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How to Properly Use a Plunger for a Clogged Drain

We have become so accustomed to indoor plumbing that a problem with a drain or a toilet is an immediate emergency. Sometimes, it is necessary to call a Houston plumber to handle the situation. However, if the problem is minor, you can probably take care of it yourself.

If your sink or commode is clogged, your best ally is a good plunger. Avoid using lye-based remedies because they can melt plastic parts and might even burn you if you get splashed while you are attempting to clear the clog. You could end up making the problem worse and requiring a Houston toilet repair.

Loosening a clog is easy if you use the right technique. The first step is to make sure that you have the proper plunger and know how to use it.

Drains vary in size, and so do plungers. For the best result, you need a plunger that is neither too small nor too large. If it is too small, it will not create enough suction to have any effect. If it is too big, it will not fit securely around the drain. The plunger you use should have a cup that is just a little bit larger than the drain you need to clear.

There are two types of plungers. A standard plunger has a cup that looks like half of a sphere. This kind is best for drains in sinks or bathtubs.

A flanged plunger has an extended force cup that gives it more power. It is best suited for plugged toilets where extra torque is required. It is also shaped correctly for plunging toilets because your toilet is curved. A standard plunger will bend and will not create a tight vacuum on a commode. That reduces the suction and will probably not repair a clogged toilet. A flanged plunger immediately creates a vacuum when you insert it into the toilet. Plus, the cup is larger which will provide more suction.

Before you begin plunging, use a cup or small bucket to bail out any excess standing water. Otherwise, the water will splash out of the sink or toilet while you are trying to remove the clog. Do not remove all the water. Leave enough to completely cover the plunger’s cup. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.

Since all the pipes are interconnected, you should plug the nearby drains before you start plunging. Your plunger will create more suction this way. Put a stopper in the bathtub or any nearby sinks. If you need to improvise a stopper, use a wet washcloth.

A little-known trick that plumbers use before they begin plunging is to rub a little petroleum jelly on the plunger’s rim or flange. The rim needs to be in contact all the way around the drain. The handle should be perpendicular to the drain.

Plunging a toilet or sink is not as difficult as a Houston water heater repair, but there is a proper method to maximize your results. Put the plunger in the toilet bowl and create a seal. Push straight down until the cup is totally compressed. Do not push too hard because you could break the seal between the toilet and your floor. Then, jerk the handle back quickly. If this does not work right away, do it a few times. Remember that you are trying to move the clog, not force it down the drain. By moving it, you will break it apart, and it will be able to flow down the drain on its own. If the clog does not clear in a few tries, you should call in a professional plumber.

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