Friday, October 15, 2010

One of the things that some people fail

to understand is that sometimes big trouble has a very simple and easy solution.

Tonight, while perusing the web someone came across a great idea. Put a little mineral oil in floor drains to keep them from drying out. Not bad at all.

I have floor drains in my basemant and so does Neighbor Bob. They sometimes dry out and because they are attached to the sewer line entering the house, sewer gases come up through them when they do dry out. It makes the basemant smell bad.

Over the years Bob and I have soved this simply by pouring a quart or two of water down the floor drain to refill the trap. It does the trick and unless you want to tear the entire basement floor up and reroute the floor drain, it is the only practical way to take care of the situation.

At my house I simply pour a little water down the drain every time I think about it 'just in case'.

At Neighbor Bob's we did something a little different.

First of all, we both realized that Mrs. Bob probably wasn't going to believe that such a rotten situation could be cured so easily. There are a lot of people out there that are convinced that there is no easy solution to many of life's major problems.

A loose wire on an car ignition, for example. Reattach the wire and the car runs fine. Yet, it you do that in front of the owner they get upset and think that either you did something else or that you're being dishonest. They will also often think you jury rigged something somewhere along the line.

At Bob's we handled his little problem cleverly and avoided the hassle of having to explain to his wife that it was a snap solution. After we poured a couple of quarts of water down the drain we simply laid a bunch of tools and a plumbers snake out in his basemant and made a little bit of a mess.

When his wife came home, she looked approvingly and went upstairs. When she left, we picked up the tools and swept up the mess and we were heroes.

Then we realized that if it happened again, which it was likely to do inside a few months that there would be another minor freaking out on her part, as explaining things to the non mechanical is a waste of time and breath and they are generally dubious of things along these lines.

So we put a hose barb on the holding tank of Bob's dehumidifer and stuck a small hose on it and led it to the floor drain. This killed 2 birds with the same stone in that now Bob didn't have to empty the dehumidifier every few days.
We simply led the small hose to the drain and it was more than enough to keep it full and keep the sewer gases out of his basement.

At my house I simply remember to pour a little water down the drain as I keep an old coffee can near the laundry sink just for that purpose.

Still, next time home I'm going to add a little mineral oil to the drain so I can simply forget about it for quite a while.

Then there was the hassle I had one time when I had a leak in the roof. It was such a simple fix, yet I felt I had to milk the job to avoid a lengthy explaination. I just sat on the roof a while and pounded a few things with my fist a while to make it sound like I was busy.

It's too bad that a lot of people do not understand that often it is a simple thing that can cure potentially disasterous situation. It would make life easier for them.

It would also keep me a little more honest.

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