Guess this is as good a day as any to mention my
latest home repair, the kitchen sink.
Sunday, I was washing my dinner dishes, and the sink
is draining very slowly. It's been doing that for
about twenty years, not much is new. I happened to
notice a bottle of drain crystals near the sink. Might
as well put some in, help clear the grease and crud out.
I put in about a table spoon of drain crystals, and
that didn't help much. Let that run till the water in
the sink drained down.
Not to be discouraged, I decided to try the boiling water
technique. I filled the tea kettle (or as I'm a Mormon,
that's a hot chocolate kettle) and put it on the stove. A
kettle of boilding water did no good, the drain is as slow
as it ever was. Four kettles of boiling water also did no
Monday morning, I decided it was beyond tea kettle, and
we're into drain snake. I got out my pistol grip (sorry,
I got you all exctited, thinking I might own a gun; I do
not) crank type snake, and pushed it in. I got every inch
of the drain snake, probably 20 feet by 1/4 inch, and still
the drain does not flow.
Noticing there is a clean out under the kitchen counter,
went and bought a 40 feet long drain cleaner tape from
Lowe's. Sadly, the snake only goes about a foot, and
stops. (at an elbow, most likely).
I called on a friend of mine, we made plans to cut out the
bad pipe, and replace it. His wife had the car, so I drove
to pick him up. We pulled some trailer skirting, and looked
at the pipe. The pipe is over the tar paper and insullation
in the floor, and would be a lot of work to replace.
I cut the 1 1/2 black ABS pipe under the sink, and we tried
to run a drain snake in from below. Also no joy.
Parts run to the store. Buy an expanding bladder tip for the
garden hose. While there, buy a clean out, and a couple
My garden hose faucet didn't have enough flow to expand
the bladder. Connect to a different faucet which had better
The improved water flow expanded the bladder, and pushed
much of the grease and blockage down the line. There was a
section of drain pipe below the trailer which was connected
with Ferncos. Neighbor across the street had come along to
help out. He noticed it was a poor job, and so he pulled
the patch out.
Needed a cordless sawzall. The guy he knows who has one,
gets out of work in an hour.
With an hour till the saw arrives, time for another
parts run. Back to the parts store. Cut a length of
tube to fit, and then we discover we need another
Fercno coupler. Back to the store for a Fernco. Steve
called on my cell phone, need an elbow also.
I bought two Ferncos, and two elbows. Figure that's
cheaper than the gasoline to get to the store.
Back to the trailer. Steve had run his snake from
the bad patch job, back to the end of the trailer.
Steve declares the drain to be clear.
The job is not complete. I've got to reconnect the
pipe sculpture under the sink, and mop up the mess
where it got wet. The trailer smells like a clogged
kitchen sink drain, and that needs to be cleaned.
Later this morning, I'll reconnect the pipe under
the kitchen counter, and hope the drain is clear.
You can see why I've put this off for twenty years.
Lot of work, and it's not complete yet.
Christopher A. Young
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