Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An accomplishment!

Please award me some "independent woman" points. I have successfully rescued a pearl earring from a bathroom sink trap.

What, Mags, you say? Taking a sink trap off is not a big deal? Ah, but I now know you are correct. I've just never done it before. I come from, and am married to, folk that are afraid of plumbing, wiring, automotives, and general fixitude. This is a prejudice I am not proud of, and I have tried diligently to learn, thanks to many patient friends that are willing to talk me through just about anything. (Seriously, off topic, have any of you ever heard of a "suaging tool?" I'm not even sure if that's how it's spelled. Swaging? Sooo-age? Is there a verb form, "to suage?")

Anyway, the pearl earrings in question are my absolute favorites. I bet I wear them three of five days that I wear earrings. They're also from my mother-in-law, who bought them for me at James Avery, and I can't stand to think of losing them. I set them on the sink last night, stupidly tossing my sweater over them, and then when I grabbed my sweater, plink, there one went.

I was on my way to poker (third, grrrrrr. 2-fucking-AM I get home, for third, with no money). I kind of forgot about it today, but after the kids were asleep, I saw the towel draped over the sink reminding me not to run water down it. Weighing the options of trying it myself and calling an after-hours plumber, poverty won out, and I went to borrow a neighbor's pipe wrench. I think we have exactly one adjustable wrench, and a set of socket wrenches that I always forget we have. (I do have "The Gator Grip," which is pretty much sufficient for all your wrenching needs, but I digress.) Anyway, we do not have a pipe wrench.

After a brief re-visit with my neighbor when I thought I had broken the pipe wrench by unscrewing it too far, I surveyed my sink, and decided that it was not a big deal to just take off the bendy part. As it turns out, the fittings are plastic, and I didn't even have to use the wrench to get it off.

First of all...EW. The water in that pipe was STANK. The inside of the pipe was coated with gray sludge. After dumping that water out - and yes, I did, I dumped it back into the sink without the pipe under it - and cleaning that up, and then going to the OTHER sink to clean the pipe out, I realized that it was not in the bendy part. Sigh.

I went back and looked at the long pipe going down from the sink, and realized that I could get it off, too, without too much effort. I got it down, and lo and behold. there is my earring. It is sitting square in the top of the pipe, in the center of the pipe, plunked down in what is essentially a pipe full of tar, and tar that smelled like ASS on top of that. Oh. My. God. That. Was. So. Disgusting.

Thinking more clearly this time, I took that to the trash can and scraped it all out with a knife, and am now thinking that I am just going to take that trash bag out tonight, even though I just opened it. I can't be happy with that vile Mordor ooze being present in my kitchen. What the hell has been growing in my pipes? We don't clean motorcycle parts in there or anything like that (remember, we're afraid of that stuff!). And the sink is only three years old, so it's not like we've had time to pump in 50 years worth of skin cells and hairs.

All I can say, if you are folk who pride yourself on being very clean, you should go check out what is going on in your pipes sometimes. I'm not anal retentive by any means, but I have the urge to boil my drains in bleach. (Stupid environmental ethics! If I had my way, I'd go all Agent Orange on the mildew in my bathrooms.)

There was again another brief panic when I had difficulty getting the bendy pipe back on - the turny part had gotten turned too tight, and I couldn't get it back on - but my brute strength on the manly wrench pipe proved fruitful, and I finally figured it out.

So, I get independent woman points. My sink works, and does not appear to leak, and I found my earring. And that particular sink has received a much-needed cornholing.

Next week, I'm going to use a swaging tool to fix a window frame, and it was my own idea. I didn't even check with Mick or Adam. I'm growing up!


Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you Mags. Wahoo! Watch it, you may just enjoy being a DIY-selfer.

Anonymous said...

Dave T says...

Excellent work. Keep it up and we'll buy you an old pickup and some Lone Star.

Karla said...

You go girl! Though you totally made me LOL when you cleaned out the pipe into the sink from which you removed the pipe. I got this total vision of you going "Oh Shit!" and rolling your eyes at yourself. Total Mags (and Karla) moment. I can see it.

If you dump Arm and Hammer baking soda down the drains and wash with vinegar, you get a very satisfying bubbling and cleaning of the drains that is also green friendly. Then rinse with the hottest water you can.
(Though in all honestly I use bleach once a month because the plumber told me to and our drains back up like nobody's bidness.)