Monday, March 31, 2014

It's a trap! (For the bathroom)

Don't you hate when you've been wrestling with a problem for a couple of days and finally in a 'I'll try this and if it doesn't work I'm going to burn the whole f'n thing down' moment when you're completely at your wits end, you brain suddenly farts an answer that was probably staring at you right in the face from the very first second?

I've just had a hallelujah moment so big I just sprouted a pair of wings with nary a can of red bull in sight.

Praise brain fart, amen.
And I've also come to loathe poorly written instructions at the same instance for this very reason...

Recently Jackson my two and a three quarter year old Superchild TM has been sneaking into the bathroom when neither mum nor dad have been watching and proceeded to play his new favorite game 'What fits down the drain hole in the bathroom sink?'. He must be pretty good at this game as my wife noticed quite a few things down there and when I finally applied some muscle and removed the P Trap (the plastic pipe system directly under the sink) we found the following:

- A pair of now incredibly rusted tweezers (we've been looking for those!)
- A couple of used matches from the stove
- A wooden skewer (???)
- The unburnt end of an incense stick
- Cotton buds
- Sludge comprising of god knows what mixed with the foulest stench from hell that was forming a union in there thanks to all the goodies Jackson had wedged in deep.

And while I did attempt to clear out the trap without vomiting, sanity prevailed and I just bought a new one from Bunnings for about 5 bucks which didn't make my eyes water.

Of course buying it is one thing, fitting the damn thing is a complete other. And the last time I did this (It started leaking a few years back for some reason that escapes me) I ended up using silicone to fix any stray leaks (and because I realise now I didn't install it correctly).

This time around in a complete moment of absolute lunacy I decided to save money and hit any and all leaks with something more suited to my zero skills in plumbing.
Pressurized rubber in a can. Stopleak.

This did not go anywhere near as planned and looked like an arsonists wet dream by the time I'd finished.

Oh god, what have I done!

Of course as good as that looked, it still leaked. So I hit it with some more stop leak and it leaked some more. I tried hitting the leaks at a different angle and proceeded to cover the walls with stopleak instead of what I was aiming at. So I re-aimed and managed to cover myself in stopleak instead. And it takes a lot of soap and scrubbing to get the damn thing off. The next time Hollywood wants Marvel super villain to appear in the movies, I'm going to suggest they actually just make his costume out of Stopleak - they'll save millions as it works just as well!

Yesssss! We like ssssstopleak!

After letting it dry and then proceeding to cover more of the sink cupboard walls, myself and occasionally what I was actually aiming at with Stopleak, I finally admitted defeat...and bought another P Trap kit. I also stopped by a plumbers supply store to explain what I was doing and where it was leaking and the helpful bloke returned from the storehouse with an adapter for my unthreaded PVC pipe that would screw into the P trip without any dramas.

This is me. And when it comes to DIY there's always dramas.

While the adapter fit the pipe, the trap didn't fit the adapter and I was getting more and more frustrated with every minute and more and more covered in leftover Stopleak. The instructions on the back of the trap packet where so vague I wasn't sure it I was reading an installation guide for plumbing or a badly drawn copy of the Voynich Manuscript. According to what was on the back of the packet you'd put all the parts together in order and plumbing gnomes would come in overnight and do the rest? You were supposed to crawl into the corner and cry your heart out in frustration? Pray to Drainus the god of plumbing? It told me nothing!

My brain must have snapped at that very moment because I dumbly stared at the pipe coming out the back of the cupboard, looked at the various bits of plastic, flicked myself in the face with a rubber ring and made some ape like grunts as a crazy idea started to form. What if some of these parts were supposed to go on the pipe first and then connect up with the trap? 

Oh god, why has it taken me two days to figure this out??

1 Put the plastic locking ring over the pipe
2 Put the large rubber ring over the pipe end
3 Line the pipe end up with the the rest of the completed trap
4 Tighten the lock ring so it covers the rubber ring on the pipe and screws into the rest of the trap, creating a nice snug and water tight connection.
5. Make sure everything is on tight before testing with water.
6. Scream loudly in delight when no water comes out of your newly fixed plumbing and revel in the feeling that you didn't need anymore damn Stopleak to get to this point.

This would be me right now if I owned a plunger...

Of course when the father in law came round for a quick coffee this arvo and I explained my wild pressurised rubber journey he smiled and pointed out that he didn't think I'd need an adapter as the trap kit should've had everything I needed. I feel sometimes he forgets it's me we're talking about and not a son in law who actually knows what he's doing most of the time...

Right, now that that's out of the way, what else can I fix today?


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