Posts tagged ‘sink’

Sink Plungers are Not Toilet Plungers

Thankfully, my current home has good plumbing and I haven’t needed a plunger in a long time. But, I can’t say the same about previous places, especially some of those places in college!

The best way to get a plunger to work well is to use the right plunger. There are two main types of plungers: toilet plungers and general purpose plungers (for almost everything other than toilets).

plungersSinks and floor drains are typically flat, so a flat plunger is ideal. But toilet drains are typically curved and the curvature can vary widely among models. That means a flat sink plunger isn’t well suited for creating a seal and getting proper suction around the curvature of a toilet drain. You need good suction to clear a blockage and you’ll get better suction if you use a plunger with a flanged bottom to match the curve of the toilet drain.

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September 5, 2014 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

U-Shaped Plumbing Stops Sewer Gases

Look under any sink, shower or bathtub in your home and you’ll find a U shaped plumbing arrangement. This plumbing configuration may go by the following names: p-trap, j-trap, u-trap or s-trap. Depending on how you look at it, it can look like any of these letters.

Technically, the term “s-trap” describes a slightly older variation of this plumbing technique, but the term is often used to describe the one seen below. For short, we’ll just call it “the trap” because it traps water.

Trapping water serves two main purposes.

The first is prevent sewer gases from entering a building through the drain pipes. These gases smell bad and are bad for your health.

The second is to catch small items that are inadvertently dropped down the drain, such as jewelry. There is typically an access cap on the bottom of the trap that can be used to retreive valuables or clean out the trap — they tend to collect hair and other debris.

When water enters the trap, it pushes the same amount of water out the other side of the trap. This means the trap will always maintain the same amount of water in it. Traps may dry out due to evaporation if a particular drain is not frequently used. If you have a rarely used drain, it might be a good idea to run the water for a minute every 4-5 weeks.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia, Water Evaporation

May 26, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Rotten Eggs Float

Whether you throw away the carton and use the egg holder in your fridge or you just don’t believe the expiry date, there will come a time when you question the edibility of eggs.

There is an easy way to test them.

Fill a container with water and gently place the egg inside it. If it sinks, it’s good to eat. If it floats, throw it out. If it weighs the same as a duck, it’s a witch.

Why?

Eggs naturally have a small air pocket in them. In fact, a bright light is used during a process called candling to determine the size of this air cell. The size of the air cell is used to determine the grade of an egg. Grade AA eggs have the smallest air cell, and as the air cell gets large the egg is given a lower grade (A, B…etc).

This air cell increases as the egg ages. There are two schools of thought about why. Some say the eggshell is porous and allows some liquid to escape and air to enter. Others say a chemical reaction takes place inside, which results in the larger air chamber and the awful smell when they are rotten. I couldn’t find a definitive answer to why the air cell increases in size, but nobody disputed the fact that it does.

Because the air cell increases, it makes the egg less dense, meaning it will float in water with enough time.

The smell of rotten eggs is a popular description for the smell of sulfur. There’s good reason for that, eggs contain a fair amount of sulfur because it is necessary for feather formation. This smell becomes more prevalent as eggs age.

Thanks to my wife Kristen for this secret.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Source: Eggs WP, Sulfur WP, What’s Cooking America, O Chef

May 6, 2010 at 12:15 am 1 comment

Australian Toilets Do Not Flush in the Opposite Direction

Despite what you may believe, being in the secret business is not glamorous. Nothing in school prepares you for this many late afternoons, drinking whipped cream topped drinks at Starbucks.

Actually, college did prepare me for that, but it’s still not glamorous. Take my word for it. Just the other day I was sitting by the pool thinking, “what am I going to write about for tomorrow?” I couldn’t come up with anything at all.

For inspiration, I moved to the hot tub — maybe some bubbles would help. You wouldn’t believe it, I still couldn’t come up with an idea! It usually comes naturally and the hardest part of my day is answering repetitive questions like, “what is it like to be such a handsome and successful blogger?”

I’m kidding of course, except about the lack of glamor, not that you really expected it to be glamorous anyway. The truth is, I don’t sit by any pool or hot tub and I rarely drink whipped cream topped drinks at Starbucks. I work a normal day job and write this blog at night.

It’s probably a lot more work than you may realize; even before I start writing I spend a lot of time digging for ideas and accurate sources to come up with something I think you’ll find interesting, and sometimes really helpful. The most common real question I get is, “where do you get all of your ideas?” There are two main sources. (more…)

March 19, 2010 at 12:57 am 7 comments


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