The Disposal, a Clogged Drain, and a Friend to the Rescue!
A few weeks ago, Tracy and I found ourselves in the midst of a challenge here at home: a clogged kitchen sink drain line. And I don’t mean a little clogged. It was CLOGGED. Stopped. Absolutely no water flow what-so-ever.
A little background (let it be known that I asked Tracy’s permission before posting – in fact, she helped me write this!): My industrious wife had decided it was time to clean out the fridge. She vaguely remembered me telling her it was appropriate to use the disposal for getting rid of food waste. This seemed the quickest, easiest and cleanest option. In hindsight, running mass quantities of food down the disposal was a very bad idea! Apparently – chicken, pasta and rice become a concrete-like mixture when processed through a garbage disposal! Who knew? Unfortunately for us, this stuff didn’t set up in the p-trap under the sink, or in the wall behind the sink. No – it chose a spot much further down the line to set up completely.
I happen to own a 20’ snake. It wouldn’t touch the problem (for those with a bit less plumbing experience – a snake is a drain-cleaning device that’s not much fun to operate, but really handy to have around the house).
I also happen to have a wonderful friend who has an industrial-strength, high-power, we-ain’t-kidding-around snake that must be like 100’ long. He came over, and got after it. Twenty minutes later, our drain was draining better than it had since moving in two years ago, and our spirits were soaring. I no longer had to consider what portions of basement walls to tear into, or what plumber to write a check to. We were saved!
With some mental distance from the event – it’s become kinda funny. In the middle of it, not so much. Four days with no running water, dishes in the dishwasher, a sink full of backed up yuck, a counter stacked high with dirty dishes, and an unexpected budget shortfall due to eating out and purchasing paper plates and utensils – no fun.
However, there was some up-side. We learned a few valuable lessons. I wanted to share story this with you, as an opportunity to share the lessons learned from this event.
1 – The little things can become big things in a hurry. Don’t forget to stop and consider your actions. But also, don’t rush into damage control. I was just frustrated enough that I considered tearing into a wall to find the problem. So glad I didn’t, because I really do not like drywall repair!
2 – Never stop learning. Just when you think you know a lot about your home, you’re going to learn a new lesson. Sometimes you learn by reading. Sometimes life chooses to give you a more “hands-on” lesson. Personally – I prefer reading.
3 – You shouldn’t try to go this alone! That applies to home maintenance, and just about everything else in life. Lean on friends. Help friends whenever possible. It’s so much better to be able to say – “we’re in this together. “
When my friend came over to help, I stopped him before we even got started to say a very sincere thank you, he just looked at me and said “that’s what friends are for – right?”
My sincere hope with Home Intentional, and these blog posts, is that as the months and years go by, you might look at our family as friends who are standing by, ready to help. We might not be able to come over and unclog your drains, but maybe we can help you prevent problems by sharing information and stories along the way.
Thanks for reading!