You know those moments when you realize you’ve been using a common household product incorrectly your whole life? Yes, we know those feelings too, and while those moments can be hard on the ego, we like to think they can also be very enlightening!
Let’s take the example of that common misconception about cupping. For ages, the unlucky soul who had to unclog the drains in his or her house probably just grabbed the first plunger he or she saw and hoped for the best, right?
We don’t want to jump to conclusions by accusing you or your loved ones of using the wrong plungers at home, but experience tells us that most people don’t give their amateur plumbing skills the chance they deserve.
Here’s the thing: There are two types of plungers that you can find at any hardware or big box store. One is for the toilet, and the other is for the sink, get it?
When placed next to each other, the two look virtually identical, except for the different shapes located at the head of the two pushers.
If you take a look at the image at the top of this article, you’ll see that the red plunger on the left has a simpler suction device on its head. This is the one that works best on sinks.
The flat bottom is designed for a sink, or sometimes a bathtub, in mind. To make it work best, simply place the rounded edge of the suction cup over the sink drain – this will form a tight seal, forcing the clog to be sucked out like a vacuum. Easy, huh?
At the other end of the spectrum is the more complex suction cup pictured below. This sturdy fellow is appropriately called the “toilet plunger” – hey, plumbers don’t need to be goldsmiths, okay?
Toilet plungers are similar to sink plungers, except for the extra protruding piece at the head of the plunger called the “protruding flange”. Okay, it may not sound great, but it works!
The protruding flange works in the same way as the sink plunger, in that it is intended to suck directly on the unique shape of the toilet drain. The only technical difference is that, before you start plunging into the toilet, you must first fill the head (or bell) with water. You see! They’re not so different after all.
Now that you know how to properly select your plumbing tools, take the time to learn how to plunge.
you’ll never have to call your plumber for a simple clog ever again.