A plunger is a common device used to release stoppages in plumbing. The tool consists of a rubber cup with an attached stick "shaft", usually made of wood or bronze. The cup is pushed down against the drain, and either pressed hard into the drain to force air in, or is pushed down until the rubber cup is flattened, then pulled out, causing a vacuum. The intent is to loosen or break up a clog, excessive material, or other blockage in a sink, toilet, bathtub, shower, etc.

A plunger is much more effective when there is water in the pipe because water does not compress easily and will thus transmit more of the applied force than air.

When a plunger is ineffective, it is often supplemented by a chemical drain opener. If necessary, a plumber may need to be called.


There are two basic types of plungers: toilet and sink. A sink plunger, pictured at right, has a flat rim designed to fit over a sink, bathtub, shower, or similar opening to form a seal. A toilet plunger, pictured at the left in the image above, has a flange designed to fit into the bottom of a flush toilet bowl, with the flange entering into the exit pipe, forming a seal. The flange of a toilet plunger can be flipped up inside the plunger in order to use it as a sink plunger. If one is going to have only one plunger on hand, a toilet plunger is more versatile.

A third type of plunger is called a "Taze Plunger." The taze plunger is specifically sized to barely fit inside a pipe, and to use pressure to force a blockage through. The side of the taze plunger should scrape against the side of the pipe. The taze plunger is attached to a several-foot-long solid steel bar, and is inserted down a length of pipe to clear a running trap. The bar must be steel, or the pressure generated by its use would break or deform it.


External links

* [,16417,193799-4,00.html#/ How to unclog a drain]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Plunger — Plunger, s.v.w. Tauchkolben (s. Pumpenkolben) …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • plunger — index bettor Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • plunger — as a mechanism, 1777, agent noun from PLUNGE (Cf. plunge) …   Etymology dictionary

  • plunger — ► NOUN 1) a part of a device or mechanism that works with a plunging or thrusting movement. 2) a device consisting of a rubber cup on a long handle, used to clear blocked pipes by means of suction …   English terms dictionary

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  • Plunger — Der Ausdruck Plunger bezeichnet: einen Dämpfertyp für Blechblasinstrumente: Plunger Dämpfer den Kolben einer Pumpe, bzw. den Teil eines Verbrennungsmotors, siehe Plungerpumpe einen Teil der Glastropfendosierung in der Glasindustrie (siehe Feeder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plunger — Plun|ger 〈[plʌ̣ndʒər] m. 3〉 = Tauchkolben [<engl. plunger „Taucher“] * * * Plun|ger [ plʌndʒə], (auch:) Plunscher, der; s, [engl. plunger, zu: to plunge = stoßen, treiben] (Technik): besonderer Kolben, bei dem zur Dichtung keine Kolbenringe,… …   Universal-Lexikon

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