OK, here's my first public plea for help – we need a plug for our kitchen sink. At the moment we're doing the washing in a plastic basin-type-thing which sits in the sink, and it's REALLY GIVING ME THE SHITS ! Not that it's the only thing doing that at the moment, but that's a series of other stories. Let's stick with the sink issue.

The sink is one of those big square white ceramic sinks, which I believe are known as “Farmhouse sinks” or “Belfast sinks”, and the bith that's getting my goat is the damn drain/plughole/thingy (you can tell I'm a whiz with plumbers' terminology, can't you !?). Whereas most plugholes will be recessed slightly, so you can stick a plug in there (in the form of a rubber bung/stopper with a little grip on the other side), this one is essentially a metal plate with holes in, which is flush with the bottom of the sink. (The picture is vaguely indicative of what I'm talking about, except that whoever buys this one is blessed with being able to use a NORMAL plug…)

Initially I thought that surely air pressure would be able to hold a flat plug in place such that you could fill the sink, and then do the dishes without worrying about it being knocked away too easily, however… did you ever find anything that simple in London ?

It seems all water receptacles here have overflow-protection built in, in the form of what amounts to a second plughole, typically found near where you would expect the high water mark to be. It's fantastic so far as preventing you overflowing the sink/bath/bidet after forgetting you'd turned it on, but it has this side effect of completely buggering any kind of air pressure seal you could hope to create in a plumbing system !? Yes, it also makes plungers fairly pointless.

If the upper drainhole were a “normal” shape then I suspect I could plug that first, and then create an air seal in the sink, however because our sink is a charmingly quaint farmhouse model, the overflow hole is a fairly useless rectangular-ish shape. I could probably block it with a big enough wedge of cheese, but that's not quite what I'm after… cheese not being widely known for its uses in plumbing in the modern world.

SO yeah, if anyone's got the feintest idea what kind of plug I should be using, and better yet, what NAME you would give to such a plug in order to ask an Purveyor of Hardwares if they have one, then that'd be just fantastic.

2004-10-12 : For the sake of humanity…
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