Primer on Commonly-Used Plunger Types
If there’s a single item that’s synonymous with plumbers and plumbing services, it’s likely the plunger. Used to create suction and pressure which help loosen and remove clogs and buildups in various plumbing drains, plungers are items many of us have used regularly in our lives.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re familiar with not only every plunger type you might run into, but also numerous additional professional drain cleaning methods for tougher, more stubborn clogs. Did you realize that there are actually several plunger types out there, each best for certain drain or clog types? Here’s a quick primer on each of these primary types and where you might see them, plus what they’re generally meant for.
The cup plunger, also known as the sink or standard plunger, is the most common and well-known type. They typically come with a basic wooden handle and a red rubber plunging tool, and are the image most people think of when they hear the word “plunger.”
Despite their popularity, though, cup plungers are actually not meant for toilets. Rather, they’re targeted at sinks, bathtubs and other drains that are surrounded by a completely flat surface, which allows them to create the proper suction and pressure. They may work on certain minor toilet clogs in some cases, but this is not their designed purpose.
Flange (or Toilet) Plunger
The plunger actually meant for the toilet is called the flange, or toilet, plunger. This plunger is similar to the cup type, but with an additional rubber flap that folds out. This flap allows the flange plunger to create suction on non-flat surfaces, namely the toilet bowl, by wedging itself into the drain hole.
This creates a vacuum effect due to the extra rubber. If your toilet regularly clogs up, you’d do well to purchase a flange plunger – which can also work on sinks or tubs if needed.
The accordion plunger is an even larger tool, one with a smaller cup than the flange plunger but much heavier, ridged-grip plastic that forms an accordion-like body (hence the name). This plunger is meant primarily for toilet drains and may not do as well on others – it produces high degrees of force and is usually used for heavy, stubborn clogs.
Finally, a plunger rarely found in homes but sometimes used in commercial buildings is the taze plunger. This option has a disc meant to fit a specific pipe size, then a steel rod that pushes this disc into the pipe. Generally speaking, a taze plunger is only owned and used by professional plumbers.
For more on the various plunger types out there, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.
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