Toilet Problems, How To Use a Plunger, Great DIY plumbing projects, Plumbing maintenance

How to Use a Plunger Like a Pro: Unlock the Secret to Success

Plungers are like superheroes for your household, swooping in to save the day when clogs strike! But did you know they come in different styles tailored for different types of clogs? Let’s explore the four main types: the sink plunger, the toilet (or flange) plunger, and the accordion plunger, and we threw in the beehive plunger. These trusty tools are not only affordable but also incredibly simple to use. Understanding which type to wield will boost your chances of swiftly defeating those pesky clogs.

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The Science Behind How a Plunger Works?

Ever wondered about the magic behind plungers? Well, it’s all about physics, specifically Boyle’s law! This law tells us that when the volume of gas changes, so does its pressure, as long as the temperature remains constant. It’s like squeezing a balloon – when you compress it, you reduce the gas volume inside, increasing the pressure. Plungers work on the same principle. When you press down on the plunger’s handle, you decrease the air volume inside the cup, creating higher pressure that helps push and dislodge clogs. It’s a simple yet fascinating process that demonstrates the wonders of science in everyday tasks!

The History of The Plunger

Did you know that the trusty plumbing plunger has a fascinating history? It was first invented in 1874 by John Hawley, a confectioner from New York. But wait, there’s more! In 1876, Hawley improved his invention by adding a flattened rim, making it even more effective. Interestingly, this innovative tool was called a “vent-clearer,” highlighting its primary function in the patent. And when it hit the market, it was proudly marketed as a “force cup,” showcasing its powerful capabilities. We’ve had a reliable solution for tackling stubborn clogs for over a century, thanks to Hawley’s ingenuity!

How to Use a Plunger for Your Toilet

We all assume everyone knows how to use a plunger. Most people learn how to navigate this simple tool at a very young age. Then, some can remember when this tool pulled us out of a tough jam and saved us from embarrassment. Whatever the case, here are three tips to get the best performance out of your plunger:

  1. Preparation: Put on rubber gloves to maintain hygiene. Ensure the toilet bowl has enough water to cover the plunger’s rubber cup.
  2. Positioning: Insert the plunger into the toilet bowl, ensuring the rubber cup covers the drain opening completely.
  3. Create a Seal: Press down firmly on the plunger’s handle to create a tight seal between the rubber cup and the drain opening. The seal is crucial for effective plunging.
  4. Plunge: Using a vigorous up-and-down motion, plunge the toilet 10-15 times. The aim is to apply pressure to dislodge the clog.
  5. Check: After plunging, check if the water starts draining. If not, repeat the plunging process until the clog clears.
  6. Flush: Once the water drains freely, flush the toilet to completely clear the clog.
  7. Clean-Up: Remove the plunger from the toilet bowl and clean it thoroughly with hot water and disinfectant. Also, sanitize the toilet bowl and surrounding area.
how to use a plunger

How to Use a Plunger on a Bathroom or Kitchen Sink

Got a stubborn clog in your kitchen or bathroom sink? No need to worry! With a positive attitude and a little know-how, you can easily clear that drain and get things flowing smoothly again. Here’s how:

  1. Clear Any Debris from the Sink: Before you start plunging away, take a moment to remove any visible debris from the sink. This helps prevent interference with the plunging process and avoids worsening the clog. Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves if the water has been sitting for a while – cleanliness is key!
  2. Remove the Sink Stopper: Remove the sink stopper to ensure unrestricted access to the drain. If you have an older stopper with a pivot rod, you may need to remove it from the drain pipe under the sink. Keep a cleaning rag handy to catch any stray debris that might come out.
  3. Fill the Sink with Water: For a good seal with the plunger, fill the sink with water about three to four inches above the drain. If there’s already water at that level, you can skip this step. Pro tip: Hot water can be more effective, especially for grease or food clogs.
  4. Roll the Plunger Onto the Drain: Here’s where technique matters. Instead of plopping the plunger straight onto the drain, roll it onto the drain surface. This ensures a tight seal. Check to make sure it covers all edges of the drain – that’s the secret to success!
  5. Plunge Away: With your plunger securely in place, grasp the handle and plunge up and down rapidly for about 20 seconds. Then, pop the plunger off with a straight upward motion and check if the water starts flowing down the drain. If not, repeat the plunging process until the clog clears.

