A clogged drain can be a sure sign that you’re having septic issues. However, it could also mean that you need to take matters into your own hands. You may need to learn how to use a plunger at one point or another.

A plunger isn’t just meant to collect dust in the corner of your bathroom. Plungers are one of the easiest ways to solve a clogged toilet. And, they’re inexpensive.

Chances are you’ve used one before. But, there may be plunger information you didn’t know about. Take a look at the basic information about these simple and helpful tools.

How Do Plungers Work & How to Use a Plunger?

First off, there are two parts to a toilet plunger’s anatomy.

  1. The handle. The handle allows you to position the plunger and gain leverage for the act of plunging.
  2. The force cup. The force cup is the bowl-shaped end of the plunger. It comes in many different shapes and sizes, depending on your septic needs.

So, you have a clog in your toilet. What next? Do you even know how to use a plunger properly?

Creating a firm seal around the drain is the most crucial aspect of using a plunger. If you do this successfully, the plunger creates pressure within this seal in the sink basin or toilet bowl. Keeping the seal tight around the drain and force the air out by plunging downward. This action ensures that water moves both in and out of the pipe, successfully removing the clog.

So you know how to use a plunger. But, did you know that there are different types of plungers? Do you know if you have the right plunger for your drain’s needs?

How to Use a Plunger

What are the Different Plunger Styles?

You may have a central sewer system or a private septic system. This could mean differences in the system size, as well as the sizes of its pipes. You may want to explore the different types of plungers out there in the world.

Cup Style Plungers

You are probably most familiar with the cup style plunger. They have the classic dome-like rubber force cup. Working best on showers, sinks, and bathtubs, cup style plungers create a strong seal on flatter surfaces. Contrary to its popularity, the cup style plunger isn’t the best for toilet use.

Flange Styles Plungers

The flange style is designed for the toilet bowl because it has a funnel on its underside. This extension fits better to the shape of the porcelain throne. With this type of plunger, you’re able to get closer to the drain and form a better seal around it too for maximum plunging.

Accordion Style Plunger

You can tell from the name that this plunger has an accordion-like structure that extends the size of the force cup. It can generate quite a bit of pressure. However, the accordion style plunger can be harder to use. The accordion extension makes the plunger more rigid, and it requires more force. This can make it hard to maintain the seal around the drain.

Plunger Do’s and Don’ts

Even if you have used a plunger before, there are some things that you might want to review. Below is a list of Dos and Don’ts that could make your plunging experience more pleasant.

  1. Do not ever use a drain cleaner alongside a plunger. This chemical may be helpful with getting rid of pesky clogs but should not be part of the plunging process. The chemicals could splash onto you during mid-plunge and cause you skin irritations or injuries. Nobody wants to say they received their scars from a plunger mishap…unless it was used to fight off a bear. (Unfortunately, they don’t make a sword plunger…yet.)
  2. Don’t break the seal that you made with your initial plunge. This is what creates the suction that helps dislodge your drain’s blockage.
  3. Do keep towels or dishrags around on the floor when plunging. An emergency is hard to foresee. However, preparing for the mess made with a clogged toilet will help you in the cleanup process.
  4. Do wear gloves when working on your toilet.
  5. Don’t plunge when there’s enough water to overflow. Giving your toilet 5 to 10 minutes to drain will help you out in the long run.
  6. Do make sure to be prepared with the right plunger for you! Having the best plunger style for the job will make an annoying toilet issue much more comfortable on you.

Natural Agents to Unclog a Toilet

We never suggest harsh chemicals, many which are common in products guaranteeing to unclog your clogged toilet. But, what about natural remedies? When plunging just isn’t doing the trick and store-bought remedies are too harsh, look to natural remedies for a clogged toilet like boiling water, vinegar and dishwashing soap.

The type of plunger you have in your bathroom and knowing how to us a plunger properly can change how you deal with a clogged toilet. If the clog turns out to need more than a simple fix, give us a call at Advanced Septic at 352.242.6100.