Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Great Pinto Bean Plumbing Incident

Well, the last 24 hours have now been labeled, "The Great Pinto Bean Plumbing Incident of 2008" in our family. Let me explain:

Two days ago, I was boiling pinto beans for "Chip Dinner" in our house. Chip dinner is homemade beans, guacamole and salsa. If you can eat it with a corn chip, it is in the center of our table. No utensils are used.

Anyway, after boiling them for a few minutes, I looked on the back of the bag and noticed that they were VERY old pinto beans. Old enough, that I got a little freaked out and since a bag of pinto beans are only about 88 cents, I decided to dump the whole pot into my garbage disposal. Now for the record, I am no idiot. I don't put anything fibrous, any citrus or its peels, carrot or potato peels, etc. down the disposal. But, honestly, I did not think pinto beans would be a problem and they went down the disposal just fine--no weird noises, no resistance, etc.

After dinner, I had to run to take my son to a soccer practice and immediately after that to a Stake woman's choir practice. I got home late and tired and so the dishes were not cleared from the table until the next morning around 10:00 am. (For you neat freaks, sorry if the thought of a dirty kitchen bugs you.)

So, at 10:00 am, I discover the kitchen sink is plugged. I am a kitchen sink plumbing wizard. My dad taught me how to take apart a kitchen sink when I was in college and I can proudly say, I have unplugged many people's backed up sinks. So, at first I got out the plunger and tried that. After about 20 minutes, I resorted to taking apart the plumbing underneath the sink. After rinsing all of that out and put back together, it was still plugged and I had to get about 10 other things done, so I left it to work on later. When I came back, all of the water had drained and I foolishly thought I had somehow solved the problem.

So, last night around 7:00 pm, I notice the sink is not draining. I tell Dentist husband (who was filled in about what I did earlier) and so he tried the plunger--many times. The final time was when he built up enough pressure that it popped the trap under the sink off and water came spilling out all over the kitchen floor. Agggghhhh!

Then began a long night of trying many things to unplug the sink. We figured out the plug was farther down the line (somewhere between the kitchen floor and the basement) and after snaking the line about 10 times (all the while pulling up more and more pinto beans that had soaked in water and expanded, thus causing the very tightly sealed plug) it was still was not draining. Finally at 1:00 am, we were tired, exhausted and really mad at each other. So, we went to bed.

The next morning, after taking the kids to McDonalds for breakfast and explaining to them that it is normal for Moms and Dads to fight and we forgave each other for the mean things we said to each other the night before, we went into the Home Depot and found some really neat thing that fills with water, creats a seal and forces the plug loose. So, after taking off a screen from a side window and dragging the hose from outside through it to the kitchen sink, we got the sink unplugged! Alleluia! Praise the sink gods!

So, now I have a really clean kitchen floor, courtesy of the popped off trap. The area under the sink has been really well cleaned as well. All of the towels we used to clean up the mess got a fresh bleaching and I now know a lot more about kitchen plumbing. And, I have learned to NEVER put pinto beans (cooked or not) down the garbage disposal.

Oh and Liz tagged me.
Here are the rules:1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages) 2. Turn to page 123. 3. Find the 5th sentence 4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog 5. Tag 5 people

The book I am currently reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo (a Michelle recommendation). "I could use some company." I tag Lisa, Melinda, Paige, Diane, Cassy.


michelle said...

And just look at the hearache you have saved all your blogging buddies because I for one would not have thought twice about putting them down either. And yikes that was one pain in the you know where bag. of beans! Oh, and I loved the lesson on fighting parents! Hope tomorrow is better!

Paige said...

Wow! That is a GREAT story! I'm sorry you had to live through it. I remember well my parents getting the hose and dragging it in to unstop the sink, but thankfully, we haven't had to do that, yet.

Paige said...

And on the bright side, you got to go to McDonald's for breakfast, right?

Melinda said...

Thanks for the tip on plumbing. I'll remember to call if I ever get in a jam. And, just a little tip to return the favor -- don't ever try to grind up an entire head of lettuce in the DisposAll. Big, fat mess. (That was a rookie mistake, but the way.)

Jo said...

Interesting that we had a plumbing incident at around this same time! I even blogged about it as well. Got to love the plumbing... and first apartments... and lazy landlords...

...I could go on.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Sorry for all your plumbing woes. Not to make light of the situation at all--my favorite part was about chip dinner. :) I love that idea!

love.boxes said...

Sheesh! What a night.. sorry that happened.

Dang. And, sorry about #4 doing dumping a #2. Sheesh again! You gotta tell her if she keeps doing that kinda stuff she'll get the nickname of stinker and it will stick.