The Right Way to Use Your Plunger

In a plumbing emergency, there is no time to hesitate. Many homeowners will confront the issue with their plunger and just go to work on a stubborn drain clog. But is the plunger the right tool for the job? Is it the right plunger? Is it even the right technique? Sunrise is here to tell you how to use a toilet plunger correctly.

Toilet clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems, and a smart homeowner should know that no bathroom should be without a plunger. Believe it or not, but not all plungers are created equal. 

The one that you might be most familiar with is the common sink plunger, also known as a flat plunger. These are the ones with a rubber cup at the end of a straight handle and fit great on drains in the sink and in the bathtub. Any time there is a flat surface around the drain, this is the plunger for the job.

There is also the accordion plunger which is less common, but is primarily used for unclogging toilets. They make accordion plungers from a single piece of molded plastic with accordion-like ridges above a small cup. Some consider this difficult to use, but others may discover that it can provide more power to the plunge. 

However, the best all-around plunger is considerably the toilet flange plunger. These are shaped to help fit over the toilet drain, making them easy to clear a clog, but they also have a soft rubber flap that can fit over other drains, too. That flap provides flexibility in its use, making it ideal to use in a pinch.

Once you have the right plunger for the job, there are some techniques you should use to make your work more efficient. First, plunge in and up-and-down motion, keeping the handle vertical. This allows the seal to hold, and the proper force needed to clear the clog.

It is important that the plunger head stays submerged. Chances are, there is enough water backed up that this is the case anyway, but you will need to remove the air from the plunger cup so that the right amount of force can help move the clog. If needed, fill your toilet, tub or sink with more water from a bucket.

Plunging can be a messy job, so try to use only the plunger. Do not plunge away a clog after pouring cleaning chemicals into the drain, as you may splash those around, which can then get on your skin or your clothes.

Unfortunately, sometimes the plunger cannot do the job itself. In those situations, call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.