Why Won’t My Plunger Work?
Do you have a stubborn clog that just won’t clear? Trust Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. to handle your clogs by calling (847) 268-3553 today!
We all know the frustration of staring at a clogged kitchen sink when you have a load of dishes. We’ve felt the wave of panic as the toilet water level rises relentlessly toward the rim.
If you’ve tackled these problems with a plunger, you know the clogs sometimes stay put no matter how vigorously you plunge your clogged toilet or drain.
You might be wondering, “Why won’t my plunger work?” Before you call a professional, try these tips from Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co., the best plumbing contractor in St. Charles, IL.
If you’re in our service area and these tips are not enough, call the team at Advantage Plumbing, and we will clear out your sink or get your toilet flushing again.
#1: You Need a Tighter Seal
A plunger works by changing the pressure within the pipe. When you pull back on the plunger, you reduce the pressure within the pipe, and when you push on the plunger, you increase the pressure.
The rapid increase and decrease in pressure loosen obstructions in the trap, the curved length of pipe that leads to the sewer line.
The plunger requires a tight seal with the area around the drain. Without that seal, plunging moves water around but does not generate the suction it relies upon for its clog-fighting power.
If you have trouble getting a good seal, apply petroleum jelly to the edge of the plunger.
#2: You Need a Different Type of Plunger
One answer to the question “Why won’t my plunger work” is that you need to buy a different one.
If you imagine a plunger, you probably think of a handle with a dome-shaped piece of rubber on the end. This type of plunger is a cup plunger. These plungers are well-suited for removing clogs in sinks with flat surfaces. However, if you try to use them on a toilet bowl, the cup shape will not form a good seal.
Instead, use a flange plunger. Its tapered shape fits the contour of the toilet bowl, allowing it to fit securely against the bowl while you plunge.
#3: Your Plunger Is Broken
Check the plunger for any holes, cracks, or chips that could prevent the plunger from achieving a tight seal. You might be able to repair a damaged plunger with waterproof tape, but it is better to buy a new plunger and try plunging the drain again.
#4: You Have To Loosen the Clog Up First
Tough clogs can resist your efforts to remove them with the plunger. If the toilet stays clogged after repeated attempts to plunge it, you might get traction by attacking the clog.
Avoid using harsh commercial drain cleaners because they can corrode the pipes and lead to leaks or burst pipes. If you used harsh drain cleaners, do not plunge the clog because you could splash yourself with caustic drain-cleaning compounds.
Instead, use gentler methods. Some companies sell biodegradable drain cleaners that are not corrosive or toxic. Consider using these cleaners or the following home remedies before trying to plunge the leak again.
As you would when you wash your dishes, carefully pour hot water down the drain to remove stuck-on dirt, waste, tissues, and pieces of food from the sides of the drain.
Adding a bit of dish soap to the water that backed up in the drain, together with hot water, breaks down oily or fatty clogs.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
The perennial favorite of science fair volcanos, the mixture of baking soda and vinegar leads to a chemical reaction that gently loosens clogs.
#5: You Need to Improve Your Plunging Technique
Plug up the overflow hole in your sink basin and any nearby kitchen or toilet drains to increase the effectiveness of the plunger.
Raise the water level so that it covers the plunger cup.
Plunge with firm up and down motions, but not so vigorously that you risk damage to the plumbing system.
When you remove the plunger, do so with one swift movement to generate one final burst of motion.
#6: You Need More Than a Plunger
Sometimes a plunger is not enough to clear a clog. There are several reasons why your toilet or sink might still not drain, no matter how much you plunge.
- The clog might adhere too firmly to the drain to remove by plunging without damaging the pipes.
- A solid obstruction might block the drain.
- There might be a clog in the main drain line, further along than the toilet or sink drain.
You might be able to remove the clog using a snake, but without knowing where the clog is or what the clog consists of, it is difficult to say definitively where the clog might be. It is better to consult a professional plumber to avoid damaging your pipes.
Professional Clog Removal
A professional plumber can answer the question, “Why won’t my plunger work?” The plumbing technician will track down the source of the clog and might use a drain snake to break up clogs and remove them.
In cases of severe obstructions, the technician might have to remove and replace a damaged section of pipe. The technician might inspect with a camera if the clog is further down in the drain line or main sewer line,
When Your Plunger Fails, Call Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co.
Sometimes you need a professional inspection of your plumbing system. When you do, don’t just ask, “Why won’t my plunger work?”
Count on Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. in St. Charles, IL. Call us any time for emergency service, and check our website for coupons to save on service calls.
We’re ready to help you unclog drains, fix leaks, and repair damage to your plumbing system. We look forward to helping you with all your plumbing repair and renovation and can inform you of things to consider before a repiping project. Contact us at (847) 268-3553 to schedule a plumbing service call.