I was having a really lovely day, with the house all to myself, well, as all to myself as it ever gets with three dogs of my own, two fosters, a husband, and a temporary housemate. And then I went to rinse my coffee mug, and realized the kitchen sink wasn’t draining.
I ran the disposal. It hummed and whirred and turned itself off.
I tested the other half of the sink, the part without the disposal; it was fine.
Aha! I thought. Someone has put something bad down the disposal, and the trap is jammed.
Sadly, knowing what the problem is and knowing how to fix the problem are not enough if you do not have the necessary arm length to reach the pipes that need to be cleaned.
So, I had to wait til said housemate arrived home, as Fuzzy is still in Utah.
Fortunately, I spent enough years doing tech support to be able to walk our housemate (Ben) through the necessary steps, which I did, while listening to him tell me that we should call a plumber, or that the pipe I’d identified couldn’t possibly be the problem, or, or, or.
“Trust me,” I said, “This has happened before. It’s an easy fix. Sometimes the even easier fix works, but as you can see I already tried that,” and I brandished the old wire coat hanger that I’d turned into a sort of snake.
NO WIRE HANGERS may be the rule for clothing, but trust me on this: keeping a couple of them around can SAVE YOUR LIFE when you have plumbing issues.
Anyway, Ben did as I instructed, and twisted and turned, handing me the u-bend with the attached p-trap, and I cleaned both of them out, and then guided him through re-attachment, plugging in the disposal (because of course the first thing I did was UNPLUG it) and showing him where to find the RESET button.
So, maybe I didn’t do the physical labor, though if I could have reached, I would have, but I still claim credit for the fix, because I knew what to do.
Today’s Santa: It seemed appropriate to share Fix-It Santa today. He doesn’t do plumbing, but a few small repairs to your gingerbread house are totally in his repertoire. Source: Cracker Barrel.
Piping by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.