Around 10:00 this morning, I realized the garbage disposer side of my sink was not draining. This can only lead to the conclusion that someone has been putting some of the “Don’t put this kind of food in the disposer” things down the disposer. “Someone”… at least in my mind might include my daughter, or perhaps friend Tim… and there is a slight possibility that it MAY have been… ME* (*Through research, I learned that coffee grounds are among the many other things one should not wash down the garbage disposer).
I may-or-may-not have uttered some foul language, left the water running and flipped the power switch a few times in hopes that the clog would magically clear itself. With a few more interesting and eloquent phrases of speech, I turned the disposer off, turned the water off, and went to the circuit breaker to ensure that I cut the power to the unit in the event that I would have to dismantle the disposal as well. (More colorful metaphors° ensued), and I gathered the tools that may-or-may-not be required in order to repair a clogged sink.
I removed all of the standard under-the-kitchen-sink items, placed them well out of the way, and sighed, resigning myself to be forced to attempt to act as a plumber; a job, while it is indeed a necessary–very appreciated, and noble profession — it is not a profession which I would personally choose.
From this point forward, please bear with me in my terminology of things of the plumbing nature, as plumbing is neither my profession, nor the profession of any of my relatives. Therefore, I may use certain words that are not accurate to the item I am discussing. It is what it is, and I am merely trying to tell my story. You may correct me in the comments if you feel it is necessary.
The supplies mentioned above, which I gathered before starting my quest included a basin tub, intended to catch any and all water that come out once I disconnected the pipes. The basin, had roughly an inch of water in it, and the above sink still had about 2-3″.
Starting with the U-bend pipe, then the one on my left hand side that connects the U-bend to the pipe that comes out of the disposer unit. I then took the other pipes off, and upon inspection, none of these pipes had anything blocking the flow of the water that normally moves freely through them.
I uttered more seemingly obscene (but very suitable in choice) language, and did some quick research to ensure that Liquid Plumber and Drano and the like are indeed safe for garbage disposers. (Just so you know — do not ever use the Crystals kind in these units–BUT you’ll need to research that further on your own.) I found that Liquid Plumber and the like are considered safe, (checked the placement of my basin), and poured half a bottle into the clogged drain, and came back to the couch to wait.
Meanwhile, of all of the people in the world to receive a text message from, I get one from Tim. Tim, who grew up with a father that (while he lives in Louisiana) is a Master PLUMBER, still working at the age of 70, and still loving his occupation. That is to say that Tim – has a fairly good grasp on things that have to do with plumbing.
He gave some opinions and tips, asking what I have done to this point, and what he thought I should do next… along with offering to come by once he is no longer needed at work and check it.
I thanked him, and stated that I wanted to try to fix it now, since I will be needing my sink throughout the day, and then added that I would let him know. [I am not a fool - I would never just push a free plumber away, albeit apprentice or journeyman level]. While talking to him, I heard the clog release, and the water that was trapped in the sink and drain was flowing freely.
I breathed a sigh of relief, and was very happy to find that the amount of water now in the wash basin was just below the top of the basin itself, but had not overflowed. I carefully carried this outside, dumped it near the back gate, noticing that some person had neglected to pick up their dog’s POO, having left that outside on my sidewalk. (That is also — another story for another time.)
I came back in and started to reassemble the pipes, suddenly realizing that it might have been smart to take a photo of it before dismantling it in the first place. Granted, it is not a great number of pipe-pieces, but when your frustration level is approaching what mine was — (being frustrated enough to make you pull your hair out), your memory of such seemingly simple things tends to lapse.
I found, in my reassembly, that one of the plastic “nuts” is cracked, and likely has been since before I purchased the home. (It just has never leaked or had any problems, so it went unnoticed.) Made a mental note to go to Home Depot and buy some under-the-kitchen-sink plumbing parts…
I did manage to get it back together. I filled the sink half-way, and then “pulled the plug” to check my work. It worked, but it had a trickle-level leak at one of the nuts where the U-pipe connected to the straight one. When I attempted to adjust this, the leak became more than a leak, gushing out the liter or so of water with which I had filled the sink. (more creative word linking), and a text telling Tim I’d see him later when he came to correct my work.
°colorful metaphor – a term coined by Leonard Nemoy (Dr. Spock) in Star Trek IV, when trying to describe some profanity he had overheard.
That is about it for this story… other than later updating you on the status of the pipes.
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