A plunger (also called a force cup) is a plumbing tool that utilizes water and air pressure to clear drain clogs. Plungers will typically have a wooden handle on one end, and a rubber cup on the other end. Plungers are essential in every home due to how useful they are with unclogging toilets.
How do plungers work?
Plungers work with the use of manual pushing and pulling. When you push the plunger over the drain, you are pushing air into the drain. This increases the overall atmospheric pressure on the clog in the pipe. If the pressure is large enough, the clog will be dislodged. The pushing of the plunger also creates a vacuum, which allows you to pull the plunger. The vacuum that was created would then force anything inside the pipe to be forced in the direction of the pull. The continuous pushing and pulling of the plunger will loosen the clog, allowing the drains to work properly again.
What are the different types of plungers?
There are 4 types of plungers:
- Sink Plunger – These are the most basic type of plunger, and made specifically for hard flat surfaces, like a sink. Sink plungers can be used for toilets, but they won’t be as effective. Sink plungers will typically have a wooden handle, and a simple rubber cup.
- Toilet Plunger / Flange Plunger – These plungers are designed for toilets, and look similar to the sink plungers with the exception of an additional flange that allows for better suction. These plungers can be used on sinks as well.
- Accordion Plunger – These plungers are shaped like accordions, and can ply quite a bit of pressure due to the design. That being said they are difficult to use due to how challenging it is to create a vacuum seal.
- Taze Plunger – Taze plungers consist of a disc and a steel rod, and are used to clear large pipes. These plungers are not common, and were designed to be used by professionals.
Are plungers bad for toilets?
Plungers can be bad for toilets if used incorrectly. If you push too hard on the plunger, you can actually break the wax seal that is between the toilet and the floor. Breaking the wax seal will cause a leak to occur, and you’ll need to hire a plumber to fix the damages. If you are too aggressive with the plunging, you can crack the bowl of the toilet.
Can I use a plunger on a sink?
Yes, you can use a plunger on a sink. Be sure to have separate plungers for your sink and toilet to avoid any issues with contamination.
Can plungers go bad?
As time goes on, plungers can become less effective. If your plunger becomes less effective, simply replace the old one with a new one.
Can I use a plunger on my bathtub?
Yes, you can use your plunger on your bathtub drain. All drains have a similar construction, and that includes bathtub drains and sinks.