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Plumbing stories and interesting solutions: How to unclog pretty much everything!

Updated on October 13, 2011
MSantana profile image

She loves to write about science, the natural world and peoples questions about life. She has degrees in Biology, botany and Ecology.

Old drano 1956 and my new version
Old drano 1956 and my new version | Source
That clog in the shower or bath tub...It is not nice!
That clog in the shower or bath tub...It is not nice! | Source

By Mirna Santana

I know you want to say goodbye to your plumbing bills but please do not use the baby as your plumber!! The old saying warn parents to be careful when discarding the water. Then, there were not as many clogs as today, but some people may have thrown their babies in the streams and

These days though the baby would not fit in the drain so no worries...yet, your stuff does not always go down the drain and thus you may suffer from all sort of plumbing problems and all the accompanying bills. Examples of home plumbing problems are plentifully: bathroom sink clog, faucets leaks, toilets that do not flush, bathtubs that do not drain..upgrades or plumbing fixtures required and more. Yet, do not despair, there are ways around those problems.

A few days after I found out about the plumbing contest, I encountered a funny advertising by Drano in Life Magazine, October 1956. The cartoon made me smile right away, and that sparked my creativity. I have been known for drawing cartoons of some famous speakers who graciously accepted to sign them for me... I thus wonder if the Drano cartoonist would sign my continuation of his works from 1956!

By the way, I am not at all breaking the rules of this contest. In fact, I am doing what scientists know how to do really well. I am adding to the wealth of knowledge in the area. When a scientist encounters a publication that illuminates its own idea, he/she feels like yelling eureka! The finding tells the scientist that he or she is on the right track. The fact that the idea is not new sometimes is even better. He or she does not need to start from zero and does not need to re-invent the wheel. I saw how the cartoonist captured my attention by using stick people and by making me smile. I decided that my idea would be in that same line. I hope I can at least make you smile! The plumbing problems are not beautiful, but if we humor them, they will be bearable.

The idea for this piece is the result of several factors: this contest, a stick cartoon, a smile, my own plumbing experiences, and a little imagination. When I saw the cartoon, I felt like the stick woman portrayed so for my own cartoon, I decided to impersonate her. I thus sketched my very own Drano cartoon with myself as the heroine. Ah, I could be a self-centered stick person. I am the one stick woman who can get rid of the gunk. I am the one stick woman who restored the flow. I am the stick woman who dissolved the fatty dirt, the hairs…all that stuff trapped on the drain. In the cartoon as in real life we can easily accomplish that with a little help. I wish to clarify that I do prefer the old-time mechanical ways to chemicals so I usually use mechanical devices first and chemicals as a last resource. I recommend people to think about the waterways, the lakes, the oceans, and all their living creatures when restoring the flow. If the Drano people are reading my words, I do hope you have a list of environmentally friendly product. If not, that is a kind of innovation that is always welcome and appreciated.I am always glad to recommend only environmentally friendly products.

Problem #1--Your roommate/partner does not pick his/her hair after a shower, gross!

Of course, you may predict what would happen...1. You collect it and keep the peace...yuck! 2. The classic yelling at each other, which only erodes and may even kill your friendship without dealing with the clog. 3. Avoid showering in that place (good luck bugging your friends or significant others) 3. Move away...that is a drastic measure. Some people may call it divorce! 4. Wait until the shower clogs and show him/her the bill along with the nasty evidence! This is valid only if the two of you have different drastically different hair colors :-) 4. Run to the store and buy a pair of gloves, a snake (the tool, not the living creature), and a bucket of Drano, just in case. You certainly need to be prepared!It would be too late if you are already in the shower hum without cloths...and it clogs. You know as they say, an ounce of preparation is worth $$ of a plumbing bills! 5. Fire your roommate!

Problem #2. You rent and your bathtub does not drain...and you have a lazy or cheap landlord

Your landlord comes in with patch solutions, let see what happens. You told him that you have tried the hot water and the snail, but the bathtub is still draining rather too slowly or not at all. Upon his arrival, he runs the hot water for eternity 20min+…and your place is now overflowing. He uses a bucket to drain the stuff. OK. That is still within the Onion's mildly tolerable. Now, he uses the same suction cup plunger you use to deal with floating crap in your toilet... for your bathtub? Oh no, that is making you nervous, of course, your thoughts of a relaxing bath with essence oils and smoothing soap bubbles is now turning into a nightmare. Would you also have unwanted bacteria as companions? Fine, you can deal with that later, a little chlorine would help. Hey, but you also feel guilty adding chemicals that will end on the water. However, at this very moment the most relevant thing for you is to make that thing flow...The landlord can't do it himself and you are relieved when you realized that he finally call the plumber. That feels like a little victory to you. The plumber arrives with a little container of magic solution and start the warm water. He says that this ‘magic’ chemical solution can dissolve fats and hair and many other stuff… in other words, he brought the gunk solvent! While he is busy, you take the so call magic container and read the label. Yes, that's it Drano and it comes with all those promises the plumber just recited. Aha! Now, you hold the power of knowledge! If you are like me, you may like to do a little research to be able to ‘’do it yourself’’ next time!

There is no way you are going back to the old time bath tub, unless you like antiques. I do so I love those claw legged bath tubs!

The easy way to deal with clogs or harsh plumbing problems is to have Drano snake plus in your tool box. Again I warn you, do not send your baby to do the inspection. There is a lot of nasty stuff inside the drain. Your old bath tub does not like all that dead skin, the dirt, the hair and neither do you. Drano snake plus and a little effort can really help you. Good luck!

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© 2011 MSantana


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    • MSantana profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Madison Wisconsin

      Thanks to Simmone Smith and the hubpage staff for the tips for writers


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