Remember, tackling a clogged sink doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right tools and a positive attitude, you’ll have that drain cleared in no time! And if plunging doesn’t do the trick, don’t hesitate to explore other options, like heavy-duty drain cleaning tools available at your local home improvement store. Not everyone knows how to use a plunger, but you’ve got this! 

Before You Hire A Plumber, Try To Clear The Drain Yourself

Four Basic Plunger Designs 

Cup Plungers:

If you want to know how to use a plunger, the cup plunger is a good place to start. Cup plungers are the unsung heroes of household maintenance! With their simple yet effective design, they tackle clogs in sinks, bathtubs, and other flat surfaces with ease. Just imagine a sturdy rubber cup sitting proudly at the end of a straight handle, ready to take on any challenge that comes its way.

What makes cup plungers so special is their versatility. Need to clear a stubborn blockage in your kitchen sink? No problem! Just grab your trusty cup plunger, position it over the drain, and give it a few vigorous plunges. Before you know it, water will be flowing freely once again, and you can return to your daily routine hassle-free.

Flange Plunger:

Flange plungers are the superheroes of bathroom emergencies! With their innovative design, they easily tackle toilet clogs, leaving you with a clear and functioning throne fit for royalty. Picture this: a sturdy rubber cup with a soft, flexible flap extending from its rim like a welcoming hand, ready to embrace even the most irregular toilet surfaces.

Their ability to form a perfect seal over the drain opening, regardless of its shape or size, sets flange plungers apart. That soft rubber flap? It’s like a magic wand, adapting effortlessly to the curves and contours of your toilet bowl, ensuring maximum suction power with every plunge.

Accordion plungers:

Accordion plungers, also affectionately known as bellows plungers, are the unsung heroes of bathroom maintenance! With their unique accordion-like design, they tackle toilet clogs with unparalleled efficiency, leaving you with a sparkling clean throne.

Imagine a plunger that’s not just a tool but a work of art. That’s the accordion plunger for you! Its rubber cup resembles the folds of an accordion, allowing it to compress and expand gracefully. But don’t let its delicate appearance fool you – this plunger means business when it comes to clearing clogs. When learning how to use a plunger, accordion plungers are a good place to start  

Household Plungers

Beehive Plunger:

Ah, the beehive plunger, a true gem in the world of plumbing! Picture this: a plunger that clears clogs with ease and adds a touch of whimsy to your cleaning routine. With its distinctive beehive-shaped design, this plunger is as eye-catching as it is effective.

Its unique shape, reminiscent of a bustling hive of busy bees, sets the beehive plunger apart. But don’t let its charming appearance fool you – this plunger means serious business when it comes to tackling stubborn clogs. Its specially designed-cup creates a powerful seal over the drain, allowing you to generate maximum suction with each pump.

The accordion and cup plungers are also designed for bathroom and kitchen sinks. They come equipped with smaller handles so the user can apply more force. Additionally, some have handles that allow for better grip.

Toilet Plunger

How to Use a Plunger by Big B’s Plumbing

Tackling a clogged sink with a plunger is simpler than you think, especially with the guidance from Big B’s Plumbing. Clearing that drain becomes a breeze with their expertise and your can-do attitude. So, don’t let a pesky clog slow you down – grab your plunger, follow these easy steps, and get back to enjoying a smoothly flowing sink in no time! With Big B’s Plumbing by your side, every plumbing challenge is just another opportunity to shine. Happy plunging!

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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