Plungers – What You Need To Know About Them

Perhaps the most valuable tool for dealing with home plumbing issues is the plunger. The plunger is sometimes called the “plumber’s helper” because it can easily cure many home plumbing crisis. It certainly isn’t glamorous, but it does come in handy when you have a clog.

Types of Plungers

Many people don’t realize that there are actually two types of plungers. There is the sink plunger and the toilet plunger. For obvious sanitary reasons, you may want to use each plunger exclusively for its intended purpose. A sink plunger has a shallow suction base than a toilet plunger. In a pinch, a sink plunger can be used on a toilet. It won’t work as well as a toilet plunger, though.

A toilet plunger has a deeper suction base with a cup area on the bottom that is designed to fit into a toilet. This design is great for use in toilets, because the cup area forms a great seal around the toilet drain. A toilet plunger won’t be of much use for a sink, though. The cup on the bottom gets in the way and prevents the plunger from sealing around a sink drain.

Fortunately, a plunger is an inexpensive tool, so you can easily keep both a toilet plunger and a sink plunger on hand.

How to Use a Plunger

If you encounter a toilet clog, get your plunger out. Place the suction cup at the base of the drain, and pump the handle up and down several times. This should clear the clog, and the water will empty from the toilet bowl.

There are just a couple things to remember when you are plunging a clog from a sink rather than a toilet. 

First of all, there must be water around the drain in order for the plunging to be effective. This helps to create a vacuum in the drain. 

Second, you must plug the overflow hole in the sink so that the plunger can form a seal and do its job. If you use a plunger on a sink without plugging the overflow hole, it won’t be very effective. That overflow hole has to be closed off so that the plunger can seal the drain. You can plug the overflow hole by stuffing a washcloth into it, or just sticking your finger in it. 

If you are plunging a double sink in a kitchen, both sides of the sink must be plugged before you can plunge it. You can use a washcloth here, too, or just put the sink stopper in the side that you aren’t plunging.

If plunging the drain doesn’t clear the clog, you can try using a chemical drain opener. These chemicals should be used sparingly, since they introduce some nasty toxins to the water system. One great option is to make your own natural drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar. Just pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, and then follow it with a cup of vinegar. The mixture will foam up and eat away at the clog. Once it stops foaming and bubbling, flush the drain with water.

If these steps don’t cure the clog, it is time to call a professional plumber for help. Contact Scott English Plumbing. 

We are available around the clock to deal with plumbing emergencies. We also provide routine services at fair, reasonable rates. When you need help with a clogged toilet or sink, call Scott English Plumbing.


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