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New Year, New Tradesmen

On Christmas Day, the kitchen sink decided it was a good time to get completely blocked. Obviously, there was no way that I was going to be able to get an emergency plumber away from his Christmas Dinner for anything as relatively trivial as a blocked sink, so self help was clearly required.

I tried to clear it first with the plunger. Admittedly, it’s a pretty elderly plunger – I think we bought it soon after we moved in here. It turned out that the rubber was perished, and over-enthusiastic plunging just caused it to part company with the handle! So that was no good. Next I tried pouring drain-unblocking fat-busting chemicals down the sink. That partially worked, to the extent that the sink drained slowly and noisily, but was at least usable over the Christmas period.

On the day after Boxing Day, I tried getting hold of one of those 24/7 plumber/drain clearer companies to do the job properly. I was initially offered a same-day appointment, albeit for a significant amount of money. I agreed, through gritted teeth, but they phoned me back an hour later and said they wouldn’t be able to get to me until the Friday. So much for 24/7 emergency call-outs! I was not impressed, and anyway was due to be visiting my parents on the Friday, so I cancelled.

My parents recommended an old-fashioned hardware store close to where they live, that happened to be open between Christmas and New Year, so I was able to replace the broken plunger with a new, heavy duty one. Enthusiastic and regular plunging with that has at least kept the kitchen sink draining well enough to be usable for the last week or so.

However, there was clearly an ongoing problem. There was a heavy frost overnight earlier this week, and I noticed that there was a frozen puddle outside the kitchen window, even though it hadn’t rained. It looked like the problem might not be so much with the sink itself, but with the drain. And that is way outside my limited DIY capabilities. I needed professional help for that.

So I have taken today off work to wait in for Dynorod to turn up and fix it. They’re not cheap, but they’re not the company that let me down after Christmas, and actually I’ve been moderately impressed with their professionalism. They were in regular phone contact this morning, telling me that I was on the job schedule, and giving updated times when the service engineer would get to me. And when he got here, he quickly diagnosed and fixed the problem with a cheery “Just leave it to me, luv”.

It turned out to be a blockage in the external U-bend outside the kitchen, where the outlet from the sink joins the main drain. It needed rodding to get rid of a significant blockage of congealed grease. The chap said it was like these “fatbergs” that have been in the press lately, but on a much smaller domestic scale – he called it a “fat snowball”! I felt entirely justified in calling in the professionals, as clearing it required specialist tools that I don’t have, as well as being an unpleasant and somewhat messy job!

I do hope this isn’t an omen for the rest of the year……

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Ann J | 16 January 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gillian
    Just found your blog and have a request about a photo you posted a while ago. Would you please contact me so I can ask more specifically in private. Not a spammer, just interested in your post from Chedworth thanks