Saturday, March 2Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Toilet Plunger in Tagalog? Origin, Types of Plungers and Uses

A toilet plunger in Tagalog is called “pangbomba sa kubeta,” where “bomba” here means “pump” and “kubeta” means “toilet.” Another Filipino word for “kubeta” is “banyo,” so you may also hear some Pinoys calling toilet plunger “pangbomba sa banyo.” Aside from toilet bowls, a newly bought toilet plunger can also be used in clearing clogged drains and is common in households all over the world.

toilet plunger in Tagalog
Toilet plungers in the Philippines

The origin of the toilet plunger has many versions. One version said that it was Samuel Prosser of England who received a patent for his plunger closet design in 1777. But unlike the modern toilet plunger, his invention was unsanitary because waste would stick to the plunger. The following year, Joseph Bramah (also from England) got a patent for his plunger-like mechanism.

In January 1875, a candymaker from New York named John Hawley received a patent for his pumping device. He called them “vent-clearers for wash bowls,” which use fluid under pressure in removing obstructions in waste pipes or sinks. Two years later, he improved the design by adding a thick edge to the cup and flattening it. He later built a candy company with Herman W. Hoops called Hawley & Hoops.

Interestingly, Hawley’s pumping tool was very close to the toilet plungers today. It also has a rubber cup on a vertical stick. The cup is in the form of half a hollow sphere but can also be cylindrical, while the handle is attached to it by a screw and washer. In September 1988, Emanuel Torti of Rhode Island, USA. received a patent for his toilet plunger with a deformable plunger element.

Technically, there are three types of plungers – sink plungers, toilet plungers, and accordion plungers. The sink plunger, which usually has a red cup, works perfectly on flat surfaces. The cup needs to lay flat parallel to the affected area and create the vacuum necessary to dislodge the clog. However, they don’t work as well for toilets because toilets have a curved shape that doesn’t let the plunger seal properly.

On the other hand, the toilet plunger has a soft rubber flap (called a flange) that goes beyond the bottom of the cup. Also called the flange plunger, this design goes well with the curve of a toilet bowl. It seals and creates suction in the correct spots. When you press down, the flange gets pushed into the cup, so you can use it just like a regular cup plunger. Never use your toilet plunger as a sink plunger, that’s disgusting!

Meanwhile, the accordion plunger is made from strong plastic that can make a lot of force when you use it the right way. It has a smaller cup, which makes it great for toilets but not as good for other drains. Because the plastic is hard, you’ll have to push really hard to get a good seal over the drain. But be cautious – unlike the rubber plungers, this one is plastic and might scratch your toilet, so use it carefully.

Use pangbomba sa kubeta in a sentence.


Huwag na huwag mo hawakan yung goma sa pangbomba sa kubeta, kasi napakadumi nun.


Don’t ever touch the rubber part of the toilet plunger because it’s very dirty.

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