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The Ultimate Guide to Toilet Plungers and Augers

One of the common problems in most households, especially in the bathroom are clogged drains and toilets. You can always call a plumber during these times, but in many cases, you can also solve this plumbing issue without the need for a plumber or technician. How? With the use of toilet plungers and augers. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and can be bought online and in stores near you. Plungers and augers are each designed to be used on unclogging drains and toilets.

If you’ve been experiencing a clogged toilet lately and you’re tired of calling the plumber to fix the problem, then maybe it’s time for you to buy a toilet plunger and auger. But before you head to the store and buy them, you need to know more about them first, like how they are used. To help you out, we are going to give you the ultimate guide to toilet plungers and augers.

What is a Toilet Plunger?

a person plunging a clogged toilet bowl
A plunger is also known as a force cup, a plumber’s friend, or a plumber’s helper. It is a tool that is used to clear blockages in drains and pipes. Plungers usually have a rubber suction cup and an attached stick or shaft that is made of wood or plastic.

The cup of a toilet plunger looks like a partial ball that is tapered on one half and has a large hole on the bottom. It is more effective to use with water in the pipe because water does not compress, and it can transmit more of the applied force compared to air. If ever a toilet plunger is not effective, a plumber’s snake or a drain snake will be used instead.

A toilet plunger is also called a flange plunger. Its flange fits into the hole in your toilet bowl for a good seal. But you can also fold the flange up into the cup so you can use it on sinks and tubs, as well. There are also cup plungers available in stores, but those are more effective on sinks and not for clearing toilet clogs.

How are Toilet Plungers Used?

If it’s your first time to use a toilet plunger, here are some of the best steps you can follow:

  • Fill the toilet bowl with water

    When using a toilet plunger, you need to make sure that there’s enough water in the toilet bowl to submerge the head of the plunger. You need at least enough water to cover the rim of the plunger cup, but not the flange. You can add water to the bowl if needed.

  • Position the plunger properly

    You need to make sure that the flange of the plunger is pulled completely out from the cup. Then, lower the plunger into the bowl at an angle that the cup would fill with as much water as possible. Avoid going straight down as that can trap a lot of air and compress more than water, reducing the plunging force. After that, fit the cup over the toilet’s drain hole, putting the flange inside the hole. The cup should seal around the outside of the hole completely.

  • Work the plunger forcefully

    After positioning the plunger, grip the handle using both of your hands and push down on the cup forcefully. After pushing, pull it back up without breaking the cup’s seal around the hole. You can repeat the push-pull motion five to six times. Then, yank the cup off of the hole. Repeat the plunging motions as needed, until the bowl empties by itself.

  • Flush the toilet

    After using the plunger, try to flush the toilet. It if flushes normally, then you’ve fixed the problem. Before doing this, remove the tank lid from the toilet and find the round rubber trap door or the flapper at the center of the tank bottom. It is the emergency water shut off if ever the toilet is still clogged. When the issue is solved, you can set the lid back on the tank. However, if your toilet is still clogged, you can reach into the tank and push the flapper down over the hole to stop the flow of water and avoid overflowing. When it stops refilling, you can start plunging the toilet again, until the clog is removed.

The Best Toilet Plungers You Can Buy

Now that you know what a toilet plunger is and how it is used, here are some of the best ones we can recommend:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Neiko 60166A Toilet Plunger with Patented All-Angle Design | Heavy Duty | Aluminum Handle

Clorox Toilet Plunger, White/Gray

simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy, Stainless Steel, White

OXO Good Grips Toilet Plunger with Holder

Mr. Clean 440436 Turbo Plunger and Bowl Brush Caddy Set

1. Neiko Toilet Plunger with Patented All-Angle Design

This unique 4-step heavy-duty graduated suction cup fits securely in all different types and sizes of toilet drain openings. It also has a lightweight, rustproof, and mold-resistant aluminum handle with a peg hole for convenient hanging and storage. This plunger is super pliable, and its durable rubber cup creates an ultra-tight seal around the drain from all angles, making it great for both commercial and residential use.

2. Clorox Toilet Plunger

This is a set that includes one toilet plunger and one caddy for easy storage and drying. It is a high-quality toilet plunger for tough jobs. It is ideal for any bathroom design. Its clamshell caddy offers a hands-free operating system that automatically opens up when the toilet plunger is lifted and closes back when not in use. It also prevents internal drying to keep your floor hygienically clean and dry. It is convenient and stylishly designed, making it efficient for you to deal with clogged toilets.

3. Simple Human Toilet Plunger and Caddy

This toilet plunger features a drip-free design with its magnetic collar that secures the cover to the plunger’s stainless-steel rod. This means that you’ll be able to carry them together with no drips. The plunger flange has a long and narrow profile that is specially designed to work more efficiently with modern toilets. The cover’s large opening also makes the plunger easy to detach, and it hides it discreetly out of sight when not in use.

4. OXO Good Grips Toilet Plunger with Holder

To use the plunger, all you need is to simply lift it, and the canister will automatically spring open. The head of this plunger is designed to work on all toilets, including low-flush ones. It has a long handle that provides leverage and keeps hand away from water. After using, you can simply replace the plunger in the canister for neat and sanitary storage. Its holder has a built-in drip tray that catches excess water and allows it to evaporate.

5. Mr. Clean Turbo Plunger and Bowl Brush Caddy Set

This toilet plunger comes with a bowl brush that you can use in cleaning your toilet bowl. The turbo plunger has a rubber grip handle. It is an extended rubber plunger that can provide highly effective results. This product will help you in keeping your toilet unclogged and clean.

