Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Adar II 5760 - March 15, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Glug vs. Plug
by M. Steinberg

My kitchen sinks suffer from congenital stoppage. Congenital, as in: from birth. The house was new when we moved in twenty years ago, and from the first, the drainage was slow and sometimes, very, very slow. Most of the time, I just let the water fill up and then patiently wait a while for it to go down before continuing to wash dishes.

Over the years, I've graduated from using the commercial `drain-o' type materials which make a hole in the budget but not in the glop, to caustic soda and straight huydrochloric acid - never together, of course! But nothing helps for long. Occasionally, I break down and call a plumber, who is a frum fellow, just as much at home with a sefer in hand as a wrench. After he visits, things flow smoothly for a month or so but then the problem recurs.

In fairness to myself, I want you to know that I always pour cooking grease into a bag and throw it away, not down the sink hole. When I clean out my Shabbos candlesticks, I pour the waxy water into a paper cup and out into the garden. And I never forget to place the strainer properly in place. It is really not my fault that there is a glop collection in the undersink pipes.

Recently, after going through all the strong acids and getting nowhere, my husband decided to try buying new parts for under the sinks in the hope that he could correct the angle of the flow and that would partially alleviate our constant problem. The new parts looked nice and clean, but the blockage persisted. As he was packing up the old parts in the plastic bag that came with the new ones, he came across a plain black rubber plug, one the accessories sold with the new parts.

"Have we any use for this?" he asked. And a light bulb went on in my brain. "YES! I remember something that just might work." I ran to get our old trusty plunger, the stem of which broke years ago from frequent and enthusiastic use. It is about ten inches tall and the broken bit is covered with a soda bottle cap wrapped in plastic tape. But it has served us well, and I wouldn't discard it. I held the plug with a rag very tightly in one sink while my husband plunged in the other. It went `glug glug' and behold! The water flowed down!

Just a plain, inexpensive black plug. There's a lesson here somewhere, I'm sure. Often, when we have a chronic problem, we look for exotic, expensive and complicated solutions. We tiptoe carefully around these problems, making sure we won't be blamed. We take precautions. We seek professional advice.

And sometimes, the answer is right in front of us in a simple, heimish idea or object - like a little black plug.


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