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How To Use A Plunger

how to use a plunger

Picture this: you’ve flushed your toilet, and to your horror, the water slowly rises, threatening to overflow. Or, you’re enjoying some time in the shower, only to notice that the water level has reached your ankles.

We understand the panic that happens when situations like this happen- your first instinct may be to grab the plunger immediately. However, contrary to popular belief, a plunger isn’t always an effective solution. Some are better suited for sinks and showers, while others are for toilets. Sometimes, you shouldn’t use a plunger at all. To learn the best plunger techniques, read about these tips and tricks recommended by the Southern Air team!

Select The Best Plunger

The first order of business is to select the proper plunger for whatever is clogged. There are three most common types: the cup, the flange and the accordion. We recommend purchasing at least two types, so you can use whichever is best suited for the occasion.

The Flange

The flange is primarily used for clogged toilets– it has a longer handle than the cup and has a small flap that extends downwards at the bottom half of the plunger. Plungers like this work best on toilets because they are designed to reach into a toilet drain, creating the necessary suction needed to clear a toilet clog.

The Cup

This is the standard plunger that comes to mind for most people. It has a rubber, cup-shaped head and is attached to a straight wooden handle. This is what gives it its name as a ‘cup plunger”. These are most effective on flat surfaces, such as sinks, showers, and bathtubs.

The Accordion

Accordion plungers are designed specifically for toilets, especially tough clogs. Similar to the flange, the bottom half has a smaller cup that extends out, while the top is shaped like an accordion. While it may have a bit of a learning curve at first, when used properly, accordion plungers create a tighter seal and stronger suction to unclog the drain line.

Plumbing Techniques

Although it might seem self-explanatory, there are proper plumbing techniques to follow when attempting to unclog something.

Plumbing Do’s

  • Do use natural ingredients as an alternative to drain clearers. Baking soda, vinegar and salt are recommended.
  • Do use a drain filter. These are especially beneficial for sinks and showers, which will catch materials that could wreak havoc on your pipes.
  • Do make sure you’re using the proper plunger for the right appliance, as mentioned above.
  • Do call a plumber if you need extra help! Sometimes professional service is necessary.

Plumbing Don’ts

  • Don’t use chemical drain clearers. Many times, these are filled with harsh chemicals that erode your pipes. They can also be harmful to you and your family.
  • Don’t use a plunger if you’ve poured a chemical unclogger into the drain. If the water splashes on you, it may cause a severe chemical burn.
  • Don’t use too much force when attempting to unclog something. A stubborn clog might make you want to resort to excessive force, but this could cause damage to drain line connections. If disrupted, this would cause even more issues.

Plumbing Repair

If you find yourself struggling with a clog, give Southern Air a call today! We have the plumbing repair and services you need in Leesville, Shreveport, Pineville or Alexandria, LA..

Plumbing Resources

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