We've mentioned this topic on our social media pages a number of times in the past, but it's about time we "plunge" into it further and "flush" out any additional questions you might have. We are talking of course about the two different types of plungers you should have in your home.
Many people don't realize that there are two types for two different purposes. And unfortunately, home improvement stores confuse the matter my selling plungers that don't really do the job.
The first type of plunger is the one you are more likely familiar with. This is the one that looks like a suction cup with a handle sticking out of it. This type of plunger is designed for clearing a sink or tub. While these come in multiple sizes, many people mistakenly buy the larger versions thinking they are for toilets.
This plunger, sold at Home Depot for $2.98, has no flange and is designed for sinks and tubs.This plunger, sold at Home Depot for $5.99, includes a flange which creates a positive seal inside a toilet drain.
The problem is, in order for a plunger to work, it needs to create a vacuum around the drain you are trying to clear. When you push up and down, it jiggles the stuck items back and forth in the drain, eventually loosening them until the drain flows freely. If you look at the shape of a sink or tub plunger, it's simply not possible for it to create a seal over the toilet drain. That's why when you use them in a toilet, they splash and make a mess.
The second type of plunger, specifically made for toilets, has a flange on the bottom design to be inserted into the toilet drain. This creates a positive seal over the hole. With a flanged plunger, you will find that you need to do a lot less work to clear a toilet drain because you are getting full suction.
So right about now, you're probably having a big "Ah-ha" moment, realizing you've been using the wrong kind of plunger all these years, and wondering why no one has explained this to you before. Honestly, we're not sure either. Maybe people are intimidated by the whole flange thing. Maybe people assume by looking at it that it will be messier to use somehow. Or maybe people just don't want to spend the extra couple of bucks to get the right tool for the job.
Whatever the reason, do yourself a big favor, head down to the hardware or home improvement store, and get yourself a flanged plunger. We promise, it won't put a "drain" on your pocketbook. It will, at the very least, "handle" your problem better, and more importantly, we won't have to think of more witty puns to get our point across.