Using a plunger is a basic yet highly effective method for unclogging toilets and drains. This essential plumbing tool can save you from the hassle and cost of calling a professional plumber. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a plunger effectively.
how to use a plunger
- Select the Right Plunger: There are two common types of plungers – the toilet plunger (flange plunger) and the sink plunger (cup plunger). Choose the appropriate plunger for the specific task. The toilet plunger has an extended flange, designed for toilets, while the sink plunger is flat and ideal for sinks, tubs, and flat-surface drains.
- Prepare the Area: Ensure there is enough water in the toilet bowl or sink to cover the plunger’s bottom. Water helps create a seal and provides hydraulic pressure to dislodge the clog. If needed, add water before proceeding.
- Position the Plunger: For a toilet, insert the plunger’s flange into the drain opening. For other drains, center the plunger over the drain opening to establish a tight seal.
- Create a Seal: Press the plunger down firmly to establish a tight seal between the plunger and the drain or toilet bowl. Submerging the plunger in water will enhance suction.
- Apply Pressure: Grasp the plunger’s handle with a firm grip, then push down and pull up with a rapid and forceful motion. This back-and-forth motion generates suction and pressure. Repeat the process several times, ensuring the seal remains intact.
- Check for Success: After several plunges, inspect if the water starts draining or if the toilet flushes correctly. If the issue is resolved, the clog is likely cleared. If not, repeat the process or explore alternative methods, such as using a plumbing snake.
- Clean the Plunger: Once the drain is unclogged, rinse and clean the plunger thoroughly. Keeping it clean is essential for future use.
It’s crucial to maintain safety when dealing with toilets and drains. If the clog is exceptionally stubborn or you’re uncomfortable with the process, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber to avoid potential damage to your plumbing system. In summary, using a plunger is a straightforward DIY method for resolving common plumbing issues, making it a handy tool for any household.