You're Likely Using The Wrong Type Of Plunger For Your Toilet

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Fortunately, clogged toilets don't always warrant a call to the plumber (or we'd all be broke). With the right kind of plunger, there's a good chance you can remove whatever is causing the blockage yourself. But part of plunging a toilet requires having the appropriate tools for the job. This means that the flat, cup-shaped plunger that you typically use for sinks and tubs isn't the best fit for your toilet. In reality, the best plunger for your toilet is a flange plunger, thanks to its unique shape. They differ from flat plungers predominantly thanks to a flange — or ridge — that protrudes from the plunger's cup.

Although you can use any plunger to try and remove items from clogged toilet drains, it's crucial to prevent them if possible. This means being aware of all the reasons a toilet might clog in the first place. For example, too much toilet paper can lead to a plumbing blockage. There are plenty of other reasons your toilet keeps clogging, especially if non-flushable items make their way into the drain. Some things that can harm the plumbing in your house include diapers, tissues, paper towels, and more. But a flange plunger works to remove these items and quickly get your plumbing back on track. 

Understanding cup vs flange plungers

Although cup-shaped plungers have their uses, a toilet isn't the best place for one. These tools don't have the right shape to create a proper seal, and subsequent vacuum effect, to remove stubborn clogs from your toilet's drain. Flat cup plungers are ideal for sinks and other even surfaces, as the name suggests. This includes tubs and showers. However, a flange plunger is the best way to really unclog your toilet. Unlike cup plungers, they're designed specifically for toilets while their unique shape and protruding "flange" make these tools ideal for dislodging clogged items from drains. 

The distinct flange, which is made of either rubber or plastic, is attached to the cup and is roughly the same size as a toilet drain, allowing it to fit into tight spaces and form a seal that can successfully clear whatever is preventing your toilet from functioning properly. These tools are often called accordion plungers, as some have flexible rubber cups that expand and contract like an accordion. This also works to create a vacuum for clogs. Just be mindful of the type of accordion plunger you purchase, as you can get them for sinks or toilets. The ones for toilets have a flange attached to the cup, whereas accordion sink plungers are flat. 

You can currently purchase a flange plumber on Amazon for $23. However, suppose you still have significant issues with toilet clogs even after using one. In that case, you might need to enlist the help of a toilet auger or even call a plumber if it's an especially desperate situation.