I need a jam nut, but I can’t find one.
The local hardware stores are useless; they both look like smaller versions of Home Depot or Lowe’s but lack the diversity. They are boutique hardware stores and where I would find jam nuts in multiple sizes and materials in the US I have found none in either here in Scotland.
I need a new jam nut because the plastic one holding my drain together fell into bits when I pulled it off. It must have been held together with the silicon I was pulling off. The drain had slowed to a crawl and was really bugging me because I had just cleared it a few months ago using the same process of deconstruction.
Feeling confident I could repeat the process I simply pulled out my tools and got tucked in. I went for the jam nut first and when it came apart I knew the job might take a bit longer to complete. I’ve seen the local hardware offerings before and nearly every trip leaves me shaking my head in despair, and no, there are no jam nuts for sale.
So, I called my plumber friend, the guy who installed the bathroom sinks in the first place. It was him who told me the crumbled plastic bits had a name. “I need a jam nut,” sounds a lot more informed than “I need that big nut that holds everything together.” When you say “jam nut,” the pros don’t look at you like you’re a big nut yourself.
Making matters worse I’d pulled the sink apart on the same day we were expecting visitors to stay at our house for the next several days. We’re fortunate to have two sinks in the bathroom, but with one out of commission things were going to get “backed up” a bit mornings and evenings. They leave today, so that should clear things somewhat, but I still don’t have the requisite nut.
There’s a plumbers supply company I know of not so far away, so I expect a visit is in order. I know they have jam nuts there because I saw one the last time I went through this miserable process.
As often happens when the pros come to see you, they reveal things missed by the average consumer. Holding my drain in his hands, he simply pulled it apart, revealing the “guts” as a separate part that could be easily pulled out for periodic cleaning.
“Oh,” I said somewhat chagrined; “Is that how it works?”
“You don’t have to take the whole thing apart, John.”
This next jam nut will be the last one I ever need.