How To Use A Plunger
Unclogging Tub, Sink, or Shower – It’s easy to use a plunger on a bathtub, sink, or shower. As we mentioned earlier, standard plungers work best on clogs that are not in a toilet. Take note that if you plan to use a chemical for unclogging drains that you don’t use a plunger (as noted on the warnings on the bottle).

A plunger could splash around the toxic chemical and cause harm to you. If you unclog a sink drain, tub, or shower, make sure to cover the overflow drain if one is present. For overflow drains in sinks, you can take a wet rag, wring out the excess water, and plug in the hole. Covering the overflow drain helps create a stronger suction.

Place the cup of the plunger over the drain to create a tight seal and, using firm pressure, push and pull the plunger vertically. Similar to plunging a toilet, plunge the drain for about 20 seconds. If you continue to have a slow drain, try plunging more and use extra force.

Do you push or pull a plunger?

How do plungers work? – Plungers work via physics, specifically Boyle’s law. When you seal the plunger over the drain opening and push it down, you increase the pressure in the pipe. This increase in pressure pushes the water downward. When you pull up, the suction reduces the pressure allowing the water to rise. This “sloshing” motion dislodges most clogs after a few spirited turns. How To Use A Plunger

Can you use a plunger when the toilet is full?

How to Plunge a Toilet – How To Use A Plunger There are a wide range of plungers for different kinds of plunging fixtures. The most common type is the sink plunger or cup plunger (pictured above) that has a dome-shaped rubber cup. This kind is ideal for tubs and sinks. The plunger best suited for toilets is called a flange plunger,

  • It has a cup similar to that on a sink plunger as well as a sleeve-like extension (the flange) at the bottom of the cup.
  • With this design, it fits well into the hole in your toilet bowl and results in superior suction power.
  • You can find different kinds of flange plungers at your local hardware store.

Here is what you need to plunge your toilet:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Toilet plunger
  • Water to fill the toilet bowl

Here are the steps:

  1. Plunging a toilet can be a messy affair. To minimize cleanup, place old towels or dirty rags around the base of the toilet. Any water or dirt that splashes out during plunging will land on these fabrics.
  2. Wear your gloves.
  3. If the toilet bowl is full, remove half of the fluid with a cup, bowl, or other container. If the bowl doesn’t have enough water, pour in water until it is half full. The idea is to ensure the head of the plunger is submerged.
  4. Lower the plunger into the toilet bowl at an angle, and fit the rubber cup over the toilet’s drain hole.
  5. Grip the plunger handle with both hands. With a forceful motion, move the cup up and down without breaking the cup’s seal around the hole. Repeat this action for about 10 to 20 seconds and then remove the plunger.
  6. Flush the toilet. If it flushes normally, you have succeeded. If the toilet is still clogged, repeat the process.
  7. If the problem persists, you might want to try a toilet auger.
  8. If you plan to reuse them, wash your gloves, towels, and the container used to move water in or out of the toilet.

While a regular plunger can take time to clear a blockage, the ToiletShroom plunger ($17.99) can unclog your toilet in seconds. Insert the Shroom head at an angle and push in and out several times. This dredge tool doubles as a squeegee that will clean the insides of your toilet. How To Use A Plunger

Why you shouldn’t use a plunger for a bathroom blockage?

When Should You Use a Plunger? – A small or light clog typically doesn’t require a call to the professional. The suction a plunger creates may free a small wad of toilet paper that’s clogging the toilet. But a larger clog or one that’s deep into your home’s plumbing system may not respond to the pressure of a plunger.

Do you feel as you push the plunger?

Letter from the Engineer – When you compressed air in the syringe, maybe you noticed that it pushed back with a little bounce. Air acts somewhat like a spring. You can compress it, or squeeze it into a smaller volume. When you push on the plunger you can feel the air pushing back.

  • When you stop pushing, the air inside the syringe will return to its original size.
  • There are different ways to compress air.
  • One way is to squeeze a certain volume of air into a smaller space.
  • That’s what you did with the syringe.
  • Another way is to use a pump, like a bicycle pump, to squeeze extra air into something that is already full of air.
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That’s what you do when you pump air into a basketball, soccer ball, or bicycle tire. Why is it possible to add more air to something that is already full of air? Only because air is easily compressible — the particles can be squeezed closer together.

(Remember how different it felt when you tried to compress water in the syringe?) The bouncy feeling you notice when you compress air can be very useful. When you dribble a basketball, the part of the ball that hits the floor gets pressed into the ball a little bit. It’s a little like pushing the handle of the syringe or squeezing a spring.

The air inside the ball gets squeezed, and it springs back, just like the handle of the syringe did. This “springing back” makes the ball bounces back up to you. Maybe you have tried to dribble a basketball or kick a soccer ball that did not have much air in it.

Do I really need a plunger?

Insider’s takeaway – A plunger is an essential household tool for unclogging toilets, sinks, and drains. A standard plunger is best for sinks and drains while a flange plunger is ideal for toilets. A few quick thrusts should do the trick to remove the blockage, but if it’s a tougher clog, you might need a drain snake or auger.

Do you fill the plunger with water?

