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How to Plunge a Toilet
Did you know that you can use a toilet plunger to unclog a kitchen sink? It's true. Just make sure it's not the same one you use on your toilet. Here you will learn how to plunge a toilet as well as how to use a toilet plunger for other applications.
What Is a Toilet Plunger?
Though it's most commonly called a plunger, you might hear someone refer to it as a force cup, plumber's friend, or plumber's helper. It was invented in 1874 by John Hawley to clear drain clogs. It consists of a shaft and a suction (the mechanism that makes the magic happen) bell.
There are two different kinds of plungers, the cup, and the flange. Use the flat bottomed cup type to plunge flatter surfaces, like a sink, although it will work on a toilet, too. You need the flange for toilets and other applications with contours around the drain but you can probably make do with a cup if that's all you have.
How to Use a Toilet Plunger
It's really simple.
Cover the drain hole with the base/bell of the plunger.
Cup the hole to seal it. If you are working with a sink or another fixture that has an overflow, stick your thumb over it or stuff it with a wet rag. Air can pass through there and it will compromise your suction strength.
Then push down on the shaft, forcing the air out, and pump it up and down until the magic happens.
How to Plunge a Toilet
Start by getting the right type of plunger with an extended flange on the bottom. A flat cup might get the job done but it's inferior.
Use old towels to cover the floor around the toilet.
Remember that it's all about the seal. Position the plunger so that it tightly covers the drain hole.
Now plunge, forcefully moving the plunger up and down. It shouldn't take you more than 10 or 15 seconds to unclog it.
Pro tip: if you need a little extra suction power, try covering the sink and bathtub drains.
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