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Jul 04, 2019 21:08:25

I declare independence from the tyranny of poorly engineered plumbing

by @danielmiller PATRON | 613 words | 🐣 | 222💌

Daniel Miller

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This morning I was faced with a very clogged kitchen sink drain. We won't go into details here, but suffice it to say I was a little put-out. I got out our little drain snake and realized I would need to take off the p-trap to run the snake. As I loosened one of the slip nuts (by hand) the entire piece of pipe it was attached to broke off.

Queue Home Depot trip #1. There is a hardware store much closer but they were closed for the July 4th holiday. I got a replacement pipe and a pipe cutter, as the only pipe available was too long.

Get home. The pipe cutter I bought was too small to cut the pipe. Fortunately, I have a neighbor who has a lot of tools (today he was welding a metal LP rack). Queue trip across the street for help #1. His pipe cutter was the same size as the one I just bought, but he had some crazy chop saw that cut the metal pipe with ease.

Two little bumps in the road. No big deal. I snake the drain and get back to work.

Now for some critical information. Most p-traps are situated in a normal position that allows for plenty of room beneath for removing and refitting the trap. Not mine. Whoever installed this kitchen put the main drain very low, so the p-trap rests directly on the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. Not just directly on, but wedged into place. I remember when we had the garbage disposal replaced many years ago, I heard the plumbers complaining about this fact.

It's nearly impossible to get this p-trap back on. I realize that the main straight drain pipe could be shorter, which would, in theory, require less wedging. Queue trip across the street for help #2. Another cut with the chop saw.

Back at home with all the required parts, I can't get the old broken pipe remnant loose from the slip nut, so queue trip across the street for help #3. He has channel locks that do the job. Back at my house, I attempt re-assembly. Leaks like crazy from said slip nut. I decide I need a new rubber washer. Queue trip across the street for help #4. He has an old washer, which I try, but it doesn't seem to work any better. Queue trip to Home Depot #2 for new slip nuts and washers.

Upon getting back home and reassembling with the new slip nuts and washers, it still leaks, only seemingly much worse than before! After some investigation, I learn that the bottom of the p-trap has now also broken, from all the wedging required by the multiple attempts at leak-free reassembly.

Queue trip to Home Depot #3. Have I mentioned that it's not exactly close and that Home Depot is my second least favorite store, only kept from those honors by Ikea?

Get a new p-trap. The only one that is the correct size is in a package that includes the original pipe I went to Home Depot for in the first place, and the extra slip nuts and washers I went to Home Depot for the second time. Because the universe is cruelly ironic.

Still leaks.

I resign. I have been defeated. We'll live without a working kitchen sink for another day and spend $250 for a plumber to come out and fix a fucking p-trap. I plan on getting a quote on fixing the entire mess that is my under-sink plumbing fiasco.

I take a nap. I eat some food. I resolve to try one more time. I change my approach to The Wedge.

Success on that very next attempt.


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