If we played a simple word association game with 100 random homeowners, chances are a fair number would immediately think of the word “plunger” when prompted with anything to do with home plumbing. The plunger is perhaps the single most recognized plumbing or household tool out there, with several important uses within your plumbing system.
At Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, we’ll help you with a variety of home plumbing tools you may need to use from time to time, including the plunger. Did you realize, though, that many homes should actually have more than one plunger type? Whether for toilet issues, sink clogs or drain problems, there might be a few different things you need these plunger types for. Let’s look at the three most common types.
Interestingly, there’s a common mistake that we often see when it comes to plungers: Many homeowners confuse the flange plunger, which is meant for the toilet, with the cup plunger, which generally isn’t. The cup plunger is the simplest type of plunger, likely the one you thought of first when you began reading this post – we’ll go over it in a moment, but when it comes to toilet issues, it’s not the way to go.
The flange plunger, on the other hand, is meant for toilets. It comes with an extra rubber flap that folds out from inside the cup, a flap that helps create seals on non-flat surfaces like a toilet bowl. This helps create a vacuum effect with the air, which can pull out clogs deep in the toilet’s drain system.
The average cup plunger comes with a basic wooden handle and a simple, single cup around the outside. As we noted above, many people use this plunger for the toilet – this is not its optimal use, and not the best choice for the toilet.
Cup plungers do extremely well, however, on flat surfaces such as sinks, tubs or other basic drains. If your shower drain clogs with hair, the cup plunger is often your first tool to help unclog it.
For those who want to be even more prepared, the accordion plunger is an amped-up version of the flange plunger. It comes with a thick body shaped somewhat like an accordion, hence the name – this plastic piece is connected to a ribbed grip with great hold. The accordion plunger is able to create a similarly strong vacuum effect to a flange plunger, only with the ability to place far more pressure on clogs during the actual plunging process. You’ll often see accordion plungers in residential areas with shared bathrooms, or in business offices or other commercial areas.
For more on the different kinds of plungers out there, or to learn about any of our plumbing services, speak to the pros at Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.