Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drain auger - or, the benefits of curiosity

If you're analyzing a web campaign, or trying to get a clogged shower drain open, there are some significant benefits to curiosity. Last night, I attempted to solve the mystery of our slowly draining tub.

At first, it appeared that plunging the tub would take care of things. However, nothing changed. I called Aaron, a friend of mine who's a plumber. With great patience, he explained that there's usually an overflow vent and I would need to plug that, in order to seal up the system, so that air from the plunger would go down the system, rather than being vented.

I then unscrewed the covering, located the overflow vent, and plugged it with a rag to create a seal. Plunging away, within a few minutes, I brought up a bunch of dirt into the tub. Feeling very successful, I continued. Trouble struck. I managed to suck the rag back down the overflow vent, out of reach of both needle nose pliers, and a hangar.

Aaron's next recommendation was for a drain auger. Fortunately, Home Depot was still open. A very helpful rep in the plumbing section pointed one out, along with recommendations on how to use it. Twenty minutes later, I had retrieved the rag, and mentally decided I was now only facing a normal plumbers visit, not one to repair the entire sewer system. After some additional experimentation with the auger, I had roughly 4 feet of cable in the system, and was unable to find a clog. The drain auger seemed to be working fine

At that point, curiosity took over. One of the sinks had been slow to drain, so I started filling them up, and letting them drain. Interestingly, more junk started to appear in the tub. I ran the auger down the sink, hit something, and suddenly everything started working. A couple of minutes of cleanup later, and the problem was solved :)

As I was cleaning up, I was noticing the similarities with online campaigns. Sometimes you keep trying tactics, and then you finally hit on one that solves your problem/ generates the response you need.

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