Introduction: Super Sopapa (super Plunger)

Hace años que vengo quejándome de los fabricantes de sopapas, porque no las hacen de tamaño suficiente como para destapar inodoros con cierta comodidad. Las más grandes que he conseguido se meten fácilmente dentro del caño que hay que destapar, con lo cual quedan prácticamente neutralizadas. Así que decidí fabricarme mi propia sopapa gigante.

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For years I've been complaining plungers manufacturers, because they don't make them large enough to unclog toilets with some comfort. The largest I've gotten creep easily into the pipe to be open, wherewith are virtually neutralized. So I decided fabricate my own giant plunger.

Step 1: Materiales Y Herramientas (materials and Tools)

Tomé prestada de mi mujer una ensaladera de acero inoxidable cuyo diámetro me pareció adecuado, para hacer de molde. También una tijera, unos rollitos de venda de gasa y un cartucho de sellador de silicona.

Antes de empezar a hacer enchastre con la silicona, busqué un bulón más o menos largo y algunas arandelas grandes, a efectos de hacer el mango.

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I borrowed my wife a stainless steel bowl, which diameter seemed appropriate to make by mold. Also got scissors, some gauze bandage rolls and a silicone sealant cartridge.

Before start making mess with silicone, I looked for a more or less long bolt and some large washers, in order to make the handle.

Step 2: Ensuciando La Ensaladera (messing the Bowl)

Le di dos manos de detergente en la superficie exterior, a manera de desmoldante. Luego me di cuenta de que habría sido mejor darle más manos.

Una vez seco el detergente, la puse boca abajo sobre unos diarios para evitar ensuciar la mesa, y la cubrí con una capa de silicona, de más o menos dos o tres mm de grosor. Sobre esta capa, inmediatamente dispuse varias tiras de venda de gasa, haciendo que quedaran bien pegadas dentro de la silicona. AVISO: esta parte es bastante desagradable, porque la silicona se mete por todos lados y hay que tener permanentemente a mano un trapo limpio para sacarla de los dedos antes de que se seque.

Dejé secar esa capa de silicona y gasa, y mientras tanto hice...

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I gave it two coats of detergent on the outer surface, as a release agent. Now I realized it would have been better to give more coats.

Once dry the detergent, put face down the bowl on
newspapers to avoid soiling the table, and covered it with a layer of silicone, about two or three mm thick. On this layer, immediately I set several strips of gauze bandage, making remain well placed into the silicone. NOTICE: This task is pretty nasty, because the silicone gets everywhere and you must have constantly on hand a clean cloth to remove it from your fingers before it dries.

Allow dry the silicone and gauze
layer, and meanwhile I did ...

Step 3: El Mango (the Handle)

Soldé una arandela grande a la cabeza del bulón, y busqué algunos discos de amoladora usados para usarlos también como arandelas. Pegué con masilla de chapista (lo mismo pude haber usado adhesivo epoxi) uno de los discos de amoladora gastados a la arandela del extremo. Con un trozo de caño metálico hice un espaciador para poder apretar el mango con la tuerca del bulón. Finalmente soldé una tuerca al extremo de otro trozo del mismo caño, que casualmente ya tenía el otro extremo curvado justo en la forma ideal para lo que yo lo iba a usar. Por si usted no lo sabe todavía, las sopapas son efectivas al empujar, pero lo son mucho más al tirar.

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I soldered a large washer to the bolt head, and looked for some used grinder discs for use also as washers. I stuck with tinkerers putty (I could the same have used epoxy adhesive) one spent disk grinder to the end washer. With a piece of metal pipe did a spacer to attach the handle to the bolt nut. Finally I soldered a nut to the end of another piece of the same pipe, which coincidentally had already bent the other end just how perfect for what I was going to use. In case you don't know it yet, the plungers are effective pushing, but they are much more pulling.

Step 4: Volviendo a La Ensaladera...(returning to the Salad Bowl...)

