Drain clogs come in many forms, as do plungers. When dealing with drain stoppage, you don’t want to call a plumber right away because of the expense. Drain clogs are a nuisance, but they do happen. The good news is that a drain clog isn’t always an emergency. In most cases, you can remove it with a plunger. But what kind of plunger should you use? Our experts weigh in on the four types of plungers and what they’re good for.

Standard Plunger

When it comes to tackling clogs of any kind, the standard plunger usually comes to mind. This ordinary plunger has a long, wooden handle with a short rubber piece that’s shaped like a champagne glass at the end. Because of its low suction strength, this plunger type works best with a flat surface. You can use it to de-clog the sink, bathtub, and shower drains. Just place the plunger directly over the drain and push it down slowly a few times. Once you feel the suction, give it a few fast pushes. This helps move the water rapidly to disengage the clog.

You could try the standard plunger for toilet clogs, but you’d have to work twice as hard to get the debris out of your drain. In that case, you’d need a different kind of plunger.


  • Cheaper than most types
  • Excellent for sinks and bath drains
  • Can be used for minor toilet clogs


  • Not suited for heavy clogs
  • Can dry rot easily
  • Doesn’t fit over small holes

Flange Plunger

Otherwise known as a toilet plunger, a flange plunger is a household tool that’s capable of handling the toughest jobs. It’s more commonly used for toilets due to the shape and size of the end piece, which has a soft inner flap right below a dome-like structure. This gives the rubber piece its characteristic mushroom shape, which is great for taking out major clogs.

The flange plunger is an excellent all-purpose tool for opening any drain inside your home. It is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it. However, due to sanitation issues, it’s best to have one that’s designated just for toilets. You can buy another flange plunger just for your sinks and bath drain, or you can save a few bucks and opt for a standard type.


  • Can handle tougher jobs due to powerful suction
  • Bottom piece covers the entire hole
  • Can fit over smaller holes due to the flange piece


  • Expensive
  • Requires a lot of work to use

Accordion Plunger

This plunger takes after the squeeze box due to its multiple layers that fold down when pushed. The accordion plunger is made strictly for toilets and nothing else. It uses excessive force that’s best suited for the toughest toilet clogs. The plastic is extremely tough and requires little strength for use. Its long end makes the accordion plunger versatile enough to fit any toilet bowl. You can use it for a standard toilet or one that has a deeper bowl. A few good pushes should be sufficient to remove the clog.

Because of its long shape, the accordion plunger must be submerged in water to be effective. If your toilet is clogged but not full enough, you may need to add more water.


  • Has greater air pressure to handle tougher clogs
  • Uses fewer plunges than most
  • Great for offices and businesses


  • Can be complicated to use
  • Not as effective for smaller drains

Taze Plunger

When you think of a plunger, one image comes to mind. You think of a simple household tool with a long wooden stick and a rubber cup at the end. But did you know that some plungers are unique? Enter the Taze plunger, which uses no suction. It’s a small metal disk that can fit inside a pipe when removing a clog. You may be able to purchase different-sized disks. The disk is made of steel for strength and durability because it maintains its shape. This is practical for helping the taze plunger maintain its shape while unclogging a pipe.

The taze plunger uses a metal rod that pushes the disk into the pipe. This creates sufficient pressure to remove and destroy the toughest clogs. The taze plunger probes a little to reach sewer clogs lodged deep into the recesses of your drain, a feature that sets it apart from other plungers.


  • Excellent for handling the toughest jobs
  • Eliminates deep clogs by destroying them or pushing them out of your drain
  • Great for large pipes and drains
  • Is an excellent match for industrial or commercial plumbing


  • More expensive than standard or toilet plungers
  • Requires a professional to use

Taze plungers are the most complex plungers to use. Because they’re better suited to handle the toughest clogs, you shouldn’t try them alone. Instead, it’s best to call a professional. They will know what size disk to use and how to put it inside your pipe.

Use Your Plunger Wisely

Use your plunger with caution. This means you must never, ever use it after pouring drain cleaner or other harmful chemicals. The force of the plunger can cause these elements to get in your hair, your clothes, and your skin. Any kind of physical contact can cause your skin to burn. Using these chemicals is ill-advised because they can damage your pipes and other plumbing. If you’ve tried all other avenues but still cannot get rid of a stubborn clog, call a plumber.

Another good tip for using a plunger is to avoid excessive force. You’ll run the risk of doing further damage to your drain line connection, which is responsible for routing all wastewater out of your home. You can avoid costly repairs by using your plunger with caution.

If you’ve used a plunger multiple times and it doesn’t work, it’s time to call a plumber. You should also do this in cases where your water keeps backing up after use.

There are many signs of a severe clog. You may notice slow draining, gurgling noises, or a stinky sewer smell. Frequent clogs and sewer backup can feel like a nightmare, as well as unexpected flooding inside your home and out in your yard.

Stains around your drains are a subtle sign of a clog. So is residue that clings to the floor around your drainpipe. Any of these manifestations are indicative of a severe clog in need of attention.

At Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter, we provide an array of plumbing services for the greater Silicone Valley, CA area. We offer sewer cleaning, drain cleaning, and plumbing fixture upgrades. We can replace old, worn parts with new ones at your request. We’ll service bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets. And if your garbage disposal isn’t working right, we can fix that too. The experts at Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter are committed to resolving any plumbing issue you’re having. Call or visit us online to learn more.

Josh Gibson

Hi, I’m Josh. I’ve been around plumbing my whole life. When I was 5-6 years old my family built a home where I did a lot of the sanding of copper pipe and definitely some playing in the mud. Plumbing is a major part of my family as I am a fourth-generation plumber. The skills I bring to the job are a good technical knowledge of plumbing and code requirements. I am often complimented on my hands-on problem-solving skills.
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