Guest Author - Dale Y the Maintenance Guy
Everybody has a plunger in the bathroom. Itís almost an American tradition. And sure, they are specifically made for commode problems. But, when you think about it, all a toilet is just a giant sized drain that will plug up just like any other drain. When it does, the first thing you reach for is the plunger.
Back when I was in high school, I discovered how versatile a plunger really was. Since I was in the school band, and I played the trombone, we were always looking for ways to create new and interesting sounds. Enter the plunger.
Yes, using just the rubber part of a plunger, the entire trombone section suddenly had the best sounding wa-wa mutes that you could ever imagine! Our band conductor was so impressed by our ingenuity, that we even began to play a song specifically tailored to that wonderful wa-wa sound that a trombone made.
Now, everyone is going to ask, what does this have to do with home improvement? Well, a plunger is so versatile, that it can be used just as well for a wa-wa mute, a toilet unplugger, or a regular drain opener. Thatís true, and I do it all the time.
In fact, before I try anything else, I will pull out my specially made short handled plunger, and try to free the clog that way. Hereís how to do it.
In a double sink drain system, the drain you want to plunge is the one that goes directly into the pipe. That means, close up the other side so there is no airflow from drain to drain. This same principle applies to bathroom and sink drains as well, because the air gap or hole above the drain, needs to be plugged with a rag. That way, all the pressure goes straight into your drain, not out the hole.
If there is no water in the plugged side, put in about 6 inches worth, then, put the plunger into the sink and gently push it down over the drain, pushing out all the air bubbles from underneath the rubber plunger. Now then, hereís the fun part.
After all the air has been expelled from the plunger, you will have made a natural suction cup. And, just like a suction cup, to remove it, you want to forcefully pull it upwards, hard! What you are doing is creating a negative water flow over the clog. This action pulls the plug upwards back towards the sink, reversing the original clog direction and breaking it apart.
Sometimes youíll have to do this 2 or 3 times, but I would say out of all the clogs I have plunged like this, 90% have broken free without further hassle on the first pull. I have also gotten wet about 90% of the time also, so be prepared for some splashing as well, and you might want to wear a dirty shirt.
So, there you have the best way I know how to unplug drains of any type, and the best way to make a killer wa-wa sound from a trombone!