a black toilet plunger with a wooden handle, dripping with some water

Toilet Plunger

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/9/2021

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Dealing with a clogged toilet has to be one of the worst tasks you’ll ever need to perform around the house. Luckily, most clogs are quick enough to fix if you’ve got the right tools. First of all, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got the right plunger. That’s because not all plungers are created equally. Some plungers, like a cup plunger, work better on sinks and tubs, while others are specifically designed to fit inside your toilet bowl — like the toilet plunger.

Definition

A toilet plunger, sometimes referred to as a flange plunger, is a special type of suction cup plunger with a sleeve-like extension (the flange) at the opening of the rubber cup. The flange fits into the drain hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl, creating a good seal and making it more effective than a basic cup plunger that’s typically used for sinks and tubs. Toilet plungers typically come with an attached wooden or plastic handle.

What Is The Best Way To Use A Plunger?

Using a plunger isn’t really all that difficult and just about anyone can do it. However, it’s important to follow a few proper techniques to get the maximum effect. In order for a plunger to work effectively, there needs to be a good seal created between the plunger cup and the drain. Here are a couple tips:

  • Make sure the plunger cup is submerged (as much as possible) in standing water to help create a good seal and lots of pressure. Lower the plunger into the water on an angle to allow water inside the plunger as too much air in the plunger cup will reduce the force of the plunger.
  • Use the right plunger for the right job! Use a toilet plunger to unclog your toilet and use a regular cup plunger for sinks and drains. Tip: The flange on most toilet plungers folds inside to double as a cup plunger.
  • Try not to force the plunger up and down too hard as too much pressure could cause other seals to leak as well. Also, it will help avoid any unnecessary splashing from the toilet.