Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Handy Woman...Sort Of...

For the last two weeks I've been having trouble with the water in my bathtub draining too slowly whenever I take a shower. Even though I hurry, I'm always standing in inch-deep soapy water by shower's end. Every morning I'd frown and think, I really need to do something about this problem. But all I could think to use was one of those store-bought caustic drain cleaning mixtures, and I didn't want to do that for several reasons: I can't imagine that stuff is good in the sewer system, something so corrosive can't be good for the aging pipes in my Lilliputian cottage, and I didn't have any because I don't buy things like that...

(Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not particularly handy. My sons have bailed me out countless times over the years, and Mother's Day and birthday gifts often consist of the family coming over to my place for a work day. It's a nicely workable solution to my ever-present list of "Stuff That Needs Fixing Around Here." God really knew what He was doing (doesn't He always?) when he blessed me with three very handy sons.)

But yesterday, I really, really wanted a nice, long, hot shower. I've been away for several days babysitting one of my grandkids...the sweetest, smartest one-year-old there is, mind you, but also very quick to take advantage of a situation where Grandma is otherwise occupied. So my shower times were rushed. I'd jump in and furiously wash up, hoping to be out and dressed before the little guy had managed to take every single pot and pan out of the lower kitchen cupboard. I was fast, but he was faster. If we were keeping score, the board would look like this:

Grandson - 2
Grandma - 0

So I really, really needed a nice, long, hot shower. But the draining issue was standing in the way of a good soak. Hmm, I thought. Surely there's something I can do. Well there was. And it worked!

I rummaged around in the kitchen and yarded out some white vinegar and baking soda. I shook about 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain, and then glugged some vinegar over top. The resulting eruption looked promising. I let things set for about 15 minutes and then turned the water on full blast. The clog was better, but it wasn't perfect. So, I tried a variation on this theme, and this time it worked perfectly!

I made a hook out of an old wire clothes hanger and tried to get as much gunk as possible out of the drain. Surprisingly little came out, which disappointed me because I felt I wasn't making progress. Next, I turned the water on long enough for things to back up, and then I used a plunger. I plunged and plunged until all the water had been forced down the drain. After that, I put in another dose of the baking soda and vinegar and let things set for 20 minutes. I turned the water on full blast and hot, and watched as the water slipped effortlessly down the drain (after a satisfying whooshing sound, like the remainder of the clog was going down the drain).

I enjoyed my nice, long, hot shower. When I was dressed again, I promptly texted my sons and told them of my victory. They sounded properly impressed, but I'm not so sure. Each of them ended their message to me with a smiley face...

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