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How to Properly Use a Plunger

Every house should have a good toilet plunger.  And I emphasize good because there are cheap plungers for $4 – $5 that are absolutely worthless.  A good plunger will cost between $10 and $20 dollars and these normally do a good job of clearing toilet clogs.

On a cheap plunger, the rubber on the flange is very flimsy and have a tendency to roll over when working the plunger.  Each time this happens it splashes unwelcome water onto the floor and possibly on the person working the plunger.  Not much fun!

On a good plunger, the rubber flange is much more sturdy, and the chances of creating an unwanted mess are greatly reduced.  Also be sure to use a plunger with a funnel-cup.  This is a rounded piece on the bottom of the plunger’s cup.  This funnel-cup helps in making a better seal around the bottom of the toilet bowl where the opening is located.



To use the plunger try to get the best seal possible on bottom of the toilet bowl, then work the wooden plunger handle up and down.  This creates a pressure wave on the down-stroke, and a suction effect on the up-stroke.  This increase and decrease in pressure is what loosens the clog and gets the toilet draining again.

Sometimes it takes just a couple of up and down motions to clear a clog, and other times it can take some effort. 

On a particularly tough clog, try to remove as much air from the plunger cup as possible before starting the up and down motion.  This creates more force since a liquid can not be compressed, and air can be. 

So there you have it.  The plunger may not be the glamorous tool around the house, but when you need it, you’ll be very glad you have one.