December 08, 2011

The Sink From The Black Lagoon

So every year...usually twice a year...THIS HAPPENS!
I was told I could not use Drano(but I have..didn't work).  I was told they won't replace the
elbow join under the sink(cause I'm pretty sure since this room has been an art room for the past 20+ has some gunk in it that will NEVER come out).  I don't put anything down it that is questionable..but have to pay the price(cause Lord only knows when they'll come and "fix" it??!?)  Any tips? Ideas?  Money to have it all replaced??? :) ha ha


  1. Baking soda and vinegar and a pipe snake???

  2. My sink has only been in my room for 16 years and they put a "trap" in it. There is a door for it cut in the counter. The ironic part is that if "they" have forgotten to empty it, my pipes clog it leaks into the principal's office. So it is taken care of quickly.

  3. Hey Ted,

    My friend Jane had her son use his hydraulic air compressor (in gentle spurts)clear her clogged kitchen sink pipes. Know any shop teachers who are adventurous? LOL


  4. How about clorox? Is that the same a draino?

  5. EEK. Tell them (maintenance? custodial staff?) they have to get in there and clean the trap. They usually have to do mine once or twice a year after it starts to back up and flood. Does it smell?

  6. Plunger... maybe. I had to have them put pressure control things on the faucet and a strainer on the grate because some kids after school were using my room and loosing brushes down the drain. They also would dump slip down it and of course that hardens and causes issues. Good luck!

  7. How sad!!!! I recently tried baking soda and vinegar -- something I read about on someone's Pinterest board. I couldn't find it for you but looked up a similar remedy on line. Found this:

    Baking Soda Drain Cleaner
    If water hasn’t yet backed up in your drain, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 3 cups of boiling water. The boiling
    water will change the chemical composition of baking soda, making it more alkaline. Repeat a few times until the drain is clear.

    Washing Soda Drain Cleaner
    If the water isn’t going down the drain, pour a cup of washing soda over the drain area and let it set for a while to work its way down to the clog. Once the clog is loosened, use the baking soda method, above. Washing soda is more alkaline than baking soda, with a pH of 11. You never want to use washing soda if a commercial acid drain cleaner has recently been used in the drain, as they will strongly react with each other. You also shouldn’t overuse washing soda if you have PVC pipes, as the caustic nature of washing soda can slowly damage the plastic.

    The Bubbling Method Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
    Baking soda and vinegar react with each other to cause bubbles and fizzing. Sometimes the fizzing can unlodge clogs. Follow the baking soda and boiling water formula, above, with 1 cup of vinegar.

    Read more:

    Don't know whether your drain is too far gone, but it might be worth a try!! Good luck!

  8. This happens to me now. . .And, it used to happen to me at my former school. The first time -years ago at my former school, prior to unclogging the drain- the custodian told me "your kids shoved paintbrushes down the drain." My response was "no! not my students!!" Long story short, he pulled not one, not two, but ten (TEN!!!) small paintbrushes out of the bend immediately below the drain. I'm not saying the kids actually shoved them in there (when!? I WATCH them!!!), but in there they did arrive.

    I find the same story to be true over and over and over again. Every time I think it is paint, and I uncap the pipe right below the drain and out pop tons of paintbrushes.

    Good luck!

  9. At my very first job the building was SUPER old with plumbing just as old - I used plungers - a couple of good pumps and it would generally dislodge anything that could dislodge.

    Good Luck.

  10. I have three sinks. Two normal sized and one abnormally huge. It was favorite sink. My first year teaching I realized why the previous teacher never used it. It was piped wrong and stank of something awful from all the backed up nonsense. I tried to plunge it and even offered to have my boyfriend fix it with his dad who has a plumbing license...the school vetoed outside help so I was stuck with what the students called a "stinky sink". I covered the top of it with a sign that said "do not use" but was devastated since it was the perfect sink for an art room. It even has a trap and everything.

    The school's final solution even though they've still promised to "fix" it? They took the knobs off the sink so it couldn't be turned on. Now it doesn't smell but of course, now it doesn't work either. It was a bummer. It makes a good storage tub but I still remind them that I hope it is fixed someday.

    Maybe when I retire.

  11. I'm not sure how strong your stomach is but I have the same problem at home and I used to spend a ton on drain cleaners until I bought a $3.00 plastic strip with teeth on it (Home Depot) and you just push it down, pull it up and out comes the gunk. It may not bring up brushes but clay gunk and paint would probably clear out.

  12. Used to have this same problem - some students would drop paintbrushes down the drain rather than clean them. I was usually able to get them out with a plunger and a quick hand to grab them before they slipped back down.

  13. I feel your pain. Mine gets paint build up...after you have cleaned a lot of paint trays or used your sink a bunch, run hot water down the sink for approx 15 min or more, it really helps. I love your blog!