Sink unblocking… with questionable judgement

Just in case you thought this was becoming yet another “100 uses for a Raspberry Pi” blog, here’s something more prosaic from the “hold my beer and watch this” school of engineering.

I live in a flat which was refurbished some time ago by a budget-conscious flipper. One of his/her “design” decisions was moving the kitchen to the middle of the flat. To accomplish this, (s)he extended the sink drain with 7m of horizontal 40mm PVC pipe. As you’d imagine, this doesn’t work very well. I buy a lot of drain unblocker.

Last year it blocked pretty comprehensively, so the landlord sent round two blokes with a high-pressure water pump that looked like it had recently been used in the nastier end of a metropolitan sewer. The hose wasn’t very long and it took them two days to declare victory and me a week to clean up the mess.

This year it blocked again.

So I made this:

That’s a 40mm PVC pipe cap with a Schrader valve on it. Replace the U-bend with this thing, put a bit of water in the pipe to act as a hydraulic ram with the the top of the pipe serving as a pneumatic accumulator, connect a car tyre pump to the valve and stand well back!

My pipe is no longer blocked.

I’m sure Colin Furze would have done it much more impressively with a pulsejet. Consider this a Minimum Viable Product.

Stand well back!
Stand well back!

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