Difference Between Sink Plunger and Toilet Plunger

The common problem with drains is that they get clogged quite often. To unclog the drain through a DIY process would generally require a plunger. Depending upon the type and area of usage, plungers can be divided into sink plungers or toilet plungers. Both types of plungers have different features.

Sink Plunger vs Toilet Plunger

The main difference between the sink plunger and toilet plunger is that the sink plunger has a flat end while the toilet plunger does not have a flat end and has an extension. There is a soft rubber flap folded inside the cup which is known as flange, in toilet plungers.

Sink Plunger and Toilet Plunger

The surface of sink plungers is flat so that it can form a seal on the flat surface of the sink during the suction process. Sink plungers are ideal to unclog the sink in the basement, bathroom, or kitchen and shower drains and bathtub. The height of the sink plunger is shorter and smaller.

On the other hand, the function of the flange in the cup of the toilet plunger is to seal the end of a drain pipe. This sealing mechanism helps in applying force to the blockage more efficiently. Toilet plungers are ideal to unclog toilet bowls and tub drains. The height of the toilet plunger is longer and taller.

Comparison Table Between Sink Plunger and Toilet Plunger

Parameters of Comparison Sink PlungerToilet Plunger
Area of application For sink in basement, bathroom or kitchen and shower drains and bathtub For toilet bowl and tub drains
Presence of flange Flange is absent in sink plunger Flange is present in toilet plunger
Handle StraightStraight or curved
Other names Cup plunger Flange plunger
Height Shorter Taller

What is Sink Plunger?

Sink plungers are not equipped with any solid rubber piece inside the cup of the plunger which is known as the flange. The surface of sink plungers is flat so that it can form a seal on the flat surface of the sink during the suction process. The sink plunger is very flexible so that they can work for various shapes and sizes of sinks. Sink plungers are more effective in unclogging drains than wire hangers or snakes that are used by many people.

The user manual for sink plungers is to first block the opening of the overflow. The sink plunger should form a complete seal at the hole. A small wet rag can also be stuffed at the end of the hole. Then the plunger is placed over the train and water is run till the plunger cup gets completely covered after which the plunger is usually pumped up and down several times.

The mechanism of pumping the plunger numerous times is that when the plunger is pressed down, the compressed air helps in pushing the blockage downward. And when the plunger is pulled up, the sanction then pulls the blockage back. This constant back and forth movement help in wiggling the clog-free.

After several thrusts, if the drain allows water after lifting the plunger then the drain is successfully unclogged. However, if it doesn’t drain completely then repetition of the same process should be done at least four to five times.

What is Toilet Plunger?

Toilet plungers have a solid rubber piece that is attached inside the cup of the plunger. The rubber piece inside the plunger is known as the flange. The flange in toilet plungers is available in different shapes. The function of the flange in the toilet plunger is to seal the end of a drain pipe. This sealing mechanism helps in applying force to the blockage more efficiently.

The flap of the toilet plunger fits well over the drains of the toilet and creates strong suction force. If the flange is not present in the toilet plunger, then with every thrust there would be a splash of dirty water everywhere. Also, the blockage will not be removed effectively and the drain pipe may clog soon again. After the use of a plunger, it is advised to run hot water so that the remaining blockage is flushed out.

A toilet plunger should have a handle that is either made of plastic or metal. There are various toilet plungers available that have a handle of wood and also feels nice during gripping the plunger. However, wood can become a surface to promote the growth of bacteria and allow it to gather and survive.

Toilet plungers should be kept and stored in drip trays. Drip trays are the plastic bases that helps the plunger drip the soiled oil and allow air circulation for quick drying of the toilet plunger. The toilet plunger is also known as the flange plunger.

Main Differences Between Sink Plunger and Toilet Plunger

  1. The handle of the sink plunger is usually made of wood while the handle of the toilet plunger is usually made of plastic or metal.
  2. Sink plunger has a flat end while the toilet plunger does not have a flat end and has an extension.
  3. Sink plunger can be used for flat surfaces while toilet plunger can be used in holes and drains.
  4. Sink plunger is inexpensive while toilet plunger is comparatively more expensive.
  5. Sink plunger is also known as cup plunger while toilet plunger is also known as flange plunger.

Conclusion

Plungers are the most common and basic tool and solution for draining clogs. Plungers are inexpensive and easy to use and clear clogs without calling for a plumber every time. Plungers can be broadly divided into two main types that are sink plunger and a toilet plunger. Both the plungers are built differently and perform distinct functions.

Many people use a sink plunger as a toilet plunger. This is not quite effective because of the absence of a flange in the sink plunger. Also, it can spill dirty water everywhere during the unclogging process. Hence users should invest in two different plungers for sink and toilet purposes to maintain hygiene and sanitation. Both the plungers should be bought in two different colors which would help them easily distinguish between them. And should be kept in drip trays.

References

  1. https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/st74cr06t
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110929997.159/html
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