Maybe you haven’t been around here long enough to notice, but I don’t generally take on small projects. Mostly not even regular sized projects. And definitely hardly ever maintenance projects.
I like fixing and/or building things. Changing oil, cleaning filters, and making the bed are not high up on my priority list. This makes me a poor homeowner at times, and it also makes me the type of person who needs to have a cleaning service in their employ at all times.
The good angel Fran, who comes in a shovels me out of my hovel every other week, cancelled yesterday, and I made the mistake of telling her just to come on her next scheduled day. After all I’m here at home, I can do this.
Okay, and this post about is exactly why I shouldn’t do this. It’s also about plumbing.
Aside from throwing a load of laundry in the washer, I start my cleaning adventure with the bathroom. I hit all the regular spots… bath, toilet, mirror, sink.
As I’m washing the sink I notice the walls around my wall-mounted faucets are dirty so I go get a sponge and I start to wash the walls. As I’m letting the water run and washing the walls, I notice that the sink is draining poorly.
This is a lie. I’ve noticed the sink drains poorly every time I’ve brushed my teeth for the last year. This wasn’t some new 80 year old house symptom that needed to be taken care of right away. Especially because I hate dealing with plumbing. When one morning you walk into your house to find a waterfall spanning three floors of living space, you become a little gun-shy about dealing with plumbing.
I’ve mentioned this plumbing thing to MysteryMan a few times hoping he would take pity on the helpless female and come to my rescue with the Drano or whatnot. Firstly, he’s catching on to that routine. Secondly, I totally underestimated his fear of reaching under the sink and accidentally bumping into a box of tampons or some other such thing that would obviously turn him into a girl.
Which is how I found myself here:
Yeah, you saw that one coming a mile away, didn’t you?
Here’s the thing. The plumbing in my house was installed by a general contractor who said “oh, and I can just do the plumbing too” which I naively believed. Come to find out this guy installed the water meter in my house backwards despite the arrow embossed on the entire length of the meter that clearly indicates the direction of water flow. The water company noticed this after my meter was running backwards for an entire year. So there are some inherent issues with the plumbing in general.
What I was hoping for, was a clog. A clog in the trap would have been easy to deal with.
If you ignore the plumbing gunk (and may I just say, ugh), you can see in this picture that someone forgot how to use their tape measure and put the hole in this cabinet slightly too low.
I thought maybe the pressure on this pipe was pushing downward and making it hard for the water to drain. What do I know? I’m not a plumber.
Which is exactly how, while attempting to perform the singular act of cleaning my bathroom, I end up with this on my hands.
Yeah. This is my life people.
At this point the only positive thing I can say about dismantling my sink was that I found a veritable treasure trove under that cabinet, consisting of:
- 4 toothpaste caps
- 7 bobby pins
- 1 missing earring
- the instructions for installing wall mounted faucets
- 6 water bottle caps
- 3 hair ties
- 1 headband
- a crust of bread
- and enough cat hair to stuff a throw pillow
Complete & Utter Breakdown of my DIY System
At this point I realize that
1.) The waste pipe in the wall is immovable, so if the slight downward angle is a the problem, there is nothing I can do about it.
2.) I don’t know shit about plumbing.
My DIY system goes something like this:
Step 1: Take something apart.
Step 2: Google it to figure out how it put it back together in proper working order.
Yes. Yes, I see the flaw in this system, evidenced by the fact that when my bathroom fixtures were located in seven distinct pieces strewn about the upstairs…. my internet connection went down.
Wherein I Curse the DIY Gods & Simultaneously Perform Experiments
The best I could do was clean everything out and put it back together. Previously I also noticed there was a tiny bit of water leakage from the drain into the cabinet, so I thought at the very least I may be able to rectify that.
I realized that I could fractionally adjust the angle at which the water trap sat and that this angle did slightly influence both the drainage capabilities of my sink, and the leakage from the pipes. My experimenting went something like this:
Turn on faucet, start counting
…eleven one-thousand… twelve one-thousand… thirteen one-tho…. aaannnd we have back up.
Then I check for leaks.
At 16 seconds before the sink backs up, I have constant dripping in the cabinet. With no dripping in the cabinet, I can only get around 12 seconds before backup. Still, this is an improvement from the .075 seconds it took the sink to backup before.
1.) The plumber who installed this was an idiot.
2.) The sink is positioned too close to the wall, which is why the leaking becomes an issue (the pipes are connected almost at the curve of the trap and the seal doesn’t get as tight as it should.) I need to build a new cabinet. This still doesn’t solve the drainage problem.
3.) I hate plumbing.
4.) This, this is why I don’t clean.
5.) I. Need. A. Nap.
My pipes have been snaked from the basement in the last year, and this plumbing is less than 3 years old. If anyone has any ideas about this it would be greatly appreciated.
Next time, I’ll just live in a hovel until Fran gets here.
Edit: I’m thinking. Do you think it drains poorly because the faucet is located directly over the drain?? This has to do with the cabinet that is not meant to be a bathroom cabinet and the sink positioning as well.