Toilet Plunger vs. Sink Plunger: What is the Difference?

Every home with modern toilets must have a plunger because, like everything else in life, drains too stop working correctly.

If you have a big family-especially one with kids, then you understand how frequent drain clogs. It could be because your kids stuffed some toys in the toilet bowl or flushed an entire roll of toilet paper. When this happens, you probably should try your luck with a plunger before dialing a plumber’s number.

Did you know that there are different plungers for different clog types? Even better, there are universal models that feature a combo that works for both toilets and sinks. Keep reading to learn all the subtle differences between a toilet plunger and a sink plunger.

What’s the Difference Between a Toilet Plunger and a Sink Plunger?

The difference lies in the shape of the cup. A sink plunger comes with a small cup fold, while a toilet plunger comes in a much bigger volume. Because of their small size, sink plungers work best on flat surfaces. Once you stick it over the drain, it creates sufficient vacuum force for dislodging solid particles.

A toilet plunger has a much bigger flap that can easily fit in the round and elongated toilet trapways for effective waste expulsion. Many have flaps that can fold in and out, so the plunger can be used on sinks as well. While this sort of versatility is admirable, it’s not exactly hygienic to use a toilet plunger in other sinks.

But I could just sanitize the plunger and get it working elsewhere…we hear you. And quite frankly, that would be a lot of work. The best and most sanitary practice is to have two plungers-one for the sinks and the other one for the toilets. Word of advice, get them in different colors so it would be easy to pick the right one without looking at the ends.

Accordion Plunger

An accordion plunger is a special tool designed specifically for toilets. The front is very much narrow which means it can go so far down the toilet trapway to clear the blocked pathways. The only biggest downside to its design is that it lacks the versatility of other models.

Bellow-style Plunger

Has looks close to the accordion plunger apart from its collapsible bowl-shaped end. A bellow-style plunger’s design delivers one of the most powerful forces for greater waste displacement. In fact, it is regarded as the most effective drain unblocking kit.

How Plungers Work

There are many ways to unclog sinks, tubs, and drains. You can resort to snakes and wire hangers or unscrew joints to clear stuck hairs, foods, and other particles. However, when you are dealing with blocked drains, you have no choice but to get the plunger from the store. Here are the right steps to unclogging sinks, drains, and tubs:

  1. Safety first-wear the best gloves to avoid entangling with waste. Secondly, plungers are squeezed and moved up and down. Those motions can result in splashes all the way to your face. So make sure you have some protective glasses.
  2. For sinks, use a soaked rag to block the overflow. It’s usually located under the faucet.
  3. Fill the plunger with water.
  4. Turn it quickly towards the drain hole to form a tight seal. Now, move it up and down or back and forth. The disturbances created wiggles waste, thus making it easy to slide out of the drain pipes.
  5. If this doesn’t work, you may want to repeat the process by filling the cup of the plunger with warm water and running some in the sink. This should help to tenderize waste.

Things to Consider in a Plunger

There are a few things that define a good plunger. The first one is a handle. It should be made from either plastic or metal as they are easy to sanitize and last longer. Wood is rough, collects bacteria a lot, and might splinter and pierce your hand.

Secondly, it is important that the cup has a huge volume so it can form a bigger seal around drain holes. We know we don’t advocate for universal plungers, but they can be great options in case of emergencies.

Plunging tips

Let’s go over a few handy tips that make plunging effective:

  • Use the right plunger on appropriate surfaces.
  • If you are working on double sink designs, block one outlet as you work on the other one. This lets you unblock both channels in one go.
  • The size of the plunger matters. Using a small plunger on a wider surface will only make things worse by introducing bad smells from the drain outlet
  • Always inspect the plunger for cracks, tears, and any other damage on the flange before you begin to work
  • Close any nearby sinks to create sufficient positive pressure for breaking waste-free
  • Don’t put in so much energy if the plunging is not working. Instead, pour warm water down the drain and try again. If that doesn’t work, don’t use chemicals. Just let the professional get you through the problem.

Those with better flushing toilets or those who stick to proper toilet practices may not be subjected to frequent drain blockage. Make a habit of using septic-friendly toilet papers and keep the toilet door locked in case you have hyper-active kids wandering around the house.

Wrap Up

No matter how advanced your toilet is, at one time, you’ll likely have to deal with clogged drains. If you live alone, this is something you won’t go through often. However, for large families, there is so much waste being squeezed down the drain.

While having a plunger will certainly minimize the number of calls your plumber gets, getting a good toilet should be your first right move. There are pressure-assisted toilets and other high-end toilet choices that offer supreme performance. A trip around our blog will equip you with so much info regarding bathroom fixtures, so don’t hesitate to check out our publications.

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