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Yes, You Need Two Plungers—Here’s Why

Yes, You Need Two Plungers—Here’s Why

When it comes to your home, there can be various types of plumbing maintenance challenges you may face. A common plumbing issue is a clogged sink or toilet—which no one is a fan of.

However, before you grab a plunger, be sure to grab the correct one. Most people do not know that you need two plungers, and the right one to use depends on the type of clog you’re dealing with.

How Plungers Work

Most people have had the somewhat stressful experience of having to use a plunger to perform some plumbing maintenance. The way a plunger works is basic physics, specifically regarding Boyle’s law.

When you place the plunger over the drain opening, you are sealing it. Then, when you push down, you are creating an increase in the pressure within the pipe. You can physically feel the tugging on the plunger as you do this, indicating that the area is sealed. This increase in pressure pushes the water down so that when you pull up on the plunger, the suction you created reduces the pressure and causes the water to rise.

How To Use a Plunger

To properly use the common plunger, align the cup against the drain opening and push down. You will then do one of two things. You need to either press hard into the drain to force air in or push down until the rubber cup is flattened. You then pull it out, which creates a vacuum. This vacuum is what creates enough force to pull any blockage out of the drain and clear out the clog.

Get To Know Why You Need Two Plungers: Sink and Toilet

Sink Plunger

Performing plumbing maintenance at home means you’ll need to keep two types of plungers around to ensure you are prepared.

The first is a sink plunger. A sink plunger is used to unclog your sink. This type of plunger has a flat—oftentimes red—cap and a shorter handle.

You Need Two Plungers, a sink plunger like the one pictured here, and a toilet plunger.

To use a sink plunger, you must remove the top of the sink hole stopper or cover. Add a little bit of water, and you will ease the process of clearing the clog.

Next, you’ll center the sink plunger over the drain to create a strong seal. Apply enough force to feel the pressure of the seal. Then remove the plunger and check the drain to see if it is clear. If the clog is still there, try repeating the steps.

Don't put things like cooking grease down the kitchen sink.

Toilet Plunger

A toilet plunger is a basic tool for plumbing maintenance and is used to unclog a toilet. Toilets typically get clogged from too much toilet tissue or items being flushed that should not be placed in the toilet.

Toilet plungers are different from sink plungers because they have a little flap that folds down from inside the cup. This extra flap helps make a better seal in the toilet drain opening.

Toilet plungers are different from sink plungers. Toilet plungers have an extra flap that make it easer to dislodge toilet clogs.

To use a toilet plunger, apply a good amount of pressure to the blockage in the toilet’s U-trap, which is a curving channel found inside the base of a toilet that leads from the toilet hole at the bottom of the bowl to the drainpipe.

The force you apply here should work to push the clog out so the entire bowl can drain and become clear. Be sure there is water in the bowl to plunge effectively.

Don't put "flushable" wipes down the toilet. They are not flushable.

When To Call a Plumber

So now that you’ve tackled the clog in your sink or toilet, and nothing seems to budge…frustration fills the air. The good news is, there is a professional who can help. Sometimes the clog is more complicated than it may seem.

For example, if you have multiple drains in your home that are all backing up at the same time, maybe you notice the smell of sewage. A plumber can use a specific tool called a snake to clear the line. If you have tried the plunger and it isn’t clearing the drain with vigorous plunging, you will need a plumber.

Plumbing maintenance, like clearing a drain or clog, is something most homeowners have had to handle themselves. Luckily, many things can be fixed easily, but it’s always best to call a professional if your attempt to use a plunger on the clog does not work.

Need some extra plumbing help? The experts at JW tackle every repair quickly and thoroughly. Our team is detail-oriented and works to provide the type of plumbing maintenance that will leave your home in tip-top shape. Give us a call today!