Primer on Common Plunger Types

If you asked 100 people to name the first plumbing tool that comes to mind, chances are a good percentage would name the plunger. A common item found in virtually every home or building where there are drains, the plunger is an enormously valuable tool for basic home plumbing care.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’ve realized something over our years of plumbing service in Park City: Nearly everyone knows what the plunger is, but far fewer people are aware of the varieties of plunger out there and why you should perhaps have more than one in your home or building. On top of our standard drain cleaning services, which can help you with issues the plunger isn’t meant for, here are some basics on the three most common plunger types.

primer common plunger types

Cup Plunger

Those same 100 surveyed respondents we mentioned above? Most of them are thinking of the cup plunger when they give their answer, as it’s by far the most common and recognizable plunger type. It comes with a standard wood handle and a basic red or black rubber plunger section.

Cup plungers are excellent for areas where the drain being unclogged sits on a flat surface – they’re designed to form a seal around these surfaces. This means they’re perfect for bathtubs, sinks and similar runoff areas. It also means that, contrary to some popular belief, they’re not optimal for toilet clogs due to the curved nature of the toilet bowl. In fact, our next section will discuss the best plunger for toilet clogs.

Flange Plunger

In reality, the flange plunger is the one you want for toilet clogs. It looks something like the cup plunger from afar, but has an additional rubber flap inside the cup that folds out. This flap, also called the flange, helps create a seal on non-flat surfaces, particularly toilet bowls. It does this by wedging into the drain hold and creating a vacuum air seal. Flange plungers help clear up even some of the more significant toilet bowl clogs.

Accordion Plunger

And for an even stronger plunger if your home or building regularly has large clogs, the accordion plunger is available as well. It’s an even stronger version of the flange plunger, with a ridged grip made from black plastic that connects to an accordion-shaped body. This design allows the accordion plunger to place significant pressure on clogs, with the same flange flap as the flange plunger but far more plunging power available.

For more information on the various plungers you might want to have in your home or building, or to learn about any of our plumbing or heating and air services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber in Park City today.