Comprobé que la silicona había secado, apoyé en el centro el vástago de la manija y apliqué de la misma manera anterior varias capas adicionales de silicona y gasa. Antes de dar las dos últimas capas puse otro disco gastado de amoladora, a manera de tope para empujar.

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I found that the silicone had dried, I put the rod in the center of the handle and applied in the same previous way several additional layers of silicone and gauze. Prior to the last two layers put another spent grinder disc, as a stopper to push.

Step 5: Desmoldando (demolding)

Como dije antes, dos manos de detergente no fueron suficientes para evitar que algunas partes de la ensaladera quedaran pegadas y se rompieran al desmoldar, pero nada que no tenga arreglo. Lo único insoluble es la muerte, y hasta ahí nomás.

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As I said before, two detergent coats were not enough to prevent parts of the salad bowl stay glued and break to unmold, but nothing that can not be fixed. Only death is insoluble, and up right there.

Step 6: Probando (testing)

Luego de remendar con silicona algunos lugares que lo requerían, y dejar secar todo durante varias horas, tuve que usar la amoladora para alisar un poco los bordes del labio, para evitar que al estar desparejos no hicieran buen contacto.

La primera prueba fue en los vidrios del cerramiento de la galería, y fue un éxito. Luego la probé en los cerámicos del piso, otro éxito, pese a que la superfice no es perfectamente lisa.

Finalmente me dirigí a paso triunfal al baño, me aseguré de que el inodoro estuviera limpio, apreté el botón, metí la sopapa... y ¡oh, fracaso! se dio vuelta hacia arriba instantáneamente. Insistí varias veces, tratando de acomodarla bien en la boca del caño, y porfiadamente siguió haciendo lo mismo. Analicé la situación, y me di cuenta de que EL PROBLEMA NO ES EL TAMAÑO DE LA SOPAPA, SINO LA FORMA DEL INODORO. Al tener curvatura diferente en sentido longitudinal y transversal, la única manera de asegurarse de que las paredes del mismo hagan contacto con todo el labio de la sopapa es que esta sea ovalada, o que no tenga la boca plana sino siguiendo la curvatura del inodoro. Es decir que los fabricantes de sopapas no son tan tontos, después de todo.

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After patching with silicone some places that required it, and let everything dry for several hours, I had to use the grinder to smooth a little the edges of the lip, to prevent being odd not make good contact.

The first test was in the glass enclosure of the gallery, and was successful. Then I tried it on the ceramic floor, another success,
in spite of that the surface is not perfectly smooth.

Finally I went
triumphant to the bathroom, made sure that the toilet was clean, pressed the button, put the plunger ... and oh, failure! it turned up instantly. I insisted several times, trying to accommodate the mouth to the tube, and it stubbornly continued doing the same. I analyzed the situation, and I realized that the problem IS NOT THE SIZE OF THE PLUNGER, but the shape of the toilet. By having different curvature in the longitudinal and transverse directions, the only way to ensure that the walls thereof are in contact with all the mouth of the plunger is that this be oval or not flat but has the lip following the curvature of the toilet. This means that plunger manufacturers are not as dumb, after all.

Step 7: Resumiendo (summarizing)

Errando se aprende. Publiqué este instructable porque seguramente hay algún otro con la misma inquietud que yo, y tal vez lea esto y evite perder tiempo. Se puede encarar todo de nuevo, usando como molde de la boca de la sopapa el inodoro, o sea que si en la casa hay varios inodoros diferentes habrá que hacer una sopapa para cada uno. Tal vez se le pueda agregar una "pollera" a la sopapa que hice, que haga contacto con la superficie del inodoro. Pero me servirá solamente para ese, y no me seduce la idea. Tendré que pensar.

