(Originally written on October 20, 2012)
Hello, and welcome to Late Night Plumbing with Arjay Stevens. I’m your host, Arjay Stevens, and for the next 3.5 hours I’ll be tackling a late night plumbing project.
<roll modified F.D.R. video clip and Hindenburg clip>
“October 19, 2012…A date…which will live…in infamy!”
“Oh, the humanity!”
Our guest tonight is Marci, wife of one and mother of three. “Marci, it’s Friday evening, we just finished dinner, your sister’s son is having a sleepover here, it’s been a long work week – how can I help you?”
“Hi Arjay, thanks for having me. There’s 3 inches of standing water in the kitchen sink.”
“Wow, that’s fabulous! It’s probably tired of standing – tell it to have a seat.” <rim shot> <laughter>
This reminds me of a joke. What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs in your sink? Dwayne! <rim shot>
Having earned a working man’s Ph.D. in plumbing by living 35 years with my folks, I made a quick and expert diagnosis of the situation. The drain is plugged.
I grabbed the plunger and worked that thing for a few minutes and watched to see if the water would just miraculously go down the drain. It didn’t. So I got down under the sink and disconnected the J-Bend (that’s a trap for all you amateurs out there). Then I ran upstairs and got a wire hanger. I went in the garage and got a pair of side cutters and fashioned a nice plumbing implement. I put a nice U-shaped bend at the end and hey, let’s go fishing!
I pulled out quite a bit of junk with that thing and my fingers. Really nice greasy black stuff. This drain has never plugged in the 9 years we’ve lived here so it was a real treat pulling that gunk out. The trap itself was clean so the debris was in that straight pipe that goes into the wall – and beyond. Then I went out into the garage again and got the drain snake. That’s a metal thing about 8 feet long with a little coiled metal thing on the end.
I fished that into the drain about 4 feet deep and hit something, probably a joint in the PVC piping. I put everything back together and ran some water in the sink. It didn’t go down. I grabbed the plunger again and when pulling up on it, there was quite a bit of stuff coming up. I bailed that out with a cup and a pan and then got back under the sink and disassembled the plumbing again. Did some more fishing. I put the trap, etc. back together again and tried running some really hot water down the drain. Once it backed up into the drain I sat there and watched it with great hope and anticipation – hoping for a miracle. Then I noticed a very small cyclone of water forming. Things were moving! Now I would feel somewhat safe putting some Drano in there. I put more water in the sink and pretty soon a really nice cyclone formed in the drain! What awesome counter-clockwise rotation!
Here I am…rock you like a hurricane!
Then I looked under the sink and there was a small drip around the J-Bend. I grabbed some ChannelLock pliers and tightened that thing up tighter than a Dutchman’s wallet. Still a drip. This project was gonna involve some travel.
At about 9:00PM I went up to Meijer in Jenison and they didn’t have the metal parts I wanted so I got the Deluxe Box O’ Plumbing Sh_t. That’s the name on the box, I’m not making that up. <grin> It had way more PVC stuff than I needed but I figured it would work. After about 20 minutes of scratching my head and designing a plumbing solution worthy of Marci I tightened everything up and tested. Worked like a champ! I never had so much fun watching water go down the sink. It was awesome. I had a Miller Lite and treated the drain to a Drano chaser. It’s Saturday morning and things are still functioning normally.
At one point in the festivities Marci (and I) both lost confidence in my skill set and she got on the phone to Godwin Plumbing. They weren’t open and that’s probably a good thing. We would have waited until Monday but we still would have probably paid several hundred to have a plumber do what I did. Plumbing problems are the absolute worst thing in the world. The only battle scar I have is a small hole in my hand between my index and middle fingers from probing that PVC pipe. I kept wishing my index finger was about 2 inches longer. But that would look really weird. Because this is a family show
and I had a T-shirt tucked into my jeans, no one was treated to any “plumber’s crack” whatsoever. <grin>
Well, that’s all for this episode. Join us next time (hopefully in about 10 years) when we tackle our next awesome plumbing adventure on Late Night Plumbing with Arjay Stevens.
<applause> <roll credits>
The host and producers of Late Night Plumbing with Arjay Stevens would like to thank our sponsors:
Deluxe Box O’ Plumbing Sh_t LLC, – Shanghai, China
The Miller Brewing Company – Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Gold Sponsor)
Meijer, Inc. – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Drano – Better Living through Caustic Chemicals
Push It Real Good (c) Plungers
Marci’s patience and God’s mercy (Platinum Sponsors)