My bathroom vanity drain seems to be draining slower than usual. Is there something I can do to check this out?
S.H. Ladue, MO
Materials: Bucket, channel lock wrench
Time: 15 minutes
Vanity drains have a tendency to clog up after time. If you think about it, it’s only normal. Soap scum, hair (especially if someone shaves in this sink), etc. will leave residue that can collect on the inside of the pipes, especially the p-trap. The p-trap is the curved piece just under the drain. Normally, this is an easy job to disconnect and clean.
Begin by having a small bucket or pan so that water still in the p-trap won’t spill onto the floor. You won’t have to shut the water off, since we’re only dealing with the drain. If the p-trap is PVC (white plastic), you may not even need a wrench. If the trap is chrome (metal), you probably will need a pair of channel lock pliers.
Loosen the nuts for the p-trap. When this is done, you should be able to remove it, but be careful, there will be water in this curved pipe. Let the water empty into the bucket. You’ll then be able to see if the pipe is dirty and filled with debris.
You’ll need to wash this out, but be sure not to do it in the sink you’re working on, since you’ve just disconnected the drain. Once you’ve done that, just put it back into place, tighten the nuts, then check for leaks after running the water.
Knowing how to do this can be very helpful, not only in keeping the drain flowing, but also if you would ever happen to drop something down the drain. We’ve all heard the story of a wedding ring being dropped down the sink!
A Follow Up To A Previous Article:
In a recent article, we talked about the cleaning of shower doors, due to soap scum and calcium build up. We received several comments and suggestions from readers that I thought I’d pass along, as they might be of help to you. Marge Meyers uses a cleaner designed for smooth top ranges. She finds it cleans not only the glass, but the chrome as well. She then follows this up with a regular window cleaner to prevent the stains from building up.
Al B. finds that using a SOS pad works well, as it is inexpensive, quick, and rinses fast. He also uses this on the shower floor.
If you have any further suggestions for cleaning or simple household repairs, be sure to send them along and we’ll try to share them with other readers.