How to clear blocked drains and blocked toilets using a plunger

There’s nothing more embarrassing then going to the toilet, just to find that it won’t flush because of a blockage. It's an issue that you want fixed fast. There are a number of options on the market - you could try drain cleaning chemicals from the supermarket, you can call a licensed plumber (1800 22 555 22) or you can give it a crack yourself using a plunger. 

Plungers are cheap and readily available from hardware stores. Whether a plunger will work to unblock a drain depends entirely on the type and severity of the blockage at hand. If you think it’s minor, purchasing a plunger is a great first step. Plungers have the added benefit of being chemical free, so they are better for everyone’s health and the environment.

Like drain cleaning products, there are things you should consider when using a plunger to clear a blocked drain or blocked toilet:

Don't use a plunger in conjunction with chemicals: Drain cleaning products that can be purchased at the supermarket are made with strong chemicals and they need to be treated with care. This means using gloves and other protective gear. If you start plunging while there are chemicals in the drain, you risk spraying the substance onto your skin and around your home.

You get what you pay for: Plungers are cheap in general, but there is still a difference in terms of quality. Not all plungers are created equal, and it’s worth spending a few extra dollars on a better quality plunger.

Choose the right plunger for the job: A cup plunger is effective for sinks, bathtubs and showers, but you will need to invest in a flange plunger (aka toilet plunger) for blocked toilets. These have a wider lip which provides a better seal when used on blocked toilets. It's always best to have one of each type in the home, and make sure they are both clearly labelled for hygiene purposes. 

There's a risk of making the blocked drain worse: Minor blockages can be cleared with a few forceful movements of the plunger. In some situations, however, using a plunger can make the situation worse by lodging the blockage further down the line. 

Things can get messy: When you’re dealing with a blocked toilet, the bowl may already be filled with water, toilet paper and faecal matter. Make sure you wear gloves and old clothes. If you don't have the stomach for messy situations, consider calling in the professionals at JAB Plumbing on 1800 22 555 22.

How to fix a blocked drain using a plunger:

  1. Choose the correct plunger for the type of blockage at hand.
  2. Use a bucket or syphon to remove some of the excess water in the blockage area.
  3. Let some air out of the plunger so the cup isn’t completely full of air. Too much air in the plunger means the blockage won’t receive as much force each time you plunge, because unlike water, air is compressible.
  4. Completely cover the blocked drain opening with the plunger head. You can also add some petroleum jelly on the rim of the cup to get a tighter seal.
  5. Push down with quick forceful movements. This pushes pressure down the drain towards the blockage.
  6. Final tip: Don't focus purely on the pushing technique. Pulling the plunger up with force each time you plunge is just as important and will increase your chances of unblocking the drain. 

Call a licensed plumber Sydney

If you’re not having any luck with the plunger, consider calling a licensed plumber Sydney to fix the problem for you. Some blockages are more stubborn than others and require special equipment to be cleared. The Sydney plumbers at JAB Plumbing Solutions have the technology and expertise to find the problem and fix it quickly. 

JAB Plumbing Solutions offer professional and friendly service and all our work is guaranteed. Our fleet are equipped with jet blasters, CCTV drain cameras and pipe location equipment so you can rest assured that even the toughest blocked drain or blocked toilet will be fixed in no time. We also offer a clean up service to ensure minimal damager and disruption to your home or business.