People don’t talk about clogged drains too much. I guess it’s not a really exciting topic of conversation. But that does mean that when the water starts flowing too, too slowly out of your sink (you spot that tell-tale soap and dirt ring), you can feel rather alone.
How do other people deal with this problem, I ask myself? Or is it just me and my four fine children that create the gunk that narrows the pipes that prevents the water from disappearing when it should?
My hunch is that I am not alone. But that is of little benefit to me as I ponder my options: (a) call an expensive plumber (b) pour some noxious chemical down the drain, or (c) as I have been known to do –draw down on my friend Bob’s reserves of goodwill and ability to dismantle a drain.
I have tried the vinegar and baking soda trick, but had relatively little success or found only temporary relief. So I was pretty happy to be sent a nifty little product called Drain-FX which promised to do the job in an efficient and eco-friendly way.
Drain-FX essentially turns your faucet into a mini pressure washer which blasts all that gunk out of your drain. Hey presto, you are good to go again.
The kit, which sells on-line for $19.95, consists of a thin piece of tubing, a quick connector and a variety of attachments that screw onto your tap in place of the aerator. By doing this you increase the pressure from about 50 psi (city standard) to around 250 psi. The flexible piping allows you to spray the concentrated stream of water around your drain with gay abandon. Because drains typically become larger the further down they go, the gunk, once dislodged, ceases to be problematic.
I must admit, though, that the whole thing looked pretty off-putting to me when I first received it. But once I made the commitment to get on with the job, I found it quite easy and even managed to avoid spraying myself. There’s a You Tube video in case you get stuck.
Best of all, you can use the kit again and again, or lend it to your neighbours (if they buck the trend and share tales of their plumbing problems). It wil work on most taps, so long as you can find an aerator to remove. Sadly, that was not the case for my charming old powder-room taps. But Drain-FX did work in my kitchen despite my initial misgivings (I have a extendable sprayer-type tap).
So, as I pack my bags for my upcoming move to the UK – a land of fine plumbing I feel sure – I will be certain to take my Drain-FX with me. I hope they have the same aerator fittings there: according to the website 99% of the world’s aerators fall into four sizes, all of which can handle Drain-FX. So I’d be unlucky to be in that 1%.
While I am on the topic, though, let me say that my postings are likely to be few and far between over the next few months as I make the move. I don’t think that news will ruin your summer. I just hope you won’t turn your spam filter against me as I intend to pop up in your mail box again sometime in the fall.