Ripping CD's on Sunday night while the little lady is making dinner. She pops her head out, and quietly tells me that she thinks she just broke the garbage disposal.
Since getting a condo (approx 15 months ago), I have found that I truly enjoy those moments of fixing something or working on something. Specifically when it is an issue that would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone else do the work!
So I leap out of my chair and purposefully march into the kitchen. And, yes, I do make sure that she doesn't feel bad or guilty. This isn't a power trip over her. It's a power trip over contractors and repairmen!! The water in the sink is not draining, I flick on the garbage disposal (which I installed myself upon moving in), and it grinds away.
Garbage Disposal is not broken.
But, now I have to figure out why the drain isn't draining. I've never done this before.
So first, I clear out the crap she was trying to get down the GD. Spin it around a bunch of times, and decide that the clog is further down the pipe. Now this is where I get a little proud of myself. I've never done this stuff before. I did install a bathroom sink when we moved in, so I have handled pipes before, but I've never DEBUGGED pipes before. What I've notice on the sinks is that there appears to be a little openning at the bottom of the bend...never touched it. Just noticed it.
So, now I'm face to face with this purge valve, and I have to break out the wrench. Excellent. Happily, I was correct. I crank that bad boy open, and water pours out...Yes, I did place a bucket underneath it. Yes, there was more water and general sludge than I had planned. Yes, it was gross. No, it did not spill.
So I get a hanger, and wiggle my way up to where the pipe connects to the disposal unit, and there doesn't appear to be any clog. I run just a little water, and sure enough, it pours right through to the open valve, and into my bucket.
Narrowing down the problem. Excellent.
This means it on the other side of the valve. I wiggle the hanger up there, and there's no obstruction, but I can't make it too far because there are too many bends. Okay, gotta take this thing apart.
This takes a little figuring out. The only problem was that I didn't realize that the point that connects the main pipe to the sink's pipe doesn't rotate indipendant of the drain pipe. In the end, I just have to disconnect the disposal unit from the sink pipe, then I can rotate the ENTIRE pipe to disconnect it from the main pipe. Get that puppy off of there, and check if its clogged. No good. The clog isn't in there.
That means the clog is in the main pipe. I scrap a little out with the hanger, and hook everything back up. Run some water, and it backs right up. This means the clog is further than I can reach with my hanger. This means I don't have the right tools. This means I need MORE tools.
Monday after work, I swing by Home Depot and pick up a snake. It connects to a drill and is 25 feet long and is only 20 bucks. It's just fine.
I get it home, open up that small valve, run the snake in there until it won't go any further, and hit the drill. Bang, I'm through. Pull the snake back out. Close up the valve. Run the water. Drain starts draining.
I am man. Watch me plumb.
(In the end, I would not recommend the drill powered snake. Didn't feel like it was that high quality of a product. But the price is right if you just need it for little things ever 15 months or so.)