No matter if it is a sink clogged in the bathroom, kitchen, or a toilet is misbehaving, reaching for the plunger is common practice to free the plumbing lines of obstructions and allow for proper drainage. As few people even realize, severe pipe damage, resulting in the need for professional assistance for expensive repairs can be caused by incorrect plunging techniques. Especially since many plunging techniques are not always correctly executed, people trying to emulate what they see isn’t always enough to ensure appropriate application. We at The Original $49.95 Plumber would like to share the dos and don’ts of plunging to ensure you are effectively plunging and to help you avoid more problems.
Pre-Plunging Dos & Don’ts
There are a few things that you should do first, and a few things you should simply avoid before you reach the plunger. Be sure to apply the dos and don’ts of pre-plunging.
Do – Assess the strainer and look for signs of soap scum buildup or hair that is developing the clog. To remove it, twist the stopper counterclockwise and pull it out. Make certain to twist the wire and pull up any debris clean the stopper and/or drainer well before re-asserting it back into the drain.
Do – Add a tablespoon of mild liquid dishwashing soap in a large pot of boiling water. To flush the drain, use the hot soapy water. This method is particularly exceptional for clogs near the garbage disposal, since grease could be clogging the drain passageways. As you pour the boiling soapy water down the drain, check to see if the clog was effectively removed.
Do – To treat the drain, use biodegradable drain cleaner, prior to plumbing. To free the obstructions, these enhanced drain cleaners may be enough, otherwise, it will contribute to freely dislodging the clog.
Don’t – Avoid using caustic chemicals to unclog the drains. Being that it will likely cause undo damage to your pipelines, the commercial chemical drain openers can be a potential hazard to you and your family.
Plunging; What to Do & Not Do
For your plunging technique, below are the dos don’ts.
Do – With a wet cloth, block the overflow drain and use the plunger as you position it over the drain and firmly plunge down and up several consecutive times. Lift the plunger upward and out on the last plunge with a little extra strength.
Do – Do use a plumber’s snake if plunging remains ineffective. After you meet resistance in the drain, you discovered the clog. Just continue to crank and rotate the auger to clear out the clog once you find the clog.
Don’t – Should you have opted to use chemical drain cleaner, never use the plunger. Skin can be chemically burned should splashes on your skin.
Don’t – To plunge the obstructions, avoid use excessive pressure and force. Potentially leading to damaged drain line connections and traps, avoid using too much pressure and excessive force.