When a toilet or sink gets clogged, most people use any plunger they can find nearby. However, if the plunger is not correct, it won’t properly do the job. That’s when people tend to start doubting their DIY skills, although the problem is the type of plunger. In this article, we will clarify which one is for the toilet and which one is for the sink, and explain what sets them apart.
Table of Contents
The Obvious Difference Between a Sink Plunger and a Toilet Plunger
When you take a look at these two plungers, you will notice that the only difference is in the flange. This is a rubber piece that sits inside the rubber cup, and comes in various shapes. However, they all have the same function, which is to seal the drain pipe and create a more effective sucking force.
Additionally, the flange prevents the plunger from filling with toilet water. If you’ve ever had to turn it inside out after a few thrusts, you were actually using a sink plunger. They don’t have a flange, and their design allows them to form a seal on a flat surface, which makes them ideal for sinks and pretty much useless when it comes to toilets.
Why Should You Have Separate Plungers?
As mentioned, sink plungers are not effective for toilets. In most cases, they will just move the water but won’t remove the blockage. Toilet plungers, on the other hand, can be used as sink plungers, but that’s not always a good idea. If you don’t keep your toilet plunger sanitized, it’s not hygienic to use it for removing clogs in your sink. It’s a nice idea to have separate plungers, and it’s even better to buy them in separate colors so they’re not confused with each other.
How to Remove the Clog in a Sink With a Plunger
You have probably used a toilet plunger at some point, but when it comes to sinks and tubs, people mostly tend to use plumbing snakes. However, if nothing helps, it’s time to use the sink plunger. The unclogging process is the same for both sinks and tubs.
First, you should locate the overflow opening, which is the hole near the sink. It will close the air hole and ensure that the plunger forms a proper seal. Then, place the plunger over the hole and let the water run until the rubber cup is covered. Pump the plunger a few times, then lift it up and check if the water drains. If the water drains slowly, pump a few more times until it flows as it’s supposed to. Then, run hot water for a few minutes to flush the remaining parts of the clog.
How to Remove the Clog in a Toilet With a Plunger
Unclogging the toilet with a plunger is actually easier than you might think. However, before you start, make sure to turn off the water supply that leads to your toilet to prevent overflow. Then, cover the drain with a plunger, but make sure that the water covers at least half of the rubber flange. If there isn’t enough water, pour some in, but make sure that the plunger forms a complete seal.
Push it down, then push it up sharply, but don’t break the seal. If done properly, it will create a vacuum that should eventually remove the clog. Be sure to perform the same action with the plunger at least a few times. Also, if you poured some chemicals down the toilet, make sure to use safety glasses and gloves since it might splash. Finally, push the plunger down and push it up sharply, but this time you should break the seal and remove the plunger. Flush to check if the toilet is still clogged. If it is, try the same process a few more times – if it doesn’t help, it’s time to use a plumbing snake.
What is an Accordion Plunger?
An accordion plunger is not as popular as sink and toilet plungers, but they can create a lot of force. They are completely plastic and a bit difficult to use. Plus, since they’re not made from rubber, sometimes an accordion plunger won’t fit the toilet. It might even scratch the surface, so if you have an accordion plunger, be sure not to be too rough.
As you can see, although they look similar, sink and toilet plungers work differently. Since using a toilet plunger on a sink is not hygienic, we strongly recommend you to have separate tools, and even better, buy them in different colors.