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How to Properly Use a Plunger for Toilets and Sinks


We have inevitably all experienced it before, the day at the office or out on the truck that simply will not end. You cannot help but count down the minutes until you are finally free and on your way home. Once you are back in the comfort and solitude of your own private palace, you just want that feeling of relaxation, seated on your porcelain throne. Then it happens. You go to flush or pull the plug from the tub drain and come face to face with yet another headache: a bathroom clog.

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You remain resolute and think of how you can rid yourself of this headache, without sacrificing your entire evening. Having seen, and likely wielded one before, you reach for your plunger to solve your problem. Before you plunge away, did you know that there is a proper way to handle your plunger? Here at Hutchinson, we know everything you could possibly want to know about plungers and plumbing.

By heeding some of our advice on plunging, you will be able to remove any clog in your bathroom sink, toilet, or tub without overly straining or stressing yourself.

1. Acquire the proper plunger for the job ahead of you. Much like toilet seats or cups of coffee, not all plungers were created equally. Out in the world of plumbing, you’ll find two main types of plungers, the cup and the flange. When you are removing a clog from your sink, bathtub, or shower, the cup is ideal. Because of its extended rubber lip, the flange is more suited for toilets. The savvy homeowner will own both types of plungers in case of emergencies.

2. Maintain the durability of your personal plunger. If your plunger is wearing down, the utility of the tool only decreases. Cracks or tears in the rubber of the plunger will impede a proper vacuum seal, limiting the amount of pressure needed to clear your clog.

3. When plunging, refrain from any cleaning chemicals. When you encounter a clog for the ages, you may be tempted to pour every chemical on hand to aid you in vanquishing it. Be forewarned: all of that plunging can easily cause those chemicals to splash up and reach your skin and clothing, causing burns or even blindness.

4. Minimize the amount of water. As a general rule, you should try to drain any excessive amount of water in your sink, toilet, or bathtub before proceeding with your plunging. With the cup of your plunger partially submerged, you can create a more reliable vacuum seal.

5. Up and down, not left or right. Always remember, while plumbing, to keep the plunger handle perpendicular to the base of the drain that you are unclogging. You want to create as much force and pressure as necessary to dislodge and banish this demon of a clog.

Throughout the effort of plunging, remember that materials like paper, hair, and food may require more than one proper plunge before they release. If, after all your efforts, you are still stuck with a clog, our plumbing professionals here at Hutchinson will be more than happy to rescue you from your temporary plumbing misfortune.