Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sometimes a Wrench in the Plans is Good

It’s yet another rainy day today. I won’t waste time moaning about it because there’s little that I haven’t said already.

On the plus side, it was another quite busy day at work which is always pleasant and makes time go by fast. I’d say it was a day without any major homeowner issues but I did manage to drop a shampoo cap down the gaping hole in my bathroom sink in which a plug is supposed to go and now it’s stuck fast and the sink is completely blocked.

You might wonder why I had a shampoo cap and how I managed to get it stuck down my sink. Well, the shampoo cap belongs on a bottle of shampoo and I was trying to unscrew it and it flew off and landed in the hole. The hole is where the plug is supposed to go but I have one of those old 1970’s sinks with the metal button between the taps that you push and the plug theoretically goes up or down.

Unfortunately, my plug only goes down and then in seals so tight it requires some difficult maneuvering to unseal it from the hole. This makes it difficult to wash your hands because a bowl of water inevitably collects in the sink and then you have to try to get the plug out which is made quite difficult by the fact that there’s water in the sink.

So, I leave the plug out. I have tried substitute plugs like those rubber ones you get at Lowes but, alas, my plug hole remains a Cinderella without a perfectly matching shoe.

Actually my plug hole is more like a gaping mouth ready to eat anything that comes its way but it’s usually not a huge problem.

Unless it’s a shampoo cap which is just the right size to completely clog the sink. I did some research online regarding sinks. It’s stuck in the ‘tailpipe’ of the sink and to get to it, I have to remove the ‘p trap’. Aren’t you impressed with my sink knowledge?

I hope to attempt to move the p-trap and get the cap out myself. I’m told I just need a pipe wrench, a bowl and some patience. I have a wrench and a bowl. I’ll work on the patience.

Still, given the week I had last week, at least this latest calamity is my own fault. I’m not proud of my clumsiness but it’s just part of who I am. I always wanted to be one of those graceful women who seemed to glide around and never had a hair out of place and managed to not spill coffee on herself once a day but, well, I didn’t turn out that way. I’m a woman who tends to have a bit of a messy ponytail, some type of coffee stain and the ability to trip even while wearing flat shoes.

So, really, a shampoo cap wedged in the sink really isn’t something that I can say, “I can’t believe I did that.” I mean, I actually did groan and say, “I can’t believe I just did that” when it happened but, really, it was a false statement: Of COURSE, I can believe I did that. I’m the person who destroyed the connection between her toilet and the water connector in my old apartment in L.A. because I was mopping vigourously and I accidentally whacked the pipe-tube-thingy and it split open. I’m also the person who puts IKEA furniture together backwards 95% of the time, even when I’m following the pictures correctly.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, after having written this blog earlier in the day, the shampoo cap turned out to be a minor problem on an otherwise cloudy and gloomy day. I stopped by Lowes after work and aquired a nifty pipe wrench. It's one of those things I never thought I'd own and now do. Life is odd that way. It's the same reason I now own a hacksaw and a drill.

The niftiest thing is that though the wrench cost me a whopping $10, with the help of it and a bucket and a little arm muscle, I managed to get off that pesky p-trap, remove the shampoo lid and my sink is working fine. It's still a hideous mustard colour but it's highly functioning again and that's what counts, right.

So, all in all, today hasn't been bad, though it's been rainy. I learned a lot about the anatomy of a bathroom sink. I saved a lot by fixing a minor plumbing calamity myself instead of calling a plumber. While it may not be world peace or some ginormous world changing event, to me, it was a day where I conquered a minor problem with the help of a wrench. I consider that a success.

And, for me, it really was a case of throwing a wrench into the plan and having it turn out right.

Sometimes it's the strangest things that make life feel good.

Happy Wednesday!


Emily said...

Hooray for you for fixing it yourself- that's awesome!

One thing I have seen that might serve you well- they sell these little flat round rubber screens for kitchen sinks (a few inches in diameter) that just lay over the top of the drain to catch the big stuff, but let water run through...something like that might help prevent losing earrings, shampoo caps, etc, down the drain. Just a thought!

hann said...

The method used to install the sink will depend on what type of sink you purchase. If you purchase a drop in type of sink, the process is fairly straight forward.

Captain Monkeypants said...

Thanks, Emily! that's a great idea about the rubber screen. Given that I almost lost the lid of my contact case this morning, i think I'll be getting one of those!

Thanks, hann- that's good advice!