How to Use a Plunger

Unfortunately, a clogged toilet is something most homeowners will have to face at some point in life. Before you call a plumber, one unclogging method you can try is plunging the toilet to clear the clog and get it to flush and drain correctly. Below are the steps on how to use a plunger:

1. Using a toilet plunger may seem easy; however, it is important that you choose the right toilet plunger. For instance, a sink plunger is not as strong and you will not create enough suction to clear the clog. You can purchase a quality plunger from a plumbing supply store or a hardware store. Make sure it is a strong plunger with thick rubber and not a cheap flimsy plunger. The toilet plunger will have a strong funnel shape or bell shape rubber head. It should have a quality rim that will create a tight seal around the toilet drain hole for effective strong plunging. The handle will be about two feet long.

2. Put the bell shaped rubber end of the plunger into the toilet. You can add a bit of petroleum jelly around the rim to allow for better suction. Let the hollow part of the plunger head fill with water.

3. Once the water has filled the hollow part of the rubbery bell end, place it over the toilet drain hole. Make sure it is completely covering the hole to effectively seal it.

4. Place your hands one above the other around the other end of the plunger handle. With a forceful motion, push in and out and up and down. By pushing up and down as hard as you can, you will hopefully loosen the clog, break it up, and push some of it through. You should do this for about 15 times in quick repetitive thrusts. The water in the toilet should be getting cloudy with pieces of the clog floating in the water.

5. After plunging, move the plunger out of the way, and look and listen to see if the water is flowing through the drain. A few good plunging should dislodge the clog. If the water is still sitting there, repeat the process.

6. Once you have cleared the clog, remove the plunger and flush the toilet. You may also want to add a bacterial enzyme which will clear out any debris in the pipes and keep them clean.

Common causes of clogs are hair, paper, and food particles. When clearing a clogged toilet, you should always try the plunger first. Never use the plunger along with a chemical drain cleaner because the chemical may splash up and burn and damage your eyes and skin. You should always use a plunger that is in good shape because any broken off pieces or cracks could ruin the seal. If after several attempts the clog has not cleared, you may have to consult a professional plumber. With the proper plunger and knowing how to plunge properly, it should not be a problem to effectively clear the clog and get your toilet running properly.