Are you using the right plunger?

If you have a large, busy household like many families in Harford County, you’ve most likely heard the frantic call to stop a clogged toilet from overflowing. Hopefully you were successful, but if not it may be because you don’t have the right kind of plunger. While we love to help with plumbing problems and should always take a look at clogged toilets, it’s important for homeowners to know which plunger to use in an emergency.

Three Types of Plungers

Here are three kinds of plungers you may be familiar with.

The Flange Plunger

This type of plunger can work on toilets as well as drains in the sink and tub (but definitely separate plungers to avoid cross-contamination). The flange plunger is very flexible and has a cup with a soft, rubber fold-out flap for excellent suction to the toilet drain. The flap can be folded in to plunge sink and tub drains.

The Accordion Plunger

The accordion plunger is made specifically to unclog toilets and should really only be used in case of a severe clog. It generates lots of force, but it’s made of hard plastic so it can scratch the surface of the toilet. It’s not good to use on sinks because it doesn’t create a good vacuum seal over the flat surface of the drain.

The Flat Plunger

The flat plunger is the typical plunger most homeowners purchase, even though it’s not ideal for unclogging toilets. The flat cup is better for sticking on flat surfaces like bathtubs and sinks.

Tips for Clearing Clogs

To remove a clog before things get really messy:

  • Make sure to use the right plunger (the accordion or flange are best).

  • Seal the bottom of the plunger around the drain.

  • Create suction by pressing straight down rather than at an angle, then continue pulling up and pushing back in until the water recedes.

Prevent Clogged Toilets in the First Place

The best way to avoid a clogged toilet is to put only toilet paper in it, and not too much at a time. Flushable wipes can ball up in your drain and cause clogs, and paper towels, feminine products and diapers should never be flushed.

If you’re experiencing frequent clogs or notice that you have to flush your toilet twice to get everything down, it’s time to call Putman Plumbing. We have the professional tools to evaluate what is causing the clogs so we can fix it once and for all. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!