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.
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.
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!