atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#676: It makes me worry.

A basic home repair went without a hitch today. They should all be like this.

Or maybe my pain threshold finally went up.

The bathroom sink has been a slow-drainer approximately forever--at least since 2003--but over the past couple of weeks it's really gotten bad, to the point of hardly draining at all. Turn the tap on to a trickle and you'd wait twenty minutes for the bowl to drain again after you turn it off. Even Drano stopped working.

I've been meaning to disassemble the trap, rod out the pipe, and clean everything, but having actually to find a pipe wrench and other tools stopped me. Today it occurred to me to have a look at the pipes to see what I needed--while brushing my teeth before bed--so I had a look.

The nuts securing the pipes had ears on them--which meant they were supposed to be hand-tightened, didn't it? I tried one, and it was hand-tight, which meant I didn't need to go search the DMZ garage for a pipe wrench or two.

That surprised me: some genius had finally figured out that bathroom sinks need to have their plumbing disassembled for various reasons, more often than other sinks do, and invented plumbing that was easily serviced.

After a few minutes I had the pipes apart, the water drained, and everything cleaned, and was ready for reassembly...except that the pipe which went from the trap to the wall was so badly corroded that only the chrome plating (and sheer force of habit) was holding it together. I don't know why it wasn't leaking--but it was for damn sure that it would leak if I put it back together, so I went to the hardware store and bought a new one.

I found the new one a) by myself, and b) in less than two minutes. And it was both in stock and the correct part. And the washers for it? Right nearby.

Went home, put the new pipe in. I thought I'd have to cut it to length, but it fit fine without that. I had a little trouble getting it secure, but nothing bad. I turned both valves full-on--no leaks, no backup.

The vanity drawer wouldn't close. When the bathroom was remodeled the new sink went in about eight inches to the left of where the old one had been. I looked at it, wondering if I'd have to cut the new pipe a bit after all; then I realized that if I moved the pipe to the other side of the drain--approximately the mirror-image of the way I had it--it would all work fine.

And it did.

I think it might have taken me as long as forty minutes to do the job. And so I'm really worried about it, because it just seemed too damned easy; normally when I tackle a home repair I have to do all kinds of annoying BS that includes doing the job two or three times to make everything work properly.

I had to go buy a part, but I only had to go to one hardware store for it. I had to redo the assembly, but it wasn't a complex process. I had to wash my hands several times, but I'd expected that.

On the other hand, though, I needed a fairly standardized part for a job which is pretty common. Bathroom sinks stop up because of all the hair and other gunk that gets down them. (And, *ahem*, the two or three disposable razor cover thingies that I dropped in there over the past couple years. I recovered two of them today....) People put harsh drain-cleaning chemicals down them and that makes pipes corrode faster than they otherwise would. All kinds of crap goes wrong.

My next plumbing job is to replace a toilet. I hope that goes as well.
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