Contortions in the kitchen
I like to live by the old maxim – never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
It has stood me in good stead over the years as some problems manage to fix themselves and others just fall apart..
I mentioned a few weeks ago that there was a problem with my kitchen sink. Water just wasn’t flowing out as quickly as it should, and emptying the sink was taking longer and longer. Yesterday I decided to tackle the problem.
Now in the good old days it was a simple job – you just unscrewed the U-bend and cleaned it out. Nowadays however they have to complicate things and the piping under the sink is like a final test in a plumber’s apprenticeship exam. There are pipes and joints everywhere.
The first job is to clear out all the bottles and spray cans and all the other cleaning junk that I never use from the shelves under the sink. Then I have to find some kind of container to catch the inevitable flood. Finally I unscrew as many joints as I can reach. That went well and I ended up with a basin full of bits of pipe including the U-bend.
I carted all the bits into the bathroom to flush them out. I’m not going to make the old mistake of flushing them in the kitchen sink! The bits were dirty a right – all gunged up with grease and shreds of food and other yucky stuff but none were actually blocked. Fuck! That meant it was the plug-hole unit itself.
The plug of course is one of those where you twiddle a lever, instead of a good old rubber plug on a chain so it is relatively complex. I unscrewed it and sure enough it was nearly blocked with revolting stuff. I cleaned it out and that’s where my problem began.
The unit is like one of those horrible looking burgers they keep advertising on television – layers of different items all squished together. My plug unit consisted of about four pieces each with a rubber seal and all held together by one bolt. To make matters worse they all had to be held in place underneath the sink while the bolt is inserted from the top. As neither of my arms is detachable this required some fierce contortions, with my left hand trying to hold the pieces in place underneath while my right hand tried to insert the bolt from the top. As my face was half way between the two, I had to do everything by feel. It only took about twenty attempts.
It’s working now. Water drains away properly and there are no leaks. I couldn’t connect the overflow as part of my contortions so I can never overfill the sink or else I’ll flood the kitchen.
It’s nice and clean looking too as I polished everything before reassembling it.
My back is fucked though.
How did you know that kitchen plumbing is one of my favorite subjects to read about online in the mornings before going to work? You’re a genius at blogging.
It was just a wild guess. I thought to myself ‘now I wonder what DW would like to read about today’ …
Yep, been there, done that (numerous times). If you have decent mains water pressure you could try aiming a garden hose nozzle (set to a cone spray) down the plug hole. It might clear enough crap out to save completely dismantling it. Obviously don’t wait until it’s completely blocked!
Water pressure? Hah! It’s barely enough to fill the roof tank.
Sounds like a good reason to have a bit of booze.
You have reminded me that I really need to replace the fixture on our kitchen sink. The sink is an enamel covered, cast iron, double-basin affair built about 500 years ago (well maybe 70 or so) with a newer (20 years old at least) faucet assembly. There’s about 20 pipes underneath including an outdoor spigot affair that has absolutely no right being there. The drain pipes are PVC and about as well put together as an old Yugo.
I think I’ll call a plumber.
A long time ago I read a small book of household tips (nowadays they would be called “hacks”. Why a football tactic has replaced good old “tip” ….),by Willie Rushton (that’s how long ago it was). The book was aimed at lazy men.
This melts all the fatty gunge that holds all the blockage together.
it then becomes the water/sewage engineer’s problem.
What about Caustic Soda, if you can buy it of course , I went into the local plumbers merchants and could only buy it if I had a trade account,bevause there is a risk I might use it in an acid attack ffs.
I’m nervous of that stuff. A friend tried it some years ago and it all but melted his drains!
“it then becomes the water/sewage engineer’s problem.” It stays my problem – it drains into a soakpit.