The plunger is the most popular and well-known plumbing tool. It is used for unclogging pipes and drains in your home and, when used correctly, can be incredibly effective. Most people know that you can use your plunger to unclog toilets, but they can also be used to unclog showers, tub, and sinks. If you have never been shown how to use a plunger—have no fear! Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte walks you through a guide of how to use the #1 plumber’s tool.
Using a Plunger on Your Toilet
If you need to unclog your toilet, follow these steps:
- If your toilet looks like it is about to overflow, try to stop the flowing by making sure the flapper valve in the toilet tank is down. Once flowing stops, wait about 10 minutes before taking the next step.
- Turn the water supply hose on your toilet off (this valve is located on the wall behind the toilet).
- If the water level in the bowl is currently too high (the level should be about halfway up the bowl, enough to cover the cup of the plunger), remove some of the water with a disposable cup. If the water is too high, you risk splashing it all over and making a mess and will not be able to plunge correctly.
- When placing the plunger in the bowl, place the rim of the cup around the drain opening of the toilet. The goal is to create suction, so make sure the rim is evenly on the surface of bowl around the drain and that the cup of the plunger is submerged in the water.
- Using even pressure, push and pull the stick of the plunger up and down while maintaining suction. Don’t break the seal of the suction and keep the plunger cup in the water. Repeat the motion for about 20 seconds.
Using a Plunger on Your Shower, Tub, or Sink Drain
If you need to unclog your other drains, follow these steps:
- You are going to want to use a standard plunger for clogs that are not in toilet.
- Do not use chemical drain cleaners before trying to use a plunger. If you use a chemical cleaner and it doesn’t clear the clog, plunging the drain can bring up the toxic chemicals, which can harm you.
- To create the best suction, you will need to cover the overflow drain. You can successfully cover an overflow drain by taking a wet rag and plugging the hole.
- Place the rim of the plunger cup around the drain. Create a suction by making sure the rim is evenly on the surface around the drain.
- Using even pressure, push and pull the stick of the plunger up and down while maintaining suction. Don’t break the seal of the suction. Repeat the motion for about 20 seconds.
- If you drain continues to be slow after the 20 seconds of plunging, try again with more force.
For more plumbing tips, check out the Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte blog. We share information about plumbing, warning signs, and what you need to know as a homeowner.
Plunging didn’t solve your clog issue? Contact our Charlotte plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte today.
About the Author: William Iliev, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte
William has been a trusted plumber and owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte since 2003. With over 15 years to back him, William has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in water heater services, tree root plumbing repairs, and more.