19. Vacuum Out Clogs

The plumber couldn't budge the clog in our upstairs bathtub drain, so he said we'd have to tear out the ceiling below in order to get at the pipe. But a contractor we know had another idea that made a lot more sense. He stuck the nozzle of a wet-dry vac into a roll of electrical tape to get a tight seal against the tub's drain, and covered the tub's overflow hole with a flexible rubber pad. Then he turned on the vacuum and, voilĂ : the clog was sucked out of the pipe, saving our ceiling—and our bank account.

Laura Mozier, Fairfield, Conn.
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