So, you’ve found yourself with a clogged toilet, sink, bath or shower – one of the most common household disasters! Not to worry, in this blog post we’ll be going over how to use a plunger, with simple instructions so you can get your bathroom or kitchen sink back in use in no time at all.
1. Add or remove water
In instances with a sink or tub, the first thing you need to do is fill the basin that’s blocked with water. To create a vacuum that will help the plunger to unblock the sink or toilet, you’re going to need enough water to fully submerge the plunger, or in instances where the basin is clearly still draining, add a bit more to compensate for any water that might still be lost.
If a blocked toilet is the issue, you’ll need to remove water first. It’s best to do this with a bucket, removing about half the water so you’ve got enough to create a good amount of suction. If the toilet bowl is empty, simply fill it halfway with water from the bathroom tap.
2. Plug any holes or drains
If you’re dealing with a blocked sink or bath, it’s likely there will be an overflow hole. To prepare for plunging, block this hole using an old rag. It’s important to completely block it, otherwise, this hole will allow air to enter the pipes, meaning you won’t be able to create suction with the plunger.
It’s also important to block any drains. This doesn’t just apply to the sink, tub or toilet you’re unblocking, but to all nearby drains. Due to the fact that all plumbing in your house is connected to the same system, you need to ensure that air isn’t able to get in anywhere.
3. Make sure you’ve got the right plunger
There are two different types of plunger, both of which it is useful to have in your house in the case of an emergency. For a toilet, it’s best to use a flange plunger, but for sinks, showers and baths, you’re better off using a plain cup plunger.
4. Ensure the plunger is fully submerged
Place the plunger into the bowl or basin and make sure it is fully covered by the water.
5. Get rid of any air from the plunger
This is a process known as ‘burping’. Whilst in the water, tip the plunger to one side and plunge a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles. It’s important to do this or you won’t be able to achieve the suction necessary to unclog the pipes.
6. Position and plunge
Get your plunger into position, ensuring it is level with the bottom of the sink, basin or bowl. Once you’ve positioned the plunger vertically over the drain hole, or in the case of a toilet, inserted the flange into the opening, begin plunging using a vertical motion. Do this by applying even pressure onto the handle with both hands, then pull up and push down for around twenty seconds.
7. Release and clear
After plunging, release the plunger and, wearing gloves, quickly clear any debris from the toilet, basin or tub before it can be drained back down again. If necessary, repeat all previous steps until you are sure the clog has been cleared. Next, rinse the toilet, sink, tub or shower by flushing or running water through, ensuring that no water comes back up. When you’re finished, clean your plunger and leave to dry.
Blockages in any plumbing system will be caused by a build-up of debris within the pipes. Although this may sound worrying, using a plunger is a simple fix – so there’s no need to call out a plumber unless you’ve tried a few times and nothing seems to be working. If you do find yourself in this scenario, don’t panic, just enlist the services of a fast, reliable emergency plumber. Sydney Emergency Plumbing are in operation 24 hours a day, 7 hours a week, so you can always rely on us to get you out of any sticky plumbing situation. Give us a call on 1800 862 565 for more information about the services we offer. We’ll give you a reliable quote up front and offer affordable prices with generous discounts for pensioners.