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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow Drain And A New Task

We may be living in a motorhome, but we still have issues that crop up that we’d have even in a sitx-n-brix, but have to be solved differently.

Our bathroom sink had become a slow draining nightmare, a common problem.  Since the plumbing under the sink is all plastic, I was very hesitant to try and disconnect the sink trap and try to clean it out.  My worry was that I’d end up with a leak.

In a house, you wouldn’t have that issue, those parts are almost always made of metal and would come apart and go back together tightly.

The next thought was to use a drain cleaner, like Draino.  In a house, a no brainer, but in an RV?  Along with the plastic pipes, another issue popped up in my mind:  What about the rubber seals on the gray tank valve?  Would the drain cleaner damage those and create another problem? 

I decided not to chance that and resigned myself to take the sink trap apart and hope (really hope) for the best since the nearest Lowe’s is about a 40 mile round trip.  With my usual repair projects I need at least two or three visits to Lowe’s before I finish.

Then, low and behold, my bonnie bride came up with a great solution!


Marti found via a link on Facebook, a number of uses for baking soda.  One was to use one half cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar to unclog drains.

I liked that idea, because neither of the items would damage any plastic parts or rubber seals.  Since we already had those items in the Journey, we went ahead and tried it.

I’m pleased to report it worked amazingly well.  First we dumped in the baking soda, and then the vinegar.  A rapid foaming ensued.  After the foaming stopped, we simply turned on the water and the sink drained just like new.  A cheap and easy fix, with no nasty chemicals!  Happy, happy…well you know how that goes.

On the work front, we’ve be given a new task. We are part of a group of volunteers putting together a water safety program to present to the 38 elementary and middle schools that surround Thurmond Lake this spring. 

Sadly, Thurmond Lake experiences an average of three drowning's every year, even though the COE provides free loaner life jackets at many of the swimming areas.


  The rangers have to deal with these tragedies and are hoping this new program will be successful.  We are, too and are giving it our best effort.

We sure are enjoying our workamping time here at J. Strom Thurmond COE, lots to do and lots of variety.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Great idea. I wonder how it would work on the black tank ??? Maybe all of that stuff would disappear too?

  2. I use that trick in the RV and at home, no nasties in the water, all natural and it works amazingly well.

  3. Gonna try this when we get back to civilization. Sure hope the safety program works. Jim's boss had a son the same age as Todd (about 2 at the time) who drowned. Seeing that tiny casket just about did me in. Keep them safe.

  4. Sounds like a great easy fix, thanks for the tip.

  5. That water safety program sounds like it's right up your alley!

  6. Great idea...make a volcano in the trap...had to clean it out;o)) Never would have thought of that but we will try it next time they get slow!!

    They got the right guy for doing water safety!!!

  7. Glad you unclogged you pipes. Enjoy your travelling.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  8. Thanks for the pipe unclogging hint.

    I had to deal with a little boy that was a drowning victim. Never again want to have to deal with that.

  9. We've been using vinegar and baking soda for a while. I use vinegar for all my cleaning needs. It's great that we can share these great ideas on our blogs.

  10. Great tip ... thanks for sharing.

  11. I knew Facebook was good for something :-) You guys are perfect for a water safety discussion!

  12. I also use the vinegar/baking soda solution, but at one point even that didn't do it. What works beautifully is boiling water! Boil a pot on the stove and pour it down the drain. Repeat. Repeat again until the drain works like new. In our case I think that was 4 pots of boiling water. It was truly amazing and didn't cost a thing! :)

  13. Great tip! It probably works better than the pan of boiling water I pour down every once in awhile.

  14. I usually use vinegar on Fish 'n Chips but I guess I'll have to save some vinegar for the next time a drain clogs up. I wonder if vinegar would clear out the sensors in the black tank? Hmmm...wonder how much 40 gals. of vinegar costs?

  15. We had a slow moving kitchen drain in the RV as well and had all the same thoughts. Except of course, we didn't have Marti. Now we do, and when it slows up again, we will do the soda vinegar trick. Thanks for posting this!

  16. Thanks foe the good tip!!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  17. Vinegar is a mainstay around here for cleaning:)

  18. Great tip. We have a slow slower drain that we usually have to stick one of those plastic things down to clean. I think I'll try the vinegar/baking soda trick first this time.

  19. We always have vinegar around for other cleaning needs. Never thought about it for the drain. Thanks for the tip!

  20. Awesome! I don't trust taking things apart in the Beast since I have limited skill in getting them back together! Will store this little tidbit of information for the next slow drain episode. Thanks for sharing! In Alaska they had the Kids Don't Float campaign around all the lakes. Saw some kids with vests and some without.

  21. Whether for your home or for your RV, it’s best to make sure that your drains aren’t clogged. This is possible if one knows how to maintain a clog-free drain using this solution. Thanks for the share! :)

    Jaye Conaway

  22. Good to know that the solution worked for you guys! It would really be a bugger if the slow drain on your sink turns into a clog. If you have the spare time though, you could visit with experts and have your drainage system checked just to be sure. Good day!

    Guadalupe Ellis

  23. Correct, Ellis! Letting experts take a look is advisable since they can asses the situation properly and look for areas that might need reinforcements. A dysfunctional drainage system may cause problems to both the house and tenants.

    Lorenza Coon