A plunger is a good thing to have on hand in case there is a plumbing emergency. When the toilet is overflowing or the sink is backed up on Thanksgiving, having a plunger on hand can make a huge difference. That being said you want to make sure you have the right plunger for the job. Did you know that there is more than one type of plunger? There are actually 3 different types of plungers, each with its own specific purpose.
The Cup Plunger
The cup plunger is probably what you picture in your head when you think of a plunger. The cup plunger is ideal for sinks or tubs. Cup plungers work best on flat surfaces where they can create an airtight seal over the drain. Since a cup plunger is so common, you may find yourself trying to use it on a toilet, to no avail. The cup plunger has a hard time sealing around the curved toilet drain, and therefore cannot get enough suction. If you have a clogged sink or shower drain, the cup plunger is the right plunger for the job.
The Flange Plunger
The flange plunger is the right plunger for the job is you have a clogged toilet. The flange plunger is similar to the cup plunger, at the top you have a cup but also an extra flap of rubber at the end known as the flange. This extra rubber allows for the plunger to make a tight seal around the toilet drain. The flange plunger can also double as a cup plunger by folding the flange back, although you may want to keep a separate plunger for the toilet and one dedicated for the sink.
The Accordion Plunger
The accordion plunger is a little less common than the flange plunger. While it has the extra flap at the bottom like the flange plunger, instead of a cup at the top it has an accordion shape which allows for greater pressure to push out. The accordion plunger can be very effective to use on a toilet clog, however you have to have the accordion plunger completely submerged in water in order for it to work, so you may have to add extra water to the toilet bowl when you are using. The accordion plunger can be a powerful plunger to use, but some find it more difficult to use.
It may be a good idea to keep on hand one of each of the three kinds of plungers so that you always have the right plunger for the job. Keep a designated plunger for the sink, a designated plunger for the toilet, and an accordion plunger for really stubborn clogs. Check out our blog for more plumbing tips!