What is a Toilet Auger?

how a toilet auger works
A toilet auger is also known as a toilet snake, plumbing snake, water closet auger, and plumbing auger. It is a tool used to unclog toilets and to remove obstructions from drains. This tool has an auger bit at one end and a crank handle at the other. Its middle section is a piece of long flexible material that is typically metal.

You can use a toilet auger to unclog your toilet bowl if a plunger does not work. It is usually used in drains that have obstructions in the way. It can be a build-up of toilet paper, a sanitary item, or a foreign object. It can also be used if chemical drain unblocking fluids did not work, or if you do not want to use chemicals after using a toilet plunger. A lot of people use a toilet auger to remove clogs instead of hiring a plumber or drain cleaning service. It can help you save both time and money.

A toilet auger works by passing its flexible shaft through the u-bend and into the drain to locate the blockage. It has a crank handle that you can use to operate the auger bit, allowing you to remove the blockage easily and quickly. Most of them have enough cable to reach into the trap configuration in the porcelain body of the bowl, where most blockages occur. There are also some that can reach beyond that point to the main soil sack. However, most toilet augers will not reach as far as the main sewer line.

How are Toilet Augers Used?

If it is your first time to use a toilet auger, then here are some useful steps that you can follow to be able to use one efficiently:

  • Pull up the handle of the toilet auger so that the cable end is near the bottom of the auger tube’s curved end. This will make feeding the tube easier, and as well as to prevent the toilet bowl from getting scratched.
  • With one hand, hold the toilet auger housing, and then use your other hand to hold the crank handle. After that, gently crank the handle to work the cable into the toilet bowl’s drain. You need to do this step slowly and do not apply too much force because it can prevent the cable from moving through the drain.
  • You can also try to reverse the cable’s direction a few times to help it move through the drain easily. To do this, crank it one way until the cable stops moving. Then, try switching to the other direction. Then, continue feeding the cable into the drain until the handle is tight against the auger tube’s top.
  • When the cable reaches its full extension, rotate the cable a few times. Once you feel resistance, it means that the toilet auger has found the clog and forced through it. Now that it has gone through the clog, you need to pull it back out by rotating the handle and pulling it backward.
  • Once you remove the toiler auger, check and see if the clog has gone by flushing the toilet. You can try flushing it several times to make sure that all the blockage is removed. If there is still some remaining blockage, you can repeat using the toilet auger.
  • If ever the blockage does not clear, then it is possible that the clog is further down the drain system. If this is the case, you need to find an alternative point to use the toilet auger. For example, you can try using it from the branch clean-out fitting.

The Best Toilet Augers You Can Buy

After knowing what a toilet auger is and how it is used, here are some of the best ones that we can recommend:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

DrainX 6 Foot Toilet Auger | Use Manually or with Drill, Bulbhead Closet Auger Drain Plumbing Snake, Telescopic for Greater Reach, Plastic Guard for Porcelain Protection

Cobra Products 670398 Toilet Auger, 3/8 in X 3 ft

RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3-Foot Toilet Auger Snake with Bulb Head to Clear Clogged Toilets

General Pipe Cleaners R-3NKH 3-Feet Economy Closet Auger

Light Duty Toilet Auger 3' (foot) length for House Hold Toilets

1. DrainX 6-Foot Toilet Auger

This is a 6-foot toilet auger with a curved end to avoid porcelain damage and contact with toilet residue. It has a plastic grip handle for each hand with a rotating knob at the top to drive the cable into the pipe and rotate it to clear the clog. It also has a steel 3/8-inch auger cable with bulb head for catching and clearing clog residue. It is a very effective tool that you can use in unclogging your toilet bowls.

2. Cobra Products Toilet Auger

This is a highly durable and easy to use toilet auger. It has a 3/8-inch by 3-feet high carbon spring wire that can help in clearing clogged toilets. It also features a poly safety tube to prevent your porcelain toilet bowls from getting scratched. It also has a molded plastic turning handle that you can grip on comfortably. It is a very simple but efficient tool that you can use to remove toilet clogs.

3. RIDGID Toilet Auger with Bulb Head

This toilet auger has a vinyl guard that protects porcelain toilet bowls. It is a durable and kink-resistant tool that has ergonomically designed handles. Its inner core cable is ½-inch or 12.7 mm and is compression-wrapped. It also features a corrosion-resistant tube, and will also work on water-conserving toilets. Its cable can reach 3-feet or 1 meter and has a bulb head to clear blockages.

4. General Pipe Cleaners 3-Feet Economy Closet Auger

This toilet auger features a 3-foot cable and a woodturning handle. It has a galvanized turning rod and ring for the attached spring. It is a lightweight toilet auger that is very comfortable to use. It is also equipped with a plastic bowl guard to protect your porcelain toilet bowls from getting scratched. It is an efficient tool to have in the toilet.

5. Plumb Craft Light Duty Toilet Auger for Household Toilets

This toilet auger is 3/8-inch in diameter and 3-inch foot in length. It can unclog household toilets easily and comes with easy to follow instructions, as well. This toilet auger is made of high-quality materials with a steel turning rod and rubber bowl guard to prevent scratching of the toilet. It also has a vinyl grip handle to prevent slipping. This tool will help you clear your toilet drains with minimum effort.

Toilet plungers and augers are indeed essential items to have at home. When you have them, you no longer have to worry about fixing clogged toilets and drains in your house. We hope this guide will help you in finding the best toilet plungers and augers, and as well as in using them effectively.

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