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To fail is to learn. I published this instructable because surely there are someone else with the same concern that I, and perhaps read this and avoid wasting time. I could face all over again, using the toilet as template for the mouth of the plunger, so if the house have several different toilets, you will have to make a plunger for each. Maybe I can add a "skirt" to the plunger I made, so it contacts the surface of the toilet. But this will only serve to that toilet, and I don't relish the idea. I'll have to think.

Comments

author
raiderdk (author)2012-10-24

Quizas no te sirviera para lo que pensaste, pero si que puede tener otros muchos usos.
-levantar cosas sin aristas accesibles (losas del suelo encajadas)
-añadir un mango a algo que sea dificil de transportar (una barca o piragua)
-mover objetos con bordes afilados (cristales o azulejos recien cortados)

o simplemente para usarlo como desatascador en otro lugar.

No conocia el termino "sopapa", supongo que en español neutro es desatascador :). Aunque a mi siempre me encantó la palabra "chupacharcos" es mas divertida

author
rimar2000 (author)raiderdk2012-10-25
Gracias por las sugerencias, raiderk. De hecho no la he desechado, la tengo dando vueltas por ahí, solo espero que la silicona aguante y no sea que cuando la quiera usar esté resquebrajada. Tal vez me convenga meterla dentro de una bolsa de polietileno para aislarla un poco del aire.

Otra posibilidad es agregarle una "pollera" que se adapte a la superficie del inodoro, pero eso tiene la contra de que cada inodoro tiene su propia forma, y es probable que me sirva solo para uno.

El castellano es muy rico y variado, yo nunca usé la palabra desatascador, para mí siempre ese adminículo se llamó sopapa. Y chupacharcos, es la primera vez que la veo. Fíjate que la RAE todavía no se ha enterado:

La palabra sopapa no está registrada en el Diccionario. Las que se muestran a continuación tienen formas con una escritura cercana. socapa.
  • socapar.
  • solapa.
  • solapar.
  • sopaipa.
  • sopapear.
  • sopapo.
  • sopar.
author
londobali (author)2012-10-08

rimar2000, where do you get your ideas from?!
Always makes clever solution to any limitation you face..
Great ible.. as usual..
Thank you for sharing..

author
Dr Qui (author)londobali2012-10-12

Have you ever heard the saying that "necessity is the mother of invention" by Plato around 400 BC.

author
londobali (author)Dr Qui2012-10-12

Touche..
but still.. many people in necessity but couldn't invent anything..
and some are not in necessity but love to invent, in this case:
"Invention is the mother of necessity.."

lol...

author
Dr Qui (author)londobali2012-10-12

it been the right way round for 2500 years since Plato said it. the point being if you don't have a problem to solve there is no need to invent anything. Invention is born out of necessity.

author
londobali (author)Dr Qui2012-10-12

yes..yes.. i think i got that the first time...
Yet some of us invent for the fun of it, and finding solutions for non-existing problems.. well, you might argue that there's a need to learn something by experimenting (like your stirling engine, perhaps) or the need to show off (like me for example)...
Anyway, i was just trying to be funny.. why so serious?

author
Dr Qui (author)londobali2012-10-13

Then break it down like this if necessity = the problem and the invention = the solution the way Plato puts it the quote works ie the problem leads to the solution, the way you put don't, if the solution leads to the problem you are doing some thing wrong.

I'm sure Plato discussed the quote at the forum, I'm just discussing it on a forum.

author
londobali (author)Dr Qui2012-10-13

wow.. you're really into it, aren't u?

well i guess i'll quit piling up useless posts now..
i can get caught up sometimes, and have difficulties stopping.. :)

author
rimar2000 (author)londobali2012-10-13

Dr Qui & londobali, sometimes one want to reinvent the wheel, or the fire. I've been in that situation several times. I think that is inherent to the humaneness.

Years ago an Instructables member asked to me: "why to do this, if in the hardwares you can buy it?" The only possible response was "because I want to make it".

author
rimar2000 (author)londobali2012-10-08

Thanks, londobali!

