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How to use your sink plunger effectively

| Michael Quinn

A photo of a sink plunger
A photo of a sink plunger

The shower drain is blocked! Oh my goodness - it can't be full of hair again surely 🤢 - can it!? 

It doesn't seem to matter how much you pull from your head when you wash it and ball up for the bin, over time there still seems to be enough to home a small gerbil when you finally get round to pulling it from the plughole! BUT are you sure you got it all the last time?

Interestingly, I read an article recently that advised using a plunger to clear a blocked shower drain but I soon realised they were advising the 'how to' ineffectively.

The sink plunger works with a 'pull and push' motion. Given that an airtight seal around the plughole is not always possible to achieve it makes sense that all the pushing and pulling you might do may not have the desired effect with just air. If you simply pick your moment to do said plunging then you will have much better results. 

Rather than wait until the water has managed to seep past the blockage, use it to your advantage. If the rubber cup of the sink plunger is immersed in water you will be pushing and pulling water through the drain rather than air. This will then give you the force needed to clear the blockage. If the water isn't deep enough to cover the rubber cup – add water till it is, it will be much more effective. 

This is a picture of my shower drain
This is a picture of my shower/ bath drain.

As you plunge down you are pushing the flow of water down the drain. As you pull the plunger up, the seal on the base of the bath or plug surround is causing the water to be pulled back. This push and pull action of the water is what will release the blockage in your drain. If you think it's not working, then lift the plunger up and allow more water under it each time you plunge down because some of the water may be getting pushed past the blockage and you actually want to be able to pull it back and forth to release the mass. The unwanted blockage will gradually work its way back up to you through the plughole – at which point you can throw it in the bin. 🤢 Yes we know it's GOPPING but it is necessary to keep the flow of water in your drains (maybe wear rubber gloves for this bit eh).

It's quite an eye-opener really, of just how much actually gets down our drains without us realising. Our engineers could tell you a story or two about things they have found down drains for sure 😟.

If curiosity gets the better of you that list of stuff found down drains can be found in our blog entitled '50 items you should never put down the drain and why.'

Anyway now you know how to stay on top of the flow of your shower drain with a simple plunger and no chemicals whatsoever. So you can keep doing your bit for your drainage flow AND the environment. 

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