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How does a power plunger work?

Shop for Plungers

Blast air creates waves which are forced against the blockage A power plunger works by sending a powerful blast of air pressure down through the pipework.
Water is forced downwards, breaking up the blockage and forcing it down the drain This blast of pressurised water is forced against the blockage, resulting in it being either broken up or moving down the pipe and becoming dislodged.

How is the air pressurised?

Pump body, handle pulls out to draw air in The air is pressurised by the pump drawing air into the cylinder.
Air is drawn in to the cylinder and handle is drawn out of the body When the handle of the pump is drawn back out of the pump body, it draws air into the cylinder.
Pump the pump 3 times in quick succession to make air tight

How many pumps are needed?

The plunger will need to be made airtight (stopping air escaping). This is done by pumping the handle 3 times in quick succession.

The power plunger should then be pumped again 3-4 times The power plunger will then need to be pumped a further three to four times to generate sufficient air pressure in the cylinder (for delicate pipework, fewer pumps may be needed, to create less pressure).

It can be easier to pump the power plunger if you hold the pump handle in-between your feet and pump the body up and down.

Delicate pipe work will require less pressure, so fewer pumps are needed Between 3-8 pumps is considered the normal working range. For delicate pipework, consider using between 2-4 pumps, to avoid damage to the pipework.
Air is drawn in to the air chamber The air is drawn up in to the cylinder through the cup washer.
Non-return valve, holds the air in the cylinder It is held in the cylinder by a non return valve
A non-return valve is a valve which allows air to flow in to the cylinder, but has a rubber diaphragm in place to stop the air flowing back out again. When the trigger is pulled, it opens the valve to release the built up air pressure in the cylinder.
Release for the non-return valve, trigger The air is held in the cylinder until the trigger is released. The greater the volume of air drawn into the cylinder, the higher the pressure will be.

What is pressurised air?

  Air is pressurised when it is held under a greater pressure than the pressure of the atmosphere.
Pressurised air is air held under a greater pressure than that of the atmosphere The environment the air is held in (e.g. the cylinder) does not change, but the volume of air within the container can change.

How does this unblock the drain?

Pull the trigger to release the air pressure When the trigger is pulled, the pressurised air is released.
Pressure release valve, trigger The trigger releases the pressure release valve via the differential valve.
Air is forced down the drain to break up the blockage When the pressurised air is released from the plunger, it compresses on impact with the water in the pipe, causing the water to pressurise and move against the blockage to break it up and move it down the pipework.
The force of the air against the blockage breaks it up This force will either break up the blockage or free it so it can travel down the drain.
If the blockage has been building up over time, and is not as simple as a recently dropped mobile phone down the toilet, it may require more power to move.