Monday, February 16, 2009


On Saturday night, the small prep sink with the garbage disposal in my apartment got clogged with asparagus pieces. Asparagus should never go down the disposal because it's fibrous, but it wasn't intentional. Anyhow, the sink would not drain and I couldn't run the dishwasher either because it (stupidly) drains into the disposal rather than into the waste pipe for the kitchen.

I spent most of Sunday trying to unclog it. I got an auger, but that didn't work because the exit port for the disposal is below the blades. I tried a can of pressurized gas which forces water at high velocity, but that didn't work either. The worst idea was putting in drain cleaner. Asparagus is pretty tough and not that susceptible to the weak base (ammonium hydroxide?) in drain cleaner. It just created a huge pond of chemical funk in the sink.

Fast-forward to early this morning. I was woken up at 4 AM by some alarm beeping and could only sleep for another hour. I got up and decided to take the disposal apart to fix it. The disposal is connected to the waste pipe by a short connector pipe. I unattached the connector pipe from the disposal and a lot of water drained out. That got me thinking that the clog was not in the disposal because it came out of the pipe. Fortunately, the waste pipe can freely rotate so I could move it aside and use the auger to poke at the clog. I couldn't push it all the way out because the bore head for the auger kept getting caught on something. I did the best I could and reattached everything and ran the sink. Partial success as the water drained out, but too slowly to call it good. Since it would drain, I put in some more drain cleaner and waited fifteen minutes before flushing with hot water. All of a sudden the water drained out quickly with a glurp noise. Success. I guess I had poked the clog enough to loosen it so that the drain cleaner could attack its attachments to the pipe or something like that. I tested the sink a bit more since I wanted to make sure it drains as quickly as it should and it seems to drain even faster now. Sweet. My other option was to call maintenance, but I didn't want to chump out like that so I'm glad I was able to "fix" the problem.

Now if only I could "fix" my underemployment...

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