It’s a Trap!

I remember when Kerry bought this house, my dad told me, “A house is a never ending project list.” We quickly found that to be true, and when the house was built in 1890, the projects are a little scarier. I’ve never considered myself handy, and I was never really taught how to do all those around-the-house jobs that everyone on HGTV is somehow capable of. So when our bathroom sink upstairs was backed up from day one, we really had no choice but to continuously pour Drano down it and hope that it would clear itself.

It never worked. The drain was never clear.  Sometimes it would stop completely, and we’d pour a bottle in, and it would clear up a little. But it was never totally clear. Finally, after two years, I’d had enough. I had no idea what I was doing but I looked up a video on YouTube and everything seemed simple enough.

I decided not to take any pictures because, honestly, I thought it was going to be a disaster. I figured I was going to take all those pipes off, and then I’d never be able to get them back on, and we’d be using the downstairs sink until a plumber could come fix my mistake. But here’s the secret that all plumbers don’t want you to know: clearing a drain is simple!

I don’t really want to do a step-by-step here, but basically there is “the trap.” It’s that U shaped part of your pipe. It should be connected to two other pipes. You just unscrew that on each end, and clean it out. If that part is already clean (like ours was) you’ll have to unscrew the pipe that comes directly out of the bottom of the sink. That’s where all the serious gunk was in ours. Two+ years of … gunk. Who knows. Hair. Toothpaste. Makeup. My beards. Gunk. It gets a little tricky because there’s that part of the sink goes up and down, the stopper. That part has a lot of gunk in it too. Clean that out! Once it’s all clean, hook it all back up, screw on everything tight, test your water to make sure you don’t have leaks, and there it is, clean drain.

Really, it was quite simple. You could do it too. It’s fun. Take things apart. Put them back together. And hope they work.

Kerry made this animated gif of the water draining at record speeds.

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