3 Easy Ways to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger

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Photo: Doug Mahoney Toilet clogs happen, and keeping the best tool for the job close at hand will rid your problem fast and prevent costly plumber visits. Guests will thank you too, even if they never mention it. For expert advice on the right way to plunge a toilet, we spoke to plumber Toni Shala of Rite Plumbing and Heating in New York City; Jeffrey Kertanis, who works as a school plumber for the board of education in Vernon, Connecticut; and Doug Mahoney, senior staff writer at Wirecutter and author of our guide to the best toilet plunger,

  1. Ideally, no more than five or 10 minutes.
  2. One plumber told us that if plunging goes on any longer, it’s time to try a toilet snake or call an expert.
  3. All bottom-discharging toilets have an internal portion called a trap, which is a curved pathway in the outlet pipe that is designed to hold water and block sewer gasses from escaping up into your home.

But those sharp turns can create a bit of a traffic-flow problem, particularly for solid items. Not surprisingly, this is where most toilet clogs occur. If the water is rising in the toilet after you’ve flushed, quickly turn off the water to the toilet itself to prevent a mess: Just lift the lid of the tank and pull the float up, or give a clockwise turn to the angle valve by the floor. How To Use A Plunger Photo: Doug Mahoney Plungers designed for toilets look distinctly different from the half-cup style of a sink and tub plunger, Toilet plungers have a narrow flange on the end that helps secure a tighter fit around the bottom of the bowl. How To Use A Plunger To find the best plunger, Doug fashioned a toilet with a clear pipe to visually measure suction strength. Photo: Doug Mahoney The Korky plunger’s distinctive T-handle grip naturally aligns your arm as you plunge, making it easier to use a powerful stroke with less wrist strain than you’d get with a typical straight handle.

The Korky plunger was able to move the foam ball down the pipe at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per plunge. None of the other plungers could even budge it. You can read more about Doug’s testing process in his guide, but suffice to say the Korky 99-4A Max Performance Plunger is the one we want on hand in an emergency.

With a clear pipe, we could see how much the clog (aka a foam baseball) moved with each plunge. Video: Doug Mahoney A plunger may seem like a fairly intuitive tool to use, but there’s a process that makes the job much more effective. First, fill the plunger cup with water before you start plunging, because you want to use water pressure to dislodge the clog. How To Use A Plunger Toilet plungers have a narrow flange at the end to create a tighter seal than the half-cup style of plungers suited for sinks and tubs. Photo: Doug Mahoney Tipping the plunger on its side as you lower it in the water should fill it, for the most part.

If possible, do a gentle first plunge to help remove any remaining air out of the cup and bring in more water. This motion offers the added benefit of trying to pull the blockage up toward the bowl, instead of further down the pipe, which many experts say is the best technique. Whether you should plunge vertically or at an angle depends on the shape of your toilet drain.

You might see conflicting advice online, but in Doug’s tests, certain toilets required that he shifted the plunger around a little to get a tight seal. Sometimes plunging worked when he held the handle vertically, other times an angle provided successful results.

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What is the best method to unblock drains?

Natural cleaners – You can use some natural cleaners to create a fizzing effect that breaks drain blockages apart. Try pouring hot water down the drain, then follow it with one cup of bicarbonate of soda and a cup of vinegar. Leave it for ten minutes, then chase it with more hot water. A combination of the hot water and the natural cleaner mixture can break blockages up.

Will a toilet unclog itself overnight?

Will a Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself? Posted on March 11, 2021 by How To Use A Plunger When you have a clogged toilet, but you don’t need to use it right away, you might wonder if you can just wait and let the clog sort itself out. Will a toilet eventually unclog itself? It sure would be nice, but it’s fairly rare for a toilet’s clog to clear up after a few hours.

What is the strongest thing to unclog a toilet?

8. Caustic Soda – How To Use A Plunger Caustic soda is a nasty chemical that can burn, but it’s very effective for unclogging toilets. To use this chemical, you need to get some rubber gloves and eye protection. You can pick the chemical from the local hardware or grocery stores. Pour a ¾ gallon of cold water into a bucket, and add 3 cups of caustic soda.

How many times does it take to unclog a toilet?

Plunging Tips – A toilet plunger fits over and seals the toilet drain. Wear rubber gloves — things can get messy— and follow these plunging tips:

Make your first plunge a gentle one. Initially, the bell will be full of air. A hard thrust will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom and you! Once you force out the air, plunge vigorously in and out, maintaining the seal. You’ll be forcing water in both directions in the drain, which will effectively loosen most clogs. Stick with it, plunging 15 to 20 times if necessary. Be patient. Try alternating between steady strokes and occasional monster heaves. Keep enough water in the bowl so the toilet plunger stays covered. Trying to force air through the toilet trap won’t generate much pressure.

Most of the time, plunging is all it takes to clear the clog. But for tougher clogs, you may need to use a drain snake to unclog it. Family Handyman

Can plunging make clog worse?

How To Unclog a Toilet – Attempting to force a clog through a toilet with a plunger can often make the problem worse. Instead, create a seal and slowly push down on the plunger before pulling it back sharply. The suction can help pull the clog back up toward the bowl, breaking the blockage and allowing gravity to take over.

