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Just in time for Halloween, I came home to a bathroom sink puking up the scariest, most vile concoction of water and black … well, let’s just call it stuff.

Now, I’m a seasoned home owner. I’m no stranger to minor plumbing repairs. I’ve fixed a toilet (badly). I’ve installed a new garbage disposal (more or less). I knew just what to do. I put my shoes back on and headed out to the local K-Mart for a big bottle of that drain cleaner stuff.

I poured in the recommended 16 ounces, and went to watch TV for a few hours while the corrosive chemicals did their clog dissolving thing. I returned to a clogged sink that was decidedly unphazed by my attempts at fixing it. In fact, I think I may have heard the gurgling of a drain demon deep in the bowls of my plumbing laughing at my pathetic attempts.

So, I poured in a whole bunch more of the drain cleaner and went back to fiddling around on the Internet for a while. Returning after a few hours, I found a sink free of water — though still really dirty with a bunch of that black stuff. Victory I cried as I turned on the sink to flush out the sink a bit.

But wait, not so fast. The sink filled up and once again refused to drain. I may have won the battle, but I hadn’t won the war. Not by a long shot. Throughout the course of the night and the following day, I poured the rest of this big bottle of cleaner into my drain. My drain sucked it up like a drunk on a bender and continued to puke up black stuff.

I decided maybe it was time to bring out the big guns. I unwrapped a wire hanger and proceeded to try to snake my drain — MacGyver style. As you may have guessed, that worked exactly not at all. I did stir up some of that corrosive chemical stuff to burn a few of the top layers of the flesh off my hand, but that’s about it.

So, under the sink I go with the idea that I can maybe remove the trap and clean it out by hand. That trap was welded shut. It wasn’t having any of my puny efforts to dislodge it. Like any craftsman, I knew that you need the right tool for the job. I went to get a hammer. A few little love taps, and the trap unscrewed lickity split. It also dumped a bunch of water all over the underside of my sink. I cleaned out a whole bunch of black, tar-like stuff. I screwed the trap back on (the seal is weak, and it leaks a bit, but I can fix that later). I turned on the sink. Still clogged. This thing must be deeper than I thought.

I think my only recourse is to call in a professional. Tomorrow, I see about finding myself an exorcist.

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