Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Drain That Wouldn't Drain

Since being married (2000) we have lived in 4 homes. Each has had its quirks. But each seemed to have issues with the bathtub drain to some extent. Some tubs were worse than others. I think my wife took care of some while I was at work (she mentioned pliers). They all seemed to well...after awhile. I don't remember this happening when I was a kid. But I was pretty oblivious to everything then.

Our "new"(1973) house has the same problem. We've only lived here for 6 months. We replaced the drain and some pipes below the tub when we moved in. But now it already takes half the day to drain the tub. It fills with slimy hairy soap water when you shower and leaves and disgusting mess when it finally drains.

So, I'm off to see the Google to find out how to get this tub to drain again. In the past we've tried chemicals (we even had a plumber apply his super powerful chemicals). We tried coat hangers. We tried some sorry excuse for a snake that we picked up at the dollar store. All these things helped, a bit, but not really.

So, Google had lots of interesting information, most of which we had tried. But one Blog (which I can't find again) mentioned a nifty tool called "Zip-It". It's a long slender flexible 2-foot plastic stick with 1/4" barbs on it. They claim that all you have to do is stick it down the drain and pull it out again. It pulls out all the hair and attached gunk clearing the drain. The Blog mentioned that they were able to buy some at Lowes.

So, I checked out the website. Impressive isn't it. But it's only a few bucks and we haven't tried it yet.

I wish I would have pulled out the digital camera so you all could see the dirty glory. The Zip-It (about $3 at Lowes) pulled out so much nasty that I thought I'd be sick. The box says that you can only use it once or to throw it away after use or some such. But after one use I could tell there was a lot more crap down there (Our drain was twice as bad and gross as the one in the video on the Zip-It websit). So I cleaned the thing off and pushed it down 4 or 5 more times until there wasn't anything left to pull up. I did have to get some scissors to cut the hair off that wrapped around our drain (battling for survival it seemed). But the drain drains! It's like new!! Hurrah! We conquered!

I fully recommend the Zip-It for hair related clogs. But now my feet get cold when I shower. I kinda miss that warm backed-up water. Que sera.

Here's an image from the Zip-It website that about matches what we pulled up on our first "zip"

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