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3 Types of Plungers: Which is Best?

June 16, 2021

Plungers are the most common of basic household tools for dealing with drain clogs. But did you know that there are different types of plungers for different types of clogs? We’ll cover the three main types of plungers: the sink plunger, the toilet (or flange) plunger and the accordion plunger.

Plungers are an inexpensive and easy-to-use way to clear clogs. Knowing which type to use will greatly increase your chances for success. At Applewood, we want to be your Colorado plumbing experts. Sometimes that simply means showing you the best type of plunger for the job.

How do plungers work?

Plungers work via physics, specifically Boyle’s law. When you seal the plunger over the drain opening and push it down, you increase the pressure in the pipe. This increase in pressure pushes the water downward. When you pull up, the suction reduces the pressure allowing the water to rise. This “sloshing” motion dislodges most clogs after a few spirited turns.

What Does a Sink Plunger Look Like? 

The common sink plunger is the type of plunger that you’re probably familiar with. Sink plungers have a straight handle with a simple rubber cup at the end. They are sometimes referred to as a “cup plunger.”

This is a good plunger for a sink in your bathroom, kitchen or basement and also works well on bathtub and shower drains. Sink plungers are best on flat surfaces where the cup can lay flat over the drain and create the vacuum necessary to dislodge the clog. However, this plunger will not work well for a toilet clog since it won’t be able to seal properly to create suction.


Drain Plunger vs Toilet Plunger

Toilet plungers have a similar cup to the sink plunger. However, a toilet plunger also has a soft rubber flap called a flange that folds out from inside the cup. This flange fits well over the toilet drain, making it easy to form the necessary suction to clear a clog.

With the flap folded inside the cup, the toilet plunger can also be used on a sink or tub drain. Just be sure to clean it with bleach before switching from toilet bowl plunger to sink plunger.


The Accordion Plunger 

Unlike the other two plungers, the accordion plunger is designed specifically for clearing toilet clogs. It has a smaller cup that fits over the drain perfectly inside the toilet bowl. The hard plastic accordion design is not the easiest to use but many people swear by accordion plungers as the best toilet plunger for tough clogs. When used properly, accordion plungers create a tighter seal and stronger suction to effectively unclog your drain line.


WHICH TYPE OF PLUNGER IS BEST? 

We’ve covered three different types of plungers. It’s not a bad idea to have one of each in your home.

If you’d prefer to have just one, the flange plunger gets our vote for the best all-around home plunger. It’s easy to use and the most versatile plunger out of the three.

Tough Clogs in Denver and Boulder

If your plunger is not solving your clog, or you’re experiencing frequent clogs, there may be a larger issue in your home’s plumbing system. Get in touch with Applewood today. A licensed plumber can get rid of your clog once and for all! 

Call  303-328-3060

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