It was Thanksgiving morning, and suddenly nothing would go down the drain in our kitchen sink. Zero. Nada. Zip. It wasn’t that bad, though; we only had 10 coming for dinner! I tried everything I could think of to get it unplugged, but it wouldn’t budge.
We live in a small community and I couldn’t find a plumber on Thanksgiving day, so we did without and improvised. It all turned out okay, but do you think that was stressful? Uh--yeah, it was!
When the plumber finally came the next day he told us two things that surprised me; one was how to clear a blockage and the other was how to prevent one.
First of all, there was something I could have done that just might have cleared the problem. He said to fill a large pot with water, heat it until it’s boiling, and then pour it into the sink. Let it sit there against the blockage while you prepare another pot of boiling water. This results in boiling hot water sitting against the blockage with pressure from all the water above it, hopefully weakening it. Then, when you pour the second pot of water into the sink the sudden additional pressure may break through the now-weakened blockage. It’s certainly worth a shot! (In our case, drain-clearing chemicals would not have helped.)
To prevent a blockage, occasionally let the sink fill with water as you do the dishes. (Don’t waste water, simply cover the drain as you use the water you were going to use anyway.) Then, when it drains, there is a lot of pressure as the water swooshes through the pipe which can clear some things that may be sitting there waiting to cause a problem.
Here’s the lesson: I think there are “right” ways to do just about everything. Had I known about these two little ideas I might have saved my self the stress of having no kitchen sink on Thanksgiving, either by fixing the clog myself or by having prevented the clog in the first place.
If we want to lower our stress, we need to make of point of learning what we can about the things we do in order to do them in the best and most effective ways, or at a minimum to be receptive when we simply stumble on great ideas after the fact as in my example.