Does toilet clog get worse after plunging?

Let’s face it – a clogged toilet is no fun. And, an over flowing toilet is even worse. In a few quick steps we will help you unclog your toilet and avoid an overflow. Typically the first, and easiest, method to use to unclog a toilet is to use a plunger,

  • However, many people are unaware that there actually is a “right” and “wrong” way to plunge a toilet.
  • The key to proper plunger usage is to push gently, and pull vigorously.
  • Many people think that a forceful push into the plunger is what frees up the clog, but this can often worsen the problem.
  • In fact, pushing the plunger in with enough force can even break the seal of the toilet gasket (the seal between the toilet and the floor where the plumbing exits).

It is the pulling action that actually creates suction, which effectively and safely frees up the clog. Remember that whatever clogged the toilet got stuck on the way down, so the pulling action will likely be more effective in dislodging the clog, rather than pushing it further.

  1. There is another common misconception about plungers, and that is which plunger to use.
  2. The most common plunger you may find in a home is a simple orange suction-cup style plunger.
  3. This style is actually more useful in the kitchen than the bathroom, since they are designed to mainly clear clogs from sinks, not toilets; these are used in the toilet with some success, but there are better tools for the job.
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The best types of plungers to use are either the ball-shaped style, or the type with a foldout-cup, The ball style has a thick rubber cup that provides a great seal and a good amount of pressure. The foldout cup style works well to create a seal, especially in toilets that have a unique shaped drain that is not exactly round.

There are two basic types of clogs that can occur in a household toilet: a slow-drainer or a no-drainer. A slow-drainer is when your toilet is clogged but water can still move past the clog allowing the water to drain very slowly. The majority of the time, a typical clogged toilet is a slow-drainer that can be cleared using a plunger.

A no-drainer is just as the phrase implies – a complete stoppage – and there is no movement of the water in the bowl. This is usually due to an object completely obstructing the drain and may require the use of a toilet auger to remove. Those with young children in the home could quite possibly experience more frequent, and possibly harder to remove, clogs depending on what has been flushed down the toilet.

Why is my sink clogged worse after plunging?

Why Plunging Shower Drain Made It Worse – A plunger uses pressure to remove a clog in a toilet by breaking it up and sending it down the drain. Unfortunately, the pressure from a plunger probably won’t break up a shower drain clog. Instead, it will only send the material deeper down the drain pipe completely intact.

What dissolves toilet blockage?

Use Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Hot Water – Lastly, if you wish to use a natural solution on your toilet, you can always rely on vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Just like with clogged kitchen sinks, these three products can work wonders when dealing with clogged toilets.

  • All you need to do is pour a cup of baking soda, 4 cups of boiling water, and a cup of vinegar into the toilet.
  • When mixing these ingredients, they will react, and your toilet will start having fizzy water.
  • Next, just like with the hot water and dish soap mentioned above, you’ll need to wait between 15 to 20 minutes for the solution to do its job.

Finally, you can proceed with flushing the toilet as you would typically do.

How do you unblock a toilet full of poop and tissue?

Method 2: Use Water Bottle Pressure to Clear a Clogged Toilet –

Remove as much water from the toilet as possible while wearing rubber gloves. You can do this by repeatedly filling a small container and pouring the water out into a bucket. Fill a large plastic bottle with warm water. Keeping your thumb over the top, fit the top of the bottle into the outlet at the bottom of the toilet. Remove your thumb and hold the bottle tightly with both hands. Squeeze the bottle so the water shoots out into the toilet drain. The pressure should dislodge the clog. It’s a good idea to wear a mask and eye protection while doing this, in case the water splashes. Pour hot water into the toilet; if the water level goes down, the clog has cleared. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 if necessary. Carefully pour about 3 quarts (2.84 liters) of boiled water into the toilet to clean out the residue. Let the water sit for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it cools down. Now you’re ready to flush the toilet.

How do you get better suction with a toilet plunger?

Unclogging Tub, Sink, or Shower – It’s easy to use a plunger on a bathtub, sink, or shower. As we mentioned earlier, standard plungers work best on clogs that are not in a toilet. Take note that if you plan to use a chemical for unclogging drains that you don’t use a plunger (as noted on the warnings on the bottle).

  • A plunger could splash around the toxic chemical and cause harm to you.
  • If you unclog a sink drain, tub, or shower, make sure to cover the overflow drain if one is present.
  • For overflow drains in sinks, you can take a wet rag, wring out the excess water, and plug in the hole.
  • Covering the overflow drain helps create a stronger suction.

Place the cup of the plunger over the drain to create a tight seal and, using firm pressure, push and pull the plunger vertically. Similar to plunging a toilet, plunge the drain for about 20 seconds. If you continue to have a slow drain, try plunging more and use extra force.

Should you turn the water off when using a plunger?

2. Shut off the water supply. – Until you can get your toilet flowing again, you don’t want to add more water to the bowl or risk overflowing. Find the water shut off valve on the wall behind your toilet. Tighten it clockwise to stop new water from refilling in the tank.

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