Plunge Right In – Effective Plunger Techniques | Midway Services

Posted on: July 26, 2016

One of the most common (and frustrating) plumbing problems affecting Tampa Bay area homes and apartments is the clogged toilet. Not only is there the potential for significant overflow in the bathroom, but a toilet clog is unpleasant.

In most cases, the cause of the clog is an accumulation of paper and other material in the drain pipe. In severe cases, the cause may be a broken sewer line. If it is just a drain clog, the average Tampa Bay homeowner can resolve the problem with an inexpensive plunger.

Follow these steps to get the most out of your plunger and give yourself the best potential for unclogging your toilet.

  • Get the right plunger. A flange plunger is best for toilet clogs. It has an extended rubber boot that fits easily into a toilet bowl and makes plunging more effective. The more traditional plunger – the cup plunger – is more suitable for sink and tub clogs.
  • flange_plungerInspect and protect. Make sure there are no cracks or tears in the rubber portion of the plunger. These will make it difficult or impossible to work effectively. Between uses, keep your plunger clean and dry, and stored close to the toilet in case of emergencies.
  • Don’t plunge drain cleaning chemicals. If you have recently used a drain cleaner (like Drano), do not use a plunger. You may spatter the caustic chemicals on yourself, your clothing or around the bathroom. You should try to plunge your clog before you resort to a drain cleaner.
  • Adjust water level. If the toilet has recently overflowed, use a bucket or scoop to remove water down to the normal fill level. Plunging an over-full toilet results in more spilled water and mess in the bathroom. If the toilet bowl is empty or nearly empty, fill it to the normal level. This will ensure that your plunger has enough water to do its job effectively.
  • Burp out the air. Air, unlike water, can act as a shock absorber and actually defeat the purpose of the plunger. You will want to “burp” out the air in your plunger cup and make sure it is filled with water before you start plunging.
  • Seal the deal. You want to make sure to form a good seal around the base of your plunger for maximum effect. One good solution is to use petroleum jelly around the rim of the rubber cup. This will also help preserve your plunger between uses and keep it supple and pliable.
  • Block nearby drains. If there are other drains close to the toilet, you will want to block those before you start plunging. You can use wet cloths to stuff these drains and prevent backflow from your plunging.
  • Plunge in. Now you are ready to do the deed. Keep the plunger handle straight up and down and make your first plunge slow and steady. This will ensure that you have removed all air from the system and allows your plunger to refill with water on the upstroke. Plunge straight down with increasing force. Allow the plunger cup to refill after each plunge. Continue until you feel the clog release.
  • Call for help. If this process does not remove the clog, you will need the services of the plumbing professionals at Midway Services. We are standing by 24/7 to help with all of life’s difficult situations.



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