I finished another unintended plumbing project yesterday. After the last one, I had my brother’s snake and wanted to make use of it before I returned it. My bathroom sinks had been slow to drain, so I decided to work on them. The pedestal sink had plastic pipes, but I would have to try to take apart the sink to get access. I went for the one with the more traditional vanity, but with metal piping. And, of course, something broke: The flares on both ends of a joint between the trap and a curved pipe that went into the wall.

I continued on with my snaking, only to find that it probably wasn’t even that useful to do. The pipe runs down into the basement and T’s into a big horizontal 6 incher. It probably either went straight across or simply got stuck on the wall of the big pipe, but whatever the case, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be able to make the turn into the big pipe and do anything useful.

I took some time figuring out a solution, and then last night bought the pieces and put it together. I filed off the remainder of the flare on the pipe going into the wall. A plastic J trap was slightly too long to line up with the two existing pipes, so I bought one with a bellows type bendable part. The difference was almost too small to have the bellows do, but I made it work. I had to clean the existing pipes pretty good, and use a 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ slip gasket on both ends to adapt to the larger trap. They were hard to get onto the metal. The one on the curve going into the wall was particularly hard to get to seal, and leaked like a sieve when I first tried it. I had to carefully reposition it and tighten the nut really hard to get it to not leak.

It is holding, but I will probably leave a bucket underneath for a while, just in case. If it does fail, I have one more chance without having to go into the wall. I can use my angle grinder or hack saw to cut the pipe past the bend, clean it up, then get a plastic curve to connect to it. Going onto the straight piece might work better.