How to Plunge a Toilet

A Plunger is often called a Plumber’s best friend because it is that much reliable. 95% of toilet clogs can be treated using a plunger. It is of no surprise then that nearly all households have this trusted device in their bathrooms in case of emergencies.

A plunger consists of a (usually red) suction cup made of rubber which is attached to a wooden/plastic stick. The suction created by the cup loosens the blockage in the toilet and the water drains. This is the first and the most common method of unclogging a toilet. Here is a step by step guide that will help you to efficiently plunge the toilet.

Step 1- The Preparation

While plunging a toilet, make sure the bowl does not keep getting filled up. If you have tried flushing once and the toilet is blocked, stop flushing. Unplug the flapper so no water from the tank can fill up the toilet bowl. Also, plunging may lead to some splashing, it is advised you cover the floor with newspapers to avoid a mess. In case you have tried any chemical drain cleaners, better wear some protective gloves while trying to plunge the toilet.

Step 2- The Positioning

Place the plunger directly over the drain hole. Make sure it completely covers it so that proper suction can be created. Keep the handle of the plunger perpendicular to the ground. This helps in creating better suction, as opposed to a slanting or leaning plunging action. Additionally, the plunger should be completely submerged in the water. The plunger’s cup should be at least at the half point of the water level in the bowl. This is what makes the suction. It requires water, not partial air.

Step 3- The Deed

Once you have made yourself sure of the positioning of the plunger and the level of water start the real work. Push it down till you feel it touching the drain hole, and then pull it back, but not enough to release the suction. Do this for a couple of times, before finally pulling out the plunger completely. Do this twice or thrice and you should notice the water has started draining out. Unless and until it is a really solid object, most of the toilet clogs can be treated thus.

Step 4- The Inspection

Once you are satisfied that the clog has been removed, reconnect the water supply to the toilet. Now flush the toilet once to see if it drains properly. It most probably would, and if not you might be facing a slightly more serious problem. Though there is no need to panic as there are other ways to deal with it as well.

Always remember, a plunger is a sound investment in your household, so do not be a cheapskate while buying it. You need to buy a good quality plunger that will make sure the job is done. There are two kinds of plungers in the market- ones that are completely in the shape of a ball or the once which have a flange like ending that makes a seal. Either of them work perfectly fine for any kind of toilets.

Additionally, if your plunger is a bit old and is showing signs of wear and tear- and hence not making a tight enough seal; you can tie an old cloth around the ending to block any leaks that would be hampering with the suction. Also, before using a plunger, try running it under some hot water. This will soften up the plunger and it will form a better seal when you try it. And that is it for your plunger pro tips.

  • Updated January 19, 2019
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