I had a customer ask me a very good question today: Do you ever use a plunger? This may seem like a straight forward yes or no question but I actually have a two part answer with an explanation.
As a professional plumber I almost never use a plunger when I am at a job. Why? Let's face it, who wants to pay a typical service call fee to have me come to their home with a plunger. Besides, I have specialized equipment that can provide maintenance to the drain pipes while clearing a stoppage. When I run a snake the pipes get a good cleaning that can delay future stoppages. Also, the snake has a longer range than a plunger which will only work on localized clogs.
That said, as a homeowner my first course of action is to use a plunger. I know that unclogging a drain with a plunger can be relatively quick and easy. A plunger is usually fairly close at hand so I don't have to go pull out my heavy equipment unless it is absolutely necessary.
Most of the time a plunger works quite well. So don't be shy about trying to clear a stoppage with a plunger before you call a plumber.
* Need help choosing a plunger? Read about the different types of plungers.