The Ravishing Mrs. TB catches me when I come in the door from work. "My sink is not draining" she said. "Have you used any on it?"
Sigh. "Let me go give it a look".
I crawl down, and open up the cabinets and unscrewed the rings by the pea trap (one plastic, one metal) in hopes that I can get a screwdriver up there and pull whatever nastiness is there back down. The top one - the metal one - will not turn. I keep working it but it will not release. I start working the upper part of the pipe from the sink, but it torques the stopper. I keep trying to turn the upper ring - until it breaks off. Rusted through.
Great. Now I have a sink that empties directly onto the cabinet bottom. I have never done this much plumbing in my life. It looks like I need to replace the pipe dropping directly from the sink. I have never done this before.
But I do not really want to pay plumber either. Let us see what happens.
The pipe from the sink turns out not to be too difficult to disengage. There is a brass nut which hasto releasee, which in turn releases the pressure on the rubber grommet above it to prevent leaks. Removing the stopper is easy: there is a smaller nut that feeds into the main pipe. Unscrew it and it drops away.
I keep turning the pipe and it does not seem to be moving. Hmm. I finally figure out you have to hold the top part of the drain (that metal ring in the bottom of the sink) while you turn it. Out it pops and down comes the main pipe.
I drag the parts with me to my local Large Big Box Supply Store. I am matching pieces via diameter - fortunately, if you look long enough you will find it. A new pea trap (just in case; I will certainly need the rings), a new drain assembly, and a 10" Crescent Wrench (which I have needed for a while) equals $42.00 and I am on my way back.
Putting it back together is pretty much a reverse of the process. Top of the assembly goes in and then the pipe screws into this - which takes me a while as you have to really bring the rubber grommet and brass ring down to get it up in the hole. The stopper assembly is (literally) like the old one - five minutes and I am done. Putting the drain pipe into the pea trap turns out to be the biggest issue: the plastic ring does not seem to seal as well as the metal one did. Hmm. I have two inner rings from the pea trap I got: I put one in the ring and reverse the other one in the pipe. This seems to work.
I spend 15 minutes filling and then draining the sink, then tightening things, then draining the sink again. I seem to have gotten nearly all of the leaks, but we are leaving the cabinet under the sink empty and monitored for a bit.
This was (obviously) not how I was expecting to spend my evening. Total time was probably about three hours all told. That said, I am pretty sure that I could not get that work done for what it cost me to do it.
And I found out I can do a little more plumbing than I thought. Once again, trying to be self reliant is not a bad thing.