Are You Using Your Plunger Correctly?

Plungers can remove some remarkably tough clogs – if they're used properly. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't use their plungers properly, and as a result, they end up turning to chemical drain cleaners or making an expensive call to the plumber to free their clogs. The next time your drain is blocked, follow these tips for more effective plunger use. You'll stand a better chance of avoiding that call to the plumber.

Use the right type of plunger.

There are two types of plungers. One looks like a plain bowl on the end. This type of plunger is intended for use in sinks and tubs. The other type has a flared, flange-like opening inside its bowl-shaped end. This type of plunger is designed for use in toilets. A flange-shaped plunger won't seal well enough to remove a tough clog from a sink, and a bowl-shaped plunger won't fit into the toilet canal to loosen a clog. Make sure you have both types on hand and that you're using the right one.

Immerse the plunger in water.

You can't plunge an empty toilet or sink – or one with just a little water in it. Plunging works by forcing water down into the pipe, so there needs to be enough water present for this to be effective. Before you put the plunger in, fill your sink, tub or toilet far enough that the water comes up over the entire head of the plunger.

Seal the plunger around the drain.

Placing the plunger half over the drain opening or holding it crooked so that one side is not entirely flush with the bottom of the sink won't work. You need to form a tight seal between the plunger and the drain in order for the water to be forced into the drain with the maximum pressure. Plunging is not a race. Take time to ensure the plunger is sealed securely around the drain opening before you start pulling up and down.

Use a few strong strokes rather than a lot of shallow ones.

If you're plunging up and down 60 times a minute, you're doing it wrong. Focus on delivering a few strokes that are as powerful as you can make them, rather than pushing and pulling up and down quickly.

The clogs that a plunger can't release are few and far between, but they do exist. If you employ all of the tips above but the clog still won't budge, at least you know you've done all that you can to free the clog on your own. Making a call to the plumber is now justified. Contact a company like Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning for any plumbing needs you might have.