Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Move over Rosie!

Rosie the Riveter that is and make way for Twistie the Tackler - as in job tackler! The other day after I'd come in from shoveling and snow blowing and barn chores I noticed a stream of water across my kitchen floor, clearly coming from under the sink. "Oh great!" I thought, so I grabbed a towel and cleaned up the water and looked under the sink to see what had happened. Let me back up a bit, a few days prior to that I noticed the sink wasn't draining well when the dishwasher was running, so I grabbed the plunger from the bathroom and tried to fix it that way, it worked, or so I thought... meaning that it went on draining and seemingly didn't have any additional problems after that.

Needless to say I was surprised to see the water on the floor but needed to figure out what was happening. I looked under the sink and was horrified, I never look under the sink and it was obvious there had been a problem brewing for a while and it had just gone unnoticed. Being the frugal woman I am, alright in this instance just plain cheap, I opted not to call a plumber right then, as it was the weekend and I didn't want to have to pay extra for a weekend emergency if I could find one that would even come out. Ron took yesterday off which completely threw me off and I was thinking most of the day it was Sunday, so I didn't call yesterday either. Duh..... Anyway I was pacing in the kitchen this morning and decided that I was definitely going to need a plumber but that he or she'd need room to work. My kitchen is a galley kitchen and I can place both hands on opposite counters easily. It's very small! So I would need to make space for the plumber to work and that meant doing all the dishes by hand! Augh! Oh the horrors! So the kids and I made an assembly line and got it done. We could use one side of the sink if we just used a little water at a time for rinsing, the other was clearly off limits. So I found a plastic container and filled it up washed dishes then emptied it in the toilet and repeated until we were done. We had a bucket under the sink to catch whatever may leak out there and just trudged through.

After that was done I figured I should take a peek to see what all it looked like it and what might need to be replaced, fixed or what have you in order to relay that to the plumber, a slightly educated guess I think. So I poked around and it became clear to me one problem was fairly obvious, the sink drain was not connected to the tail pipe! Half of the nut was missing! That didn't explain the drain issue though, so figuring I had nothing to loose I took the other half of the nut off and took the tail pipe out. OK so this wasn't so bad.. Then I thought that possibly the trap might be clogged, so I brought the laptop into the kitchen and did some poking around online and figured out how to open that up and see. I also searched for how to fix the sink and found several websites to show me, fortunately I'm very visual and a hands on type of learner. Also fortunately for me (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it I guess.) I have the "fix-it gene" and I'm not afraid to try something and fail, I feel better having tried and know I can always call for help. Oh but does it chap my a$$ to have to ask for help! I figure there's no shame in trying even if I fail, but the satisfaction if I'm successful! Everything looked fairly straightforward online and matched what I was looking at under my sink so I headed to the hardware store parts in hand!

Now this is not the first time I've dealt with this hardware store and I cannot say enough good things about them. It's locally owned by two brothers who'd bought out their retiring father. If that doesn't just make you all warm and fuzzy then.... well, I just don't know about you! I like dealing with these brothers because never once have I ever felt disrespected by them because I'm a woman. What I mean is I've been other places and gotten the pat answers like ''you're husband would know that" or "why are you doing this?" Things like that, the sexist crap that says because I'm a woman I shouldn't be in that store trying to do what ever it was. I don't take kindly to that which just fuels the flame. But not once have I ever been treated like that here, and I'm so happy to support a business like that. I do ask questions and they talk to me about it and help me make purchases and don't try to sell me junk I don't need. Just plain respect! I love it!

I made my purchases and headed home. Ron had beaten us home from work by a few minutes, dang, I'd hoped to have it all repaired by the time he got home! I headed into the kitchen and set the stuff out on the countertop and went to work. I opened the package for the drain snake and stuck it into the pipe, wiggled it around and heard it working but couldn't get it to go any further than the trap... crap! I guess I need to open the trap! In all the pictures online the trap was positioned the other way, so it looked like mine was upside down but I was still able to open it. Once opened I could see part of the problem then promptly started gagging. Oh. my. God! The smell, it was enough to knock a buzzard off a poop wagon! Looking at all that disgustingness I said to Ron,
"I think I've found at least part of the problem! Come check it out!"
He said, " Is it disgusting?"
Me, "Uh, yeah..."
Him, "No thanks, I'm all set."
Then the kids came back upstairs, I'd sent them to the basement to fetch the wrench and they were quite disgusted by the new aroma in the kitchen but not enough to go to another room, oh no they had to get right in there and see it up close too! Sick! Just plain sick! I blame it on their father. ;-) I got a spoon and scooped out what I could then ran the snake through again, then tried it from the top and pushed through another whole huge clog of.....?? Gagging and holding my breath for most of this. This was by far one of the most disgusting things I've had to do for a long time and I realize now why plumbers tend to charge so much money - they're worth it!

So after the clog was cleared I set about the task of cleaning all the threads for the pipes and reconnecting all the pieces, it took me a couple tried to get it so that it doesn't leak, but I got it and couldn't be more pleased. I'd not be telling the entire story if I didn't mention the fact that my kids were right there helping me do this, fetching a wrench, emptying the bucket, handing me a paper towel, or running to the bathroom to wash off something. I'm so thankful for my children and their willingness to always at least try to help me and usually without being asked. I cannot imagine what I'd do without them. Now to tackle some other things around the house and in life that need to be fixed... like the heater in the truck, nah, I know my limits (sometimes) and will call a mechanic!

*Sorry about the dorky picture of me, I was on a high having just conquered the sink, I'll use better judgement next time I think about posting a pic of me...


  1. Way to go! The picture is great! You schooled that sink drain!

  2. Thanks! And an FYI.... I'm really hoping I never have to do that again! ::shuddering::

  3. Good job! That is always a stinky job to do. Between my husband and our son they do it! I just go away and gag! I like the picture!

  4. I love it! You inspire me with all of your "fix-it" stuff. ;-)


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.