The main cause is that I have ants in the ass...! Besides, I have not so money to buy all thing I need or want.

author
Bill WW (author)rimar20002012-10-10

Osvaldo -

"I have ants in the ass...! " Esto debe ser un proverbio Argentino?
Aprendemos mucho en Instructables!

This must be an Argentine saying (proverb)?
We learn so much here on Instructables!

Tu Amigo

author
rimar2000 (author)Bill WW2012-10-11

Sí, Bill, es un dicho de estas latitudes, tal vez sea español, no sé bien el origen. Se aplica a quienes no podemos estar quietos un rato.

Yes, Bill, is a saying in these parts, it may be Spanish, I don't know the origin. It applies to those who can not sit still for a while.

author
Dr Qui (author)rimar20002012-10-12

The English equivalent would be "ants in your pants"

author
rimar2000 (author)Dr Qui2012-10-12

Thanks Dr Qui for the info. It sounds a bit less rude.

author
Dr Qui (author)2012-10-12

Nice idea as usual Osvaldo.

Instead of detergent you could try covering the bowl in a layer of cling film as it should release with no problems.

author
rimar2000 (author)Dr Qui2012-10-12

Yes, it is as you say. I underestimated the problem.

author
Ninzerbean (author)2012-10-08

This was such a joy to read, I really enjoyed your efforts even if you were not successful. I have never seen the plungers you have. I will find the one I like the most that we have here in the US, if you think it may work for you I will send it to you. A new one of course.

author
Ninzerbean (author)Ninzerbean2012-10-08

They are a bit hard to clean but very effective.

imgres.jpeg
author
rimar2000 (author)Ninzerbean2012-10-08

Interesting, Nina, I will search it here, maybe exists. Thanks for your concern, but send it will cost more than its price.

author
Ninzerbean (author)rimar20002012-10-09

That's OK, it would be my pleasure.

author
bicobo (author)2012-10-08

Simplemente FANTASTICO ! Osvaldo.
Nada te detiene. Y lo mas importante es que son soluciones al alcance de la mano. Nada de tener que conseguir un fuselaje en desuso de un 747 para arreglar una canilla que pierde.
Un aporte constructivo, estaba pensando que para una superficie no circular a cubrir por la sopapa tal vez una solución fuera todo un borde de pequeñas ventosas que generen un campo de succión independiente en este borde. Algo similar a como un pulpo logra tanto agarre.
Se que ya hablamos de todo un proyecto complicado de implementar. Pero lo dejo a modo de idea, porque me pareció un dispositivo genial.

Un saludo grande

author
rimar2000 (author)bicobo2012-10-08

Gracias, bicobo! Creo que lo de las ventosas independientes no andaría para este uso, aunque sí para levantar cosas con superficies desparejas, por ejemplo.

author
mikeasaurus (author)2012-10-07

I like the process and think this is an area that needs further exploration (I know that sounds weird), thanks for sharing your results!
Maybe thicker silicone walls for this design?

An alternative might be to make a cone shape that fits inside the opening, rather than inside as many commercial plungers. What do you think?

author
rimar2000 (author)mikeasaurus2012-10-08

Thanks Mike.

I think the only possibility is to add an appropiate skirt to the plunger, using the throat surface of the toilet as mold and leaving it to dry over the night . But this would be a little problematic, I wake up 2 or 3 times each night to go to the bathroom.

Actually the walls and lip of the plunger are a bit thick, around 5 to 8 mm. I used almost all the silicone cartridge.

Your idea of cone sounds good, although many toilets have quadrate throat, like mine.

author
Koevoet92 (author)2012-10-07

You should PATENT THIS! Surely at-least for the HOLE OF South America this is gonna be a "miracle" problem solver!

THX!

MUCHAS GRACIAS!

author
rimar2000 (author)Koevoet922012-10-08

Haha! Sadly, SOME PROBLEMS can't be solved with a plunger.

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