Friday, January 16, 2009

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, I Went To War With The Tub

This morning started like most mornings. The alarm went off...I hit the snooze button. The alarm went off again...I cursed the morning, did a quick internal tally of how much vacation I had left (vacation is the precious and we must hoards the precious!), and begrudgingly removed myself from my warm and cozy bed.

I stumbled to the bathroom to take a shower, hoping that it would help shake off the cobwebs. While in the shower, I quickly realized that something was amiss. The water was rising.

'That's peculiar,' I thought. 'Why the hell is the water not draining?'

I knelt down for a closer inspection. Yes...there was definitely more water there than there should have been. I toggled the lever that closes the drain in case you want to take a bath. Nope...this water isn't going anywhere. 'Crap.'

By then, I was wide awake. My mind was racing with the possible reasons the drain would be clogged. I came up with two finalists.

1) The drain is clogged with hair from when I gave Harry (our Canis familiaris) a bath in said tub.
2) The water in the trap has frozen.

#2 really frightened me. The plumbing for the tub is accessible via an access panel on the side of my house. However, I usually can't get the panel off when the ground is frozen and I didn't really like the prospect of climbing under my house in the sub-zero conditions.

I got ready for the day, went to work for about 4 hours, and then made a mad dash to Home Depot. One of my more fortuitous purchases was a drain auger. If the issue is a clogged, this is the tool to have. Even if it's not I figured, why not have one? I'm all about having the right tools for the job.

I came home, kissed my wife, changed clothes, and mentally prepared myself for operating outside on the ice planet of Hoth.

First things first...let's check the tub. The water from my shower this morning was still there, and it was COLD. 'Not good,' I thought. That certainly makes me lean toward "frozen trap."

I went out to the garage to get a submersible pump and a length of hose. I pumped the water from the tub out the window and into the yard. After draining the tub as best I could, I went to work with the drain auger. And then...

'Dear God...did someone shove a Wookiee into this drain?' I pulled out a big, nasty (slimy) mass of hair. I felt like Mike Rowe and the Dirty Jobs camera crew should have been with me.

A few minutes later, I noticed that the water level had dropped in the drain. I cautiously turned on the water to see if I had good flow. Indeed, I did. I turned the hot water all the way up and let it run for about 5 to 7 minutes. It flowed like a dream. I won! I beat the tub! And most importantly, I didn't have to freeze my ass off outside.

I am not the handiest of men, but I'm learning. I wish there was some lesson here...some moral. I can't really think of one right now.

I'm just grateful to be inside.


Beth said...

You definitely have a talent for writing, Matt.

Matt said...

Thanks Beth! If you keep reading, I'll keep writing.