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Avoiding Catastrophe with Brenden Murphy

Brenden Murphy is an amateur plumber from Michigan. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST


ZAK: Today's episode is a little longer than usual, but it contains some advice that you are going to carry with you for the rest of time. There are few things more terrifying than this moment.

ZAK: Ok, I'm in my bathroom. I'm just wondering if you can tell me how you became an amateur plumber.

BRENDEN: Well, in my life, toilets seem to get clogged a lot. As embarrassing as that is to admit, it's true. So I know for me, personally, if I go into anyone's bathroom and there's no plunger I won't go number two. I'm gonna find another bathroom cause I'm like, I'm not gonna risk it.

ZAK: I think it's very big of you to admit that you clog toilets. But everyone has clogged a toilet. And if you say you haven't clogged a toilet, I don't know if I would even believe you, you know?


ZAK: Brenden Murphy is here to save the day. Here is his advice on how not to make toilet overflow and humiliate yourself in four easy steps. So you've flushed the toilet and it's not going down.

BRENDEN: My first piece of advice is to get some hand soap. If you put a couple squirts of hand soap just right over the toilet hole, what will happen is, soap is a lubricant, it'll help it go down easier but the soap will also, when you start plunging, it will help keep the odor down so there won't be a smell associated with it. And everything will just be a little cleaner.

ZAK: Aren't you glad you tuned in today. Step number two, the plunging.

BRENDEN: The basic advice is you wanna make sure it's sealed around the hole because you're not actually pushing the material down with that plunger handle. You're creating a pressure difference that's going to pull the material into the pipes. So, one way that you can do that faster is when you push down with the plunger, jerk it back and instead of doing a slow forward, backward, when you push it down and it's sealed, if you do a quick jerk, that should create a little more pressure and that should help it move faster.

ZAK: Ok, you got that? First soap, then the quick jerk. Now on to number 3.

BRENDEN: The third piece of advice which I think is the most important one is when you get to the point when you might have to flush it again, you know, like the water is low, maybe you need some more water, if you add more water, it will help push the material down but of course you don't want to overflow the toilet. So, if you look to the left of the toilet, there will be a knob. In most houses it's a handle. It's normally coming out from the wall about one-foot off the floor. It's silver and that's called the supply line shut-off valve.

ZAK: Yes. Here is this valve you're describing which I have never noticed before.

BRENDEN: There should be a handle/lever on it that you can turn to the right. That's gonna limit the amount of water. You want to make sure the water level is pretty low but as long as it's fairly low and it looks like it's a decent amount, by shutting off the supply line you should not overflow the toilet. It shouldn't spill out.

ZAK: Ok, so we're almost home free. Soap. Plunge. Turn the supply line off and at this point you can flush, hopefully everything goes down.

BRENDEN: And then you turn back on the supply line. Everything fills up. Everything's somewhat clean. And my last piece of advice is to take that plunger and to plunge your toilet once it's clean water. You've already got the plunger out. You've already filled up the toilet with clean water. So, go ahead and rinse it off. My name is Brenden Murphy. I'm a cost-estimator in Sterling Heights, Michigan and I'm an amateur handyman.

ZAK: Brenden, I speak for myself and all the listeners of The Best Advice Show, you've just saved us so much heartache. Thank you so much. If you have any life saving advice, I would love to hear it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST.

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