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The Little Bladder That Couldn’t

First off, let me preface this post: It’s not about my urinary tract.

Okay. That’s out of the way. We have an old house that is a piecemeal assortment of halfway-done jobs by the former owner, who thought himself much more of a handyman than he was. For instance, the tiles in the bathroom were installed on drywall rather than green board, even in the tub where there should probably have been cement board. There are plenty of other “charming” elements to our house, but I’m not sure I can directly attribute the plumbing to that guy.

Our bathroom sink backs up ALL the time. We boil water and pour it down, hoping to clear up some soap clog, but to no avail. The pipes in our bathroom wall make several random right-angle turns and span several feet in a straight line across the back of the room. There’s no gravitational pull on anything, so clogs are almost inevitable.

So, we bought the Cobra Rubber Bladder at Lowes a while back. We attempted to use it in the sink, but it exploded in my face. I don’t think it was down in the pipe far enough because there is a catch for the drain plug, and the bladder wouldn’t go past it. So, we wrote it off and purchased another, but we didn’t use it. Today, the sink was backed up again, and the boiling water wasn’t helping. The Murse took the P-trap off of the drain pipe and rinsed that out. I collected the hair out of the pipe while I could see straight down to where the P-trap should be. That didn’t help the sink drain any more quickly.

We got out the bladder, and inserted it into the pipe going into the wall, past where the P-trap would sit. He turned on the water, and it was going well. I was excited! We were going to FINALLY have a draining sink! But . . . wait . . . what’s that sound? A small crackle in the pipe. Then another. Then the bladder exploded. The Murse darted to the hose to shut it off, but I was already covered in filthy water. I was cursing as I aimed the hose, with the bladder still attached, into the tub to wait for the water to stop flowing.

Now, I’m not a plumber, but the Murse definitely IS a handyman. He was baffled at how the bladder might have burst — along the seam — even though we were using it properly and in the proper pipe size. I really don’t want or intend to call a plumber, but I’ll be damned if I ever go back to Lowes and buy another one of these pieces of garbage. They’re cheap, and they are rated well; apparently, not everyone gets sprayed in the face with black filth. I won’t recommended them. No way.

So, we’ll call this a home improvement disaster, especially because, after all that, the drain is still sluggish. Le sigh. At least I am nice and squeaky clean. I’m off to do a load of towels. . .


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