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How to Use a Plunger

The plunger is a common household item and is seemingly a very straight-forward piece of plumbing technology, but there is more to this tool than you might think! Let’s learn how to properly use a plunger and go over the basic Dos and Don’ts of plunging:

How to Use a Plunger

The Proper Way to Plunge

  1. Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from dirt and bacteria.
  2. Cover and securely seal the overflow drain with a wet cloth.
  3. Make your first pump of the plunger a gentle one. Using too much force at the start can cause water to be expelled out of your toilet, sink, or tub.
  4. Pump the plunger with steady force in 5-10 pump intervals.
  5. After each interval, remove the plunger and examine the drain. Repeat the plunging intervals until the water begins to drain.

Plunging DOs and DON’Ts

DO: Position the plunger’s mouth directly over your drain and keep it securely in place while plunging.
DON’T: Use a plunger if you poured any chemicals down the drain. Though the plunger may be positioned to cover the entire drain opening, chemicals can still splash out of the drain and onto your skin.

DO: Use moderate force when plunging a clog.
DON’T: Use excessive force, as this can lessen the effectiveness of the plunger and create a mess in your bathroom or kitchen.

DO: Examine the stopper or strainer before plunging.
DON’T: Use the plunger on drains that have soap scum or hair built up on the stopper. Manually removing the buildup by hand or using a drain snake is a more effective option.

DO: Try flushing the clog with a pot of boiling water (adding a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid can help as well).
DON’T: Use harsh or dangerous chemicals to treat the clog. These products can harm your pipes, as well as the person plunging or coming in contact with the chemicals.

When should I call in the professionals?

A plunger is a very useful tool to have in your home, but it won’t solve every plumbing issue that can occur. If plunging with moderate force does not seem to help or solve the problem, or you find yourself plunging a sink, toilet, or tub very frequently, it’s time to call a professional plumbing company.

Michael Runk Plumbing & Heating is a professional plumber in Eldersburg, Maryland. We proudly offer plumbing services to thousands of customers throughout the state, and are available 24/7 to help with any of your plunging and plumbing needs. Contact us today!

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"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

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