Clogged drains happen.
And when they do, your first reaction is probably to grab the nearest plunger and get to work. After all, if not taken care of quickly, clogs can lead to bigger problems down the line that can impact the health and longevity of your septic system.
But are you using the correct tool for the job?
Choosing the right plunger is the key to clearing a clogged drain so you don’t need to call in the professionals. Before you tackle the next clog, take a look at these common issues and see what the experts recommend for each one.
CLOGGED SINK? A CUP PLUNGER IS YOUR BEST OPTION.
A cup plunger, sometimes called a sink plunger, is what most people have around the house. Its simple design features a rubber suction cup at the end of a long wooden or plastic handle.
Cup plungers work best on even surfaces where they can lay flat and create a good seal. For the best results, hold the plunger straight up (instead of at an angle) to create a strong suction. Then, lower the plunger slowly to release excess air and pull back gently. Repeat until the clog is released.
CLOGGED TOILET? TRY A FLANGE PLUNGER OR A BEEHIVE PLUNGER.
For toilet clogs, a cup plunger just isn’t going to cut it.
A flange plunger, sometimes just called a toilet plunger, looks like a cup plunger but with a small, narrow piece extending from the center. This piece is the flange, and its purpose is to improve suction inside a toilet bowl.
Beehive plungers look exactly like their namesake and are also great for clogged toilets. Because of their distinct shape, they can fit almost any toilet drain, which makes them a popular choice for homeowners.
When working to unclog a toilet, make sure your plunger is fully submerged. If not, fill a bucket from the sink or tub and add water until the head of the plunger is underwater.
CLOGGED TUB OR SHOWER DRAIN? USE AN ACCORDION PLUNGER.
If you know what an accordion looks like, this type of plunger should be easy to spot. Also called a bellows or bellows-style plunger (after the popular blacksmith’s tool), it looks like a flange plunger but with a collapsible body like the sides of an accordion.
Its unique shape makes it perfect for removing tough clogs, provided you have a good seal around the drain head.
YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM LOVES CLEAN, CLOG-FREE PIPES.
While clogs can sometimes be the result of invasive tree roots or offset pipes, more often than not they are caused when things like food waste, hair (including pet hair), soap, grease and oils, and “flushable” wipes find their way down the drain.
To keep your septic system running smoothly and avoid the need for costly repairs, make sure only the right things end up getting flushed down the toilet or washed down your sink or shower drain. You should also have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.