Plumbing 101: How to Use a Plunger

Mac Plumbing would love for you to call us if you need a plumber, but there’s one thing you can do yourself until we get there. 

First, there are two types of plungers

  1. The Cup
    • This type of plunger is good for flat surface drains like the sink or bathtub.
  2. The Flange
    • Good to use for clogged toilets. This type has an extra ring of rubber (the flange) around the cup.
    • The flange is inserted into the toilet drain, sealing in the air and increasing the suction pressure.
    • You can fold back the rubber ring to use as a cup plunger too.

Tips for plunging a toilet

  • Make sure the first plunge is a gentle one. A hard thrust will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom… and you!
  • Once you force out the air, plunge vigorously in and out while maintaining the seal. You’ll be forcing water in both directions in the drain which will effectively loosen most clogs.
  • Be patient. Try alternating between steady strokes and occasional monster heaves.
  • Keep enough water in the bowl so the toilet plunger stays covered.

Most of the time, plunging is all it takes to clear the clog. But for tougher clogs, that’s when you’ll need to call Mac Plumbing.

Here are some other unclogging tips:

  • Avoid using chemicals like Draino® and Liquid Plumr®
    • These use caustic chemicals that can harm your pipes.
    • Sometimes they work, but if they don’t you’ll have a drain full of corrosive water on your hands.
  • Keep you toilet lid closed
    • This is especially true if you have small children who love to throw toys down the toilet.
  • Don’t pour hardening compounds down the toilet
    • These include drywall joint compound, grease, caulk and wax products.

Be prepared with a check-up from Mac Plumbing and if you do find yourself with plumbing problems, be sure to contact Mac Plumbing here or call us at (931) 552-5555.