>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Remember that post where I said I wasn't interested in learning any plumbing skills?
Well, apparently what I meant to say was that I wasn't interested in learning any plumbing skills unless I was seriously annoyed at my drain and my husband wasn't home to fix it.
Since we're in an apartment, the easy thing to do would have been to call the landlord. Afterall, that's the main advantage of living in an apartment, right? You don't have to fix your own problems...But they wouldn't have gotten to it until who knows when, and that just wasn't going to work for the bathroom sink used by my three boys since nothing was going down.
Concerned that one of the boys would leave the water running too long and I'd end up with a flood in the bathroom, I decided to tackle the problem.
STEP ONE: Find the plunger.
Hmmm, I think we left it in Maryland.
STEP TWO: Try unclogging the drain without harsh chemicals.
I went with the old vinegar and baking soda trick. I got a pretty nifty volcano, but the sink still wasn't draining.
STEP THREE: Unclog by hand.
By this time I was ready for extreme measures, so I went to the Internet. In detailed instruction, here is how to unclog your bathroom sink by hand.
In less detailed instruction, here is how I did it. And I'm pretty sure I didn't mess anything up.
- Remove everything from under your sink and change into scrubby clothes. This is a dirty job.
- Grab a bucket and some rags. Put the bucket under the pipes under the sink.
- Turn off the water using the water shut-off valves.
- Unscrew the pieces of the P-trap, the curved part of the drain. The pieces are surprisingly easy to unscrew by hand. Lay each piece on a rag to the side.
- The instructions I read said you should stuff a rag into the pipe that disappears into the wall to avoid inhaling any methane. This seemed like a smart idea, so I made sure I did that.
- Once all the pieces of the P-trap are removed, you should be able to identify where your clog is.
- Using a long screwdriver, force a paper towel through the pieces of pipe to remove any clogs and other nasties.
- Reassemble the P-trap, making sure you screw everything together snugly.
- Test your work by turning on the pipes.
Now I've got to figure out how to make sure it doesn't get clogged again. Any suggestions?