This Sunday together with my partner we spent a good several hours dismantling our kitchen sink and trying to clean out a blockage that has gotten so bad that the sink would look more like a swimming pool the moment the tap was run. With the outrageous rates that professions such as plumbers charge I do prefer to exhaust all the options before calling someone in.

Some time ago we tried to clear the blockage with a pressure can. Andy tried it first on his own and missed one of the overflows on the double sink – apparently it was quite a fountain. But with four hands and all holes plugged we got it working and the clog was gone. Not for long though. This time the pressure can didn’t prove any help at all. It was time to bring out the plumber’s snake…

It actually is a really simple device – a long piece of coiled cable with a hook like thing at the end that you feed down the pipes and then wiggle around when you hit the blockage (OK, there are better instructions online, just go to youtube) until you can go through. Hence the several hours of work – it is simple but the process is pretty slow and tedious.

Was it worth it then? Last time I checked plumbers were around £45 per half an hour – just for the pleasure of seeing their face at your doorstep. The stuff we bought to mess around with the sink ourselves add up to about £60 (it’s late, and I don’t feel like digging up the receipts…). I’m pretty sure then, we’re still better off with the DIY option (especially as the clog is fixed, at least for now). And the snake can be re-used again too.

I also never understood why people would pay for things like setting up a washing machine. I found that the hardest part of setting up that appliance was getting it into its designated space in the tiny airing cupboard.