
At any rate, I digress. I pulled all of the stuff out of the cabinet under said pipes, stuck a big metal bowl (more on this later) underneath and proceeded to twist off the connector thingies (another technical term) in order to release what turned out to be rather fetid water which had been stuck in the pipes along with strands of my hair, soap scum and assorted other smelly things. Thankfully, this was a bathroom sink and not a kitchen one! As I examined the long pipe which stood between me and the drain pluggy thingie, I realized I was going to need a tool so I left my little project to get a pipe wrench from the garage.
Upon my return, I found Mr. Toby Toes with has face stuck in the cabinet, examining (I hope!) the bowl of yukky water. Meanwhile, Snowball the Curious was making a nuisance of himself as he insisted that he knew something about plumbing and could surely be of assistance.
Sadly, I was unable to figure out how to remove the long pipe without breaking something else. When I tried to turn the connector thingie, the whole pipe turned, throwing the piece connected to the plugger up thingie all out of whack. On to Plan B.
I put everything back together, checked for leaks and tried to remove the bowl, only to discover that it was wider than the door (a little fact which had escaped me when I tilted it to get it in there in the first place!) By now, there was enough water in the bowl to result in a small flood should I try to remove it in the same way I inserted it. Back to the kitchen for a smaller bowl with which to bail out the bigger bowl (I’m getting seasick just thinking of bailing!), only to find the aforementioned Toby of the Labrador Feet with his head, once again, stuck in the cabinet, checking out the disgusting water! Chasing him away, I bailed until I was able to remove the bowl without dumping it’s contents all over the bathroom, and was finally able to move on to that Plan B I’d put on hold to solve my self-inflicted water problem.
Grabbing the jug of vinegar from the garage and the baking soda from the kitchen, I packed the drain with the soda, then dumped in vinegar. As all of my budding scientists know, this caused a lovely bubbling and gurgling, and dislodged some of the hair which was caught around the pluggy thingie so I could remove it with a pair of needle nose pliers. (My male readers are probably cringing right now at such an unorthodox use of tools, but needs must!) Though the plug really still needs to be removed and cleaned, my drain is now draining faster (5 minutes instead of 20 after washing my hands) and seems to have, overnight, cleared a little more, perhaps as the soda and vinegar mixture worked its way down the pluggy thingie.
After wiping down the inside of the cabinet, I replaced the contents (with a little help from my four-footed friends), made a couple of trips to return tools, soda and vinegar to their rightful places (while barely avoiding tripping over Snowball and Toby more than once!). Thus ends my recent foray into the world of plumbing. Once again, wishing I had been one of those sweet, helpless types who always seem to have a handy man around when they need one! But no! I had to be Independent! What was I thinking????
My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my independence, even when it takes me where I don’t really want to go.
2. I am grateful for plumbers who think ahead!
3. I am grateful for my well-stocked tool box (despite my daughters’ best efforts over the years to misplace nearly everything in it!)
4. I am grateful for my sense of humor which has gotten me past many a distasteful situation with sanity intact, if slightly askew.
5. I am grateful for a sink which is draining better today than it was yesterday at this time.