Clearing Drains With A Plunger

For many of us, the first thing we do when we have a clogged drain is reach for the plunger.  A plunger is an effective tool for clearing a drain but many times fails if used incorrectly.  Don’t think that 4 or 5 plunges is going to fix your clogged drain.  Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your plunger.

  1. Your plunger should have a suction cup large enough to completely cover the drain opening.
  2. Make sure there is enough water in the fixture to cover the entire plunger cup.
  3. TRICK: Apply petroleum jelly to the rim on the bottom of the plunger cup.  This ensures a tight seal.
  4. Make sure all other outlets (overflow drain – bathroom sink; second drain – kitchen sink) are plugged with wet rags.  This will create a vacuum.
  5. Insert the plunger into the water at an angle so that no air gets trapped in it
  6. Hold the plunger upright and apply 15 – 20 vigorous strokes.
  7. NOTE: Clogs are most often dislodged on the upstroke
  8. Apply the plunging strokes 2 – 3 times before throwing in the towel.  If the clog doesn’t dislodge after 2 – 3 times, it’s time to use either clear the drain with a chemical cleaner or clear the drain with a plumber’s snake.