The plunger is plumbing’s best-kept secret. A plunger is great at helping dislodge basic clogs in your sinks, showers, tubs, and floor drains. Following is a brief summary on how you can effectively use a plunger on all your drains. If the plunger doesn’t work, go to Roto-Rooter.com for more information about taking care of very tough problems.
Effective Plunging Techniques
It may seem intuitive to use a plunger, but it is a little more complex than most people realize. The most important aspect of using a plunger is keeping a tight seal over the opening the entire time. When the water is trapped, it still has to travel somewhere when you push and pull. Therefore, it will move back and forth with the plunging motions. This back and forth movement can dislodge all sorts of grime and debris. The following tips will help your plunging efforts be more effective regardless of where you are plunging:
- Always keep a tight seal over the opening the entire time you are plunging.
- If you have a stiff plunger, pour hot water over it to soften the rubber.
- Start with a gentle push to get the air out of the cup. Any air that remains in the cup will compress and reduce the effectiveness of your efforts.
- Keep the plunger vertical when you plunge. When the stick is at an angle you don’t have as much force.
- Don’t use chemicals and a plunger at the same time. The chemicals could splash out of the water and onto your skin.
Plunging the Toilet
The most common use for a plunger is to get rid of a toilet clog. We recommend that you use a plunger with a funnel on the end of the cup. The flange can be inserted into the opening in the bottom of the bowl. This helps you get and maintain a tight seal.
Plunging a Sink and Tub
If you have a bathroom sink that is blocked, try using a plunger before you attempt more invasive procedures. When plunging a bathroom sink, do the following before you start to plunge:
- Fold the flange into the plunger or use one without a flange.
- Put a wet rag into the overflow opening to prevent air from escaping from the pipes.
- Remove the pop-up assembly.
Plunging a Shower or Floor Drain
When removing clogged drains in a floor drain make sure the plunger is sealed tightly against the floor. Fold the flange into the plunger or use one without.
Plunging a Kitchen Sink
Plunging a kitchen sink uses the same techniques as the bathroom sink with a slight difference; the kitchen sink doesn’t have an overflow opening. However, if you have a divided sink with a drain in each section you will need to block the openings in the sections you are not plunging.