A Bit About Plungers

Everyone knows what a plunger is. They are handy tools used to clear out drains and toilets. The may seem simple enough to use, but there are some things that many people may not know about them.

Plungers move water, not air.

Many people think plungers are supposed to move air, but they were really designed to move water. When clearing out a drain, there may not be any water around it. If there isn’t, try adding some water to the area – enough so that it stands for a few seconds of plunging.

When clearing a toilet, make sure there is enough liquid in the bowl for plunging but not so much that a tidal wave bursts out of the towl while plunging. Do not flush a blocked toilet to add more water. Fill a container with water and then dump it into the bowl.

Always block overflow drains.

Be sure to block overflow drains when clearing out a clog. Otherwise the plunger will be useless. On sinks, these are usually inside a lip of the sink. On tubs, they are typically behind a metal plate with a stopper lever. Use a wet rag or washcloth to stuff it, effectively blocking any outlet for water. Make sure the cloth is large enough so that it won’t fall into the drain – then you’ll just have another clog on your hands.

Take it easy.

You don’t have to put too much force into a good plunge. Go slowly, swishing it back and forth to improve your chances of plunging success. Make sure to get a tight seal between the plunger and the object your using it on and work the plunger both up and down several times, for a few seconds per each attempt. Between plunging sessions, check to see if you need to add any more water.


You didn’t think we could write a whole blog entry about plungers, did you? Well, we did, and we hope you keep our advice in mind next time you need to use one!

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