It's the best place I have ever lived, even though the source of most of my frustrations and adventures. When Charles and I bought what I now call Blue Sky Farm twenty years ago, it was a hot mess. Most of the plumbing had been installed during the Rural Electrication Period following WWII and we made it the first priority in decades of repairs. Now, it all needs to be done again, and this time, just by me.
About three months ago, the shower drain upstairs just slowed down. I would be taking a shower standing in several inches of my own soup and that water would stay there for hours. The mold from this was outrageous! Not to mention the foot fungus.
I tried plungers. I tried a traditional cup shaped one, and one I found in the barn with a more aggressive bulb kind of thing. Nothing but burping. I tried everything on the shelves at the grocery store - foaming things, burning things, gel things, foul smelling nasty things. Blue, Green, Red. Twin Bottles that ominously mix only in the drain, where the magic is supposed to happen. All these potions and mixtures are supposed to dissolve grease, hair, and I guess flesh and bones. If these didn't work - and they didn't - I was AGHAST at what might actually be causing the clog! I mean, what the HELL could be down there?
I started a very thorough search for another effective method. Which means simply that I started whining to everyone I know about the water and the clog and the slow drain and my soupy feet. My Daughter In Law, tired of hearing about it and suspicious that somehow this was going to end up a project for her overworked Husband My Son, finally said, "Why don't you get one of those blaster things?"
WHAT BLASTER THING?
She said SHE had a clog in her shower drain and she went to Home Depot and bought a WEAPON which had cartridges and BLASTED the CLOG out with a HUGE AND TERRIFYING NOISE!
Now THAT's the ticket!
I went directly to Home Depot, described what I wanted to several working members of AARP wearing orange vests and no one knew what I was talking about.
I stopped at the office and whined at Patient but Amused Male Business Partner. He said, I have one of those and it really works but the noise is AWFUL. Patient but Amused Male Business Partner is hearing impaired so I could not imagine what that meant.
I convinced him that he should get in his car right now and drive me to Home Depot and show me exactly what shelf, what pegboard fixture he got this miracle from.
We found it right away. It is about two feet long, oddly like a bicycle pump with a red knob and yellow handles. The package had four cartridges that looked like bullets which Patient But Amused Male Business Partner explained were CO2 cartridges. I felt comforted by their bullet like appearance. Like - if it looks like a bullet, then it must be effective, right? I also found BLACK FLEXIBLE TAPE to use on the kitchen faucet which was spraying water out the top right at my breast bone, through holes eaten in the metal tap by our water. (note to self - get a water treatment system, don't BE a water treatment system) They also had a huge array of parts and crapdedoodle that I know I will eventually need as I rebuild my house piece by piece.
So I bring the shooter thingie and the tape home. Grandsons and Sons are drawn to it as moths to a flame, until they find out that it is for opening drains. Eldest grandson begs to be allowed to shoot just one cartridge, nana please, c'mon, let me shoot it just once to see what it does i won't point it at my brother.
I'm sort of curious about this huge noise it is supposed to make so I tentatively agree to the experiment, as long as it is on the lawn and not pointed at any one or thing. At just this point I am distracted by some other near catastrophe and forget all about it, for a couple of days.
Meanwhile, the open package is sitting on the steps. I walk past it every day. I glance at the cartridges, a SPLATTER MAT thoughtfully included but not noted earlier. Rubber Washer Things. Multi page instruction manual with many many translations into foreign languages. Cautionary Alerts in BRIGHT ORANGE AND RED. Circles with Crosses. People missing eyes. No, I made that up, but you get the drift.
So, of course, the thing now looms large in my imagination. I actually dream about it, puncturing my ear drums and shattering the pipes in the dining room ceiling. And every day I am standing in that water with my now stinky feet and moldy bathroom walls.
As often happens with me, the fog lifts one day and I mend the kitchen tap. Well, I wrap the stretchy black tape around it and feel totally inappropriately proud of myself. Now, you may be wondering why I just didn't get a whole new tap, but the kitchen is going to be gutted any day now (this would be comical if I hadn't been saying it to people for twenty years) and it doesn't make sense to buy a new one if I can literally put a bandaid on this one. See video below of how well this is working. Daughter In Law said yesterday that it was going to blow. Noooo it wouldn't. I wasn't dressed for work.
With the faucet repair so successful, I decided to tackle the plunger blaster thingie. I don't read the instructions - I can't find the english ones anyway. I unscrew the top and insert a CO2 cartridge. I screw the top back on. So far, so good.
I ignore the splatter mat. (I'm in the shower stall) I strip down. Why get my clothes wet? I put on a shower cap and safety goggles. No picture. Thank me.
I place the plunger blaster thingie over the drain. I pull the handle.
A farty, slightly like a balloon losing air noise. Some white foam.
I simply can't believe that this worked and I still have my hearing. I wonder what ails the rest of them - what were they doing that I didn't do????? I run the water. It goes right down.
Right. Down. The. Drain.
Just to make sure, and because I now have a ridiculously high level of confidence about plumbing, I do it again.
I run the water. EVEN BETTER. Much congratulation of self. Much ironic reflection of how proud C would have been, maybe. Can't wait to tell Patient but Amused Male Business Partner.
Maybe I will buy a new faucet and install it myself. And I have that new chandelier in the dining room I could tackle.........