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Video:How to Use a Plunger

with Debbie Anderson

If your sink or toilet tends to clog, then you should be become well acquainted with this helpful tool - the plunger. Learn how to choose and use plungers at home.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use a Plunger

Hi, I'm Debbie Anderson for About.com. If you have ever had a stopped up toilet, you are most likely familiar with the common household plunger, however, there a different types of plungers and each can be used for different purposes around the home. So today, I'm going to discuss the two most common types of plungers available on the market today and how to use them for common plumbing problems around the home.

Types of Plungers

First, there are two basic types of plungers, the sink plunger and the toilet plunger.

How to Use a Sink Plunger

A sink plunger, has a flat rim designed to fit over a sink drain, bathtub or shower drain, or similar drain openings so that it can form a seal while plunging.

To use the sink plunger, first cover the overflow hole in the sink or bathtub with a wet cloth before plunging. Seal the base of the sink plunger around the opening of the drain and apply various amounts of pressure up and down on the handle to loosen the clog buildup in the drain pipe. Lift the plunger from the drain and allow the remaining water to flow down the drain.

How to Use a Toilet Plunger

Alternatively, the toilet plunger has a flange and is designed to fit into the bottom of a flush toilet bowl, so the flange enters into the toilet bowls exit pipe to form a tight seal.

To use a toilet plunger, after making sure the flange of the toilet plunger is securely sealed around the exit pipe in the bottom of the toilet bowl, apply various amounts of pressure up and down on the handle of the plunger to loosen the clog buildup in the toilet exit pipe. Once the clog has become unstuck, flush the toilet to ensure that the exit pipe flow has been restored successfully.

Buying a Plunger

And if you are looking for the most cost-effective way to go when deciding which plunger to purchase, note that on the toilet plunger, the flange of the toilet plunger can be flipped up inside the plunger in order to use it as a sink plunger too.

With these few simple tips, you are sure to have the right plunger for the job the next time you find your sink, shower, or toilet pipes clogged.

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