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We all love our indoor plumbing. It is a comfort that we just could not imagine living without. When the flow is interrupted by an unexpected clog, it can feel like an instant emergency and cause panic to set in. Not to worry, most clogs can be cleared with a trusty plunger.

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Plungers come in many sizes so they can fit effectively over the drain, so try to choose a plunger that is just slightly larger than the drain. Typically, there are two styles used. A standard plunger has a simple round cup that looks like a half sphere. A flange plunger has an extension that makes it more effective for toilets. Some have both features with the flange folded inside the cup.

Whether you are dealing with a toilet of a sink, the water level is important. Too much standing water and your plunging motion can cause splashes of water on the floor outside the toilet. Too little water can cause an ineffective seal around the drain. To get a proper seal, you may have to add or remove standing water. Wear gloves and use a cup or bucket. Before plunging, make sure the rim of the plunger is making contact all the way around the drain.

The job has a better chance for success when you use the flange type plunger. It allows you to provide a better “push” of water into the clog. Even though most clogs are slow drainers (only partially clogged and allows the water level to slowly go down in the bowl), make sure your FIRST PLUNGE is a gentle one. A hard thrust can force the air back around the seal and blow water out of the bowl. As you continue to push, water will move in both directions. Be patient and continue plunging. Keep the water level up for a good seal.

Take care of your drain line. Do not overload your disposal with heavy loads of meat, pasta or potatoes. Run plenty of cold water down the drain and put small doses of food particles down the drain so the disposal can effectively flow the particles through the piping system. Never dump coffee grounds or bacon grease down your drain. Use the standard round plunger.

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