For Every Harsh Plumbing Problem There is Drano and the Local Hardware Store
By Mirna Santana
For any plumbing problem, I do recommend that you visit the local small hardware store. They know you, and they care for you.
It does not matter what plumbing problem you are facing: bathroom plumbing installation, a few plumbing fixtures, faucet plumbing, a clogged bathroom sink... Or perhaps, you just have some plumbing questions or need a little advice--it does not matter, for for all those issues, there is your friendly local hardwarestore.
"Power tools, cold weather gear, bird feed, lumber, plumbing supply...I have never come in and not found exactly what I needed. This place has such a feeling of community that I can't help but love it. The old wooden floors, the stacked-to-the-ceiling shelves with anything and everything you could EVER possibly need for your house or apartment, the friendly service - this place is a gem. It is a reminder of the way things used to be, and the way I'd like stores to still be. Think "opposite of Wal-Mart" and you've basically got Willy Street Ace Hardware Center" Anna http://www.yelp.com/biz/ace-hardware-center-madison
Perhaps I have been lucky to have visited the store that some reviewers call the best hardware store on earth (insert smiles). Now, I am writing this as a gratitude note to the Ace Willy Street folks, a family business that adopted me and helped me with all household fixing problems, plumbing included, when I was part of that neighborhood. This store and the whole neighborhood had prevented big chains to bring big boxes to their area. They like it 'the good old ways.'
How could you resist loving the fact that the neighbors are there, there are laughs, and they have friendly dogs inside the store. More importantly though, they have the information and the plumbing supplies you are looking for fixtures, remodeling, cleaning, unclogging your sink or bathtub, or whatever other problem I have not think off or encountered yet.
See, when you go to the big store you may feel lucky because things are cheap and plentifully…but there is no personalization of service. You may or may not find someone who can tell you the differences among brands, materials, and so on. That is fine if you are the plumber of course, because you know what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you are a plumbing neophyte like me, I will tell you again, please go to corner store!
There at the local store, you may find your friend Tom, who will listen to your concerns and give you advice. At my local store, they translated my images into the actual things I needed for the work. I would ask for ‘that thing you use to de-clog the toilet’. What do you mean? The person would ask at the big store…if I am even lucky to find anyone who cares. Yet, at the little store, they would smile, after all, I am already their client…and they would walk me to the correct section so that I can get exactly what I am looking for. In addition, they will even give me some instructions free of charge. Besides that, I always feel happy to support the local businesses. I am sure you would too. I know you may say it is more expensive. Do it yourself with some guidance is cheaper than the plumbers bill. Say goodbye to that plumbing bill!
When the toilet is not draining properly…is when everybody wants to go. You know that is the story. But do not despair because for those plumbing annoyances, even the worse ones, such as a clogged toilet, there is Drano --and there is a local hardware store.
Let say that your toilet is not working properly, what do you do?
You first use that suction cup plunger. What is that? That is the common rubber orange cup you find at most local hardware store. Oh, well that did not work, then is time for a little more investment, hard work or ingenuity.
Hey try your Drano snake with plunger and see if there is something there to dissolve or remove. Sometimes there is almost a roll of toilet paper there. You know humans are not immune to diarrhea… or in some cases, a girl’s days have consequences…Sometimes, some people really went to an internal cleaning process and the organic material was too much for the system. Without blaming anyone, do your best to remove those clogs and restore the flow.
Another a little more forceful alternative is to use a force ball that is designed to exert more pressure that the orange suction cup. If that is not available at your local hardware store, you will find a recommendation of where to find one or the plumber. Once you opted for this alternative, be sure to cover your face with a mask, just in case.
If that is not working yet, use the auger or snake, which has a torque that allows you to manipulate the system. I can only say…good luck!
If none of the previous alternatives works, it is time to call the plumber. When a problem gets to this level, the toilet will need to be lift up from its place...that is not going to be pretty. In that case don't be cheap, paid for it. BTW, do not call Joe the plumber he is not going to return your call fast. Call your best friend --the one whose motto is: “I fix-it-all myself” friend.Why? Because, he/she probably at least once tried to fix something more difficult that the usual and got in trouble. He/she knows the best plumber in town. By doing so you will not only show your friend your trust but will also continue an old tradition: worth of mouth recommendations.
Good luck! Please remember that the ''do it yourself'' approach is not always fun...yet you will learn so much from the experience and may even